Melanie Fessel: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021
|Name||Ms Melanie Fessel|
Professur Architekt. u. Städtebau
ETH Zürich, ONA J 25
|052-0708-00L||Urban Design IV||2 credits||2V||H. Klumpner, M. Fessel|
|Abstract||Students are introduced to a narrative of 'Urban Stories' through a series of three tools driven by social, governance, and environmental transformations in today's urbanization processes. Each lecture explores one city's spatial and organizational ingenuity born out of a particular place's realities, allowing students to transfer these inventions into a catalog of conceptual tools.|
|Objective||How can students of architecture become active agents of change? What does it take to go beyond a building's scale, making design-relevant decisions to the city rather than a single client? How can we design in cities with a lack of land, tax base, risk, and resilience, understanding that Zurich is the exception and these other cities are the rule? How can we discover, set rather than follow trends and understand existing urban phenomena activating them in a design process? The lecture series produces a growing catalog of operational urban tools across the globe, considering Governance, Social, and Environmental realities. Instead of limited binary comparing of cities, we are building a catalog of change, analyzing what design solutions cities have been developing informally incrementally over time, why, and how. We look at the people, institutions, culture behind the design and make concepts behind these tools visible. Students get first-hand information from cities where the chair as a Team has researched, worked, or constructed projects over the last year, allowing competent, practical insight about the people and topics that make these places unique. Students will be able to use and expand an alternative repertoire of experiences and evidence-based design tools, go to the conceptual core of them, and understand how and to what extent they can be relevant in other places. Urban Stories is the basic practice of architecture and urban design. It introduces a repertoire of urban design instruments to the students to use, test, and start their designs.|
|Content||Urban form cannot be reduced to physical space. Cities result from social construction, under the influence of technologies, ecology, culture, the impact of experts, and accidents. Urban un-concluded processes respond to political interests, economic pressure, cultural inclinations, along with the imagination of architects and urbanists and the informal powers at work in complex adaptive systems. Current urban phenomena are the result of urban evolution. The facts stored in urban environments include contributions from its entire lifecycle, visible in the physical environment, but also for non-physical aspects. This imaginary city exists along with its potentials and problems and with the conflicts that have evolved. Knowledge and understanding, and critical observation of the actions and policies are necessary to understand the diversity and instability present in the contemporary city and understand how urban form evolved to its current state.|
How did cities develop into the cities we live in now? Urban plans, instruments, visions, political decisions, economic reasonings, cultural inputs, and social organizations have been used to operate in urban settlements in specific moments of change. We have chosen cities that exemplify how these instruments have been implemented and how they have shaped urban environments. We transcribe these instruments into urban operational tools that we have recognized and collected within existing tested cases in contemporary cities across the globe.
This lecture series will introduce urban knowledge and the way it has introduced urban models and operational modes within different concrete realities, therefore shaping cities. The lecture series will translate urban knowledge into operational tools extracted from cities where they have been tested and become exemplary samples, most relevant for understanding how the urban landscape has taken shape. The tools are clustered in twelve thematic clusters and three tool scales for better comparability and cross-reflection.
The Tool case studies are compiled into a global urbanization toolbox, which we use as typological models to read the city and critically reflect upon it. The presented contents are meant to serve as inspiration for positioning in future professional life and provide instruments for future design decisions.
In an interview with a local designer, we measure our insights against the most pressing design topics in cities today, including inclusion, affordable housing, provision of public spaces, and infrastructure for all.
|Lecture notes||The learning material, available via https://moodle-app2.let.ethz.ch/ is comprised of:|
- Toolbox 'Reader' with an introduction to the lecture course and tool summaries
- Weekly exercise tasks
- Infographics with basic information of each city
- Quiz question for each tool
- Additional reading material
- Interviews with experts
- Archive of lecture recordings
|Literature||- Reading material will be provided throughout the semester.|
- Please see ‘Skript’, (a digital reader is available).
|Prerequisites / Notice||"Semesterkurs" (semester course) students from other departments, students taking this lecture as GESS / Studium Generale course, and exchange students must submit a research paper, which will be subject to the performance assessment: "Bestanden" (pass) or "Nicht bestanden" (failed). The performance assessment type for "Urban Design III: Urban Stories" taken as a semester course is categorized as "unbenotete Semesterleistung" (ungraded semester performance).|