Discussion

Here, I plan to post links relating to issues, sites, and projects that come up in each class.

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Streetcorner Serenade for Public Plazas > Article presents DIY urbanism promoted by the city as follows: “It’s good for business. It’s good for people. It’s common sense.” Excellent (yet not-so-conscious) expose of how spatial interventions are co-opted.

Research on gated communities has been conducted by social scientists–Teresa Caldeira’s City of Walls  and Setha Low’s Behind the Gates, and Evan McKenzie’s Privatopia are some of the pioneering works. Do architects have any interest in looking at gated communities?  Considering a new wave of New Urbanists have discovered a field of opportunity in the old suburbs, in their “dead malls” and carparks, can we project for the future of gated communities? Would it be plausible to propose design solutions for their future retrofitting (assuming near-future obsolescence)?

Ellen Dunham-Jones: “Retrofitting suburbia” Ted talk : “Ellen Dunham-Jones fires the starting shot for the next 50 years’ big sustainable design project: retrofitting suburbia. To come: Dying malls rehabilitated, dead “big box” stores re-inhabited, parking lots transformed into thriving wetlands.”

I am Gurgaon. The New Urban India  by Marije Meerman, 2009 and the citizen initiative depicted at the end of the film

Analyzing  occupation > Jonathan Massey and Brett Snyder survey the physical and online protest spaces — the “hypercity built of granite and asphalt, algorithms and information” — and explore their potential to create “new publics and polities that might open up futures beyond the neoliberal state.”

Peter Gibson, aka roadsworth, a street artist from Montreal, Canada challenges notions of privacy and publicity

Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog (Nuit et brouillard, 1955) is the film I mentioned in class, in reference to the ethics of architectural practice. The film  opens with shots of abandoned concentration camp grounds. This is what the narrator says several minutes into the film: “A concentration camp is built the way a stadium or hotel is built: With businessmen estimates, competitive bids, and no doubt a bribe or two. No specific style—that’s left to the imagination: Alpine style, garage style, Japanese style, no style… Architects calmly design the gates mean to be passed through only once. ”

Homeless park > Shinjuku Central Park in Tokyo

Public housing in Montreal > With regards to major modernist projects in the urban centre, the Habitations Jeanne Mance  is one of the most prominent examples, a project of the 50s to remove the city of its so called slums. Built to be a model of modernity, the austere buildings have been the source of severe criticism over the years.

Gated community in Montreal >  the “M sur la Montagne” project is intended to be the first gated community. It is a project converting an old seminary (and former school) into condominiums, with a prominent location on Mont Royal. Some additional information is available below. http://www.relianceconstruction.com/projects/hospitality-and-residential/details/219/?current_page=HOME     http://www.montreal2025.com/projet.php?id=180&lang=en

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