Public Space in the Informal City

This course seeks to open a discussion around the design and representation of public space in informal settlements, aiming to provide students with tools for thinking, discussing, designing, and representing the urban landscape in a context where the public realm is more needed and poorly defined. Through weekly sessions, periodic readings, lectures and discussions, workshops, and exercises, the students will work, through a series of ground floor exercises, on understanding the elements and criteria that build the common space of the informal city. During the semester, each student will work on a series of graphic pieces that will build upon a research project from different material and spatial approaches to learn from their work about the space in which the discipline proposes the public experience of its inhabitants.

We will cover public space issues with an emphasis on informal settlements. We would start with lectures, reading discussions, and global case research. At the same time, the guest lecturer will present different cases from Latin America concerning the issues introduced in the class and the implications and process of consolidating the public space in their countries.

As a research-based seminar emphasizing representation, the class will train research skills and representation in technical drawings. Students will be working in exercises first, then in their research project through technical drawing as media and a tool for developing their projects.

This course fits into the area of representation, urban landscapes, and the public space in informal settlements. The relation of these relevant insides is not just engaging in disciplinary terms. Still, they are urgent matters in a context like the one we will be working on where what we think is public has not been thought, represented, and projected.