Type and the Idea of the City

Open to all students, the seminars in this course will compliment Option Studio 1508: The Factory and the City. It will provide the theoretical and historical basis for the investigation into the future of industrial spaces in the developmental city. Taking Anthony Vidler’s Third Typology as a starting point, the seminar proposes the fourth typology as a common framework for the production of an architecture of the city in today’s globalized context. Unlike the first three typologies that found their justification for sociality from nature, the machine and the historical city respectively; the fourth typology is rooted in the developmental city. The first half of the seminar will begin with the understanding of type from Quatremère de Quincy and J.N.L Durand through the dialectics of idea and model. This renewed understanding of type and typology will offer an alternative reading of the writings and projects of Aldo Rossi and Rem Koolhaas as attempts to revalidate architecture’s societal and political role through the redefinition of the idea of the city. This idea of the city will be discussed through Aristotle’s polis, Schmitt’s homogenous demos, Mouffe’sagonistic pluralism, Rossi’s ‘collective memory’, Agamben’s‘dispositif’ and Koolhaas’ ‘heterogeneous containments’.

The second half of the seminar will be focused on the history and theory behind the emergence of the developmental city and its corresponding dominant types. This discussion will cover the various urban and typological outcomes instigated by the development city model – the mega-plot, cross-borders cities, and the urbanized countryside. Adding to this line of inquiry, the seminar this year will investigate the role of the factory in motivating shifts in the nature and process of urbanization. The history and evolution of the factory reflects the transformation of the nature of industries and its relation to the city and its economy: the factory was once a polluting, spartan, large shed, exiled to the peripheries of the city. In the late 1970s it was a sterile assembly plant; in the 1990s it was clustered around lush greenery as business parks for research and management; and in the 2000s, collaborative spaces were the de rigueur. This investigation will be underpinned by the theories offered in the first half of the seminar and further complimented by guest seminars.

Seminars will take place every other Thursday and Friday, 09.30 – 11.30:
February 4, 5, 25, 26; March 10, 11, 24, 25; April 7, 8, 21, 22

Note, this course was previously offered as 9123. Students who previously took 9123 will not be able to take 3352 for credit.