Urban Grids: Open form for City Design-2


Within a larger research scope on “Revisiting the urban grids in the XXI century”, this seminar will focus on the investigation of recent urbanistic projects which use the grid and its multiple variations as their main structural device for the construction of the city. The ultimate objective of the course is to develop new understanding of the way we are approaching the design of the city by means of “grids and networks”

This semester the seminar will focus on the forms of blocks with exploring the diversity of urban block types and  researching the important aspects of block-design, which include: 1) dimensions and scales; 2) parcellation and its relationship to the regularity of land division and the subsequent subdivision or aggregation; 3) the evolution of compositional strategies and formation logics, and the relation between the compositions and the densities the block system is able to accommodate; grid composition is a useful metric as it indicates the relative efficiency of different grid systems, considering the space required to render services and provide mobility across a set extent of private land subdivision; 4) the continuity or fragmentation of the facades of the urban blocks, as well as the sectional design of blocks with multilayered considerations; 5) patterns of built form vs open space or communal space; and 6) how the forms of buildings response to the general form of the block.

Research Topics:

The research seminar will specifically focus on the following topics:

  • Reviewing conceptual framework: grid / block / mesh / matrix/ checkboard, etc
  • Researching seminal Projects (city fragments) that suggest new design paradigms. Study in quantitative features to understand qualitative values,
  • Comparative studies between the various investigations in order to establish both individual research tracts and a collective agenda for the research group.
  • Seminar will focus on “seminal-projects” that will provide basis for comparative reference.

Course Format and Method:

Even though a few introductory readings will be handed out at the beginning of the course, the seminar will explore the topics primarily through the construction of analytical and operative drawings.

The seminar is open to all students in GSD. Note that a high level of graphic skills is required.  Students will work individually and in groups of two.

Limited Enrollment: Number of students is limited to 24.

Notice: ***Please note that the material circulated during the seminar is for use within the seminar only.