Socio-Environmental Responsive Design

This course considers the complexity of the human ecosystem and the interpenetration of natural and artificial elements that are embedded within it. People, nature, and the built environments we have constructed all influence one another in a complex system of reciprocal interaction. Human ingenuity in developing techniques to improve climatic comfort has allowed us to inhabit extreme climate zones, where artificial conditions impose over the natural ones. Adaptation strategies have evolved from the adoption of clothing and the construction of simple shelters to the complex arrangements and technologies that facilitate physical survival and large-scale settlement in cities today.

In this studio course we will focus on the atmospheric conditions of the contemporary city and how they affect the use of public space. Using the city of Manama (Bahrain) as a case study, we will explore the potential of responsive design, where nature and artifice could establish a creative dialogue, to design new environments that can improve social life. We will travel to Manama and analyse the issues affecting the use of public space in this unique cultural and climatic region. During the semester students will design solutions and prototype their ideas. Participants are encouraged to develop strategies within a wide range of scales between public space and industrial design.

Irregular Schedule:
September 2, 3
September 10
September 16, 17
September 23, 24
October 1
October 7
TRIP Oct 11-16
October 28
November 4, 5
November 12
November 19
December 2, 3