Urban Design Trajectories: Perspectives on Practice

Urban Design, as a professional discipline, has not existed for nearly as long as architecture, landscape architecture, or urban planning, though it has been practiced in the context of all three. The objective of this seminar is to examine contemporary urban design practice, engage in critical discourses on urbanism, and evaluate design methods based on themes, processes, and outcomes. Students will be exposed to a cross-sampling of urban design philosophies from the perspective of practicing professionals whose work ranges from guerilla tactics to ecological urbanism and everything in between. A diverse group of thinkers will be invited to discuss urban design through various lenses, projects, and approaches. Presentations will be followed by critical in-class discussions.

· Students will conduct research to profile guest speakers, prepare questions to ask them, and facilitate an in-class discussion following each presentation.
· Students will work together to develop a lexicon of urban design methods. They will identify relationships between the methods and practical approaches as they relate to different scales, program needs, client types, timelines, geographic locations, budgets, project goals, cultural sensitivities, and other considerations.
· Students will complete an assignment reflecting on the various approaches to urban design practice, create a comparative profile of the philosophies therein, and develop their own perspectives on urban design.