This course explains the origins of urban design theory and practice, from its roots in modernist architectural theory in the 1950s to present-day priorities of “placemaking,” combined with increasingly urgent concerns for sustainability and urban resilience. Building from this conceptual foundation, the course teaches relevant techniques and processes used in the multi-disciplinary practice of urban design today. It charts the rejection of modernist concepts and the reengagement with principles of “traditional urbanism” and focuses on how buildings shape the public realm, relating both to the more intimate scale of urban infill development and the larger scale of community master planning. The course also introduces new skills required in urban design practice – the art of coding the “DNA” of these master plans into zoning documents called Form-based Codes that can orchestrate the implementation of the master plan over an extended period of time.
The course demonstrates how to identify and define contextual influences, how to master techniques for the effective design of public space and infrastructure, and how to integrate these factors into the design process. This enriched approach to architectural design provides the platform for an architecture that is fully engaged with the life and rhythms of cities, communities and neighborhoods, and contributes to our shared task of creating sustainable and resilient cities.
AIA Course Number: AIAPDH183
Learning Units: 5 LU/HSW
Course Author: David Walters