Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 3 hours / session

Course Overview

In this class we will examine how the idea of the city has been "translated" by artists, architects, and other diverse disciplines. We will consider how collaborations between artists and architects might provide opportunities for rethinking / redesigning urban spaces. The class will look specifically at planned cities like Brasilia, Las Vegas, Canberra, and Celebration and compare such tabula rasa designs with the redesign of recyclable urban spaces demonstrated in projects such as Ground Zero, Barcelona 2004, and Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenway. While the course will involve some reading and discussion, coursework will focus largely on the students' own projects / interventions that should evolve over the course of the semester.  Of the two weekly class meetings, one will be a group discussion or lecture with the whole class and visiting guests, and the other will be an individual meeting between the student and the instructor to discuss his or her work for the class, including the final project.

The class will make two field trips during the semester. First, a trip to Yale University to hear Kenneth Frampton speak will coincide with the New York City trip of the 4.123 Level 1 Studio. Then later in the semester, the class will make a trip to Brasilia to research it as a case study, documenting their trip. Visiting artists and architects will make presentations of their work, as well as offering background on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and the history of the project and the city of Boston. Visitors will include Hubert Murray, local architect and former planner for the Central Artery project, Kelly Dobson, local artist and former MIT Visual Arts student, and Wendy Jacob, Assistant Professor in the Visual Arts Department.

The final project will be developed over the course of the semester, and will focus on a discussion surrounding the issues relevant to the Rose Kennedy Greenway, and the spaces that will come into being once the Boston Central Artery Project is complete. These as-yet undefined spaces will no doubt be hotly contested and fought over. The final projects should seek to design new ways of looking at and thinking about these spaces.