Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thesis Presentations + Working Outline

It has been a while since I posted. What have I been doing? Really, trying to get through that bibliography on the right.

But the highlight of my last few week's has come every time I meet with some friends from the GSD to talk about the issues we are working on. Some of them have their own blogs and are on the right in the 'Fellow Thesis Preppers' section.

After months of wine and conversation, we met yesterday to begin a series of more serious talks and presentations to each other.

These are some of the things that I presented:

Expanding the Design Field

The world population is exploding and with it cities around the world are speedily growing, most of that growth happening in the informal sector. Among the largest challenges to architects in the near future is the need to find the right tools to be effective in this volatile and ever changing context. The current discourse around parametric processes in architecture and related design fields has potential to help in this regards. However in Architecture this contemporary concern over process has become an insular discourse over technology and the process of designing objects themselves. In other design fields ideas of process and parameters have taken into account issues larger than technology to account for a series of real-world problems that designers do not always have control over.

However, even the right tools will not necessarily work if applied to traditional practice models, practice itself has become part of the processes that need to be rethought. In these contexts the architect must allow and account for changes to structures across time, while actively engaging with political and economic structures at various scales.

1- INTRO (expanded thesis statement)
--Statistics to urban growth around the world, identifying the hot spots of activity.

2- Framing Changing Conditions
2.1- Population imbalances, increased mobility, and spreading globalized economic systems are making the migrant condition a norm across the world- from internal movements to urban centers to global migrations from south to north
2.2- These population increases and movements are currently challenging official structures forcing people to take care of services that the state and other official institutions usually provide.
2.3- It is then the role of the built environment itself to mediate these conditions, helping provide both the frames that allow for both basic services and a grounding in place with the tools and architectural language for change and self-organization.

3- Change in the Formal Practice
This is a section that deals with ways that architecture and its related fields have dealt with conditions of change in which they do not have full control, focusing on current Landscape Urbanism theories.
--(One Graph) A Lineage of Expanding the Field:
Mat Buildings-TechnoUtopians-Landscape Urbanism-Parametric Design
3.1- An Evolution of Frames
Case Studies:
3.2- La Villette
3.3- Downsview Park

4- Expanding the Canon
4.1- The 60’s
--Self Help Housing
--A Pattern Language
4.2- New Frames and Practices
Practitioners that are re-configuring the way they and other institutions work to engage political and economic structures with their architectural projects.
--Teddy Cruz
--Urban Thinktank/Marjetica Potrc
--Rural Studio
--Alejandro Aravena

5- Site Analysis
5.1- Learning from Conflict
--Global Conditions
--The Mexico/US Border
5.2- Learning from San Bernardo - Creating a Language
--Material Catalogue
--Strategies of Growth
--- Families and Spaces
---Public Space

6- Conclusions and Design Agenda

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