Globalization plays a major role in urban developments around the world; however the local context is always different and related to a local civic society. In our field of expertise the merger between the local and global context is experienced more and more. To meet these exciting challenges urbanity faces today, students will choose a destination for the field trip by its broadening and deepening character. It expands the horizons of students and confronts them with other urban realities. It will also give them the opportunity and access to study successful modern urban practices.
The world school encircles a research project around a field trip abroad. The destination of the field trip will be chosen during the course of the year in close cooperation between students. During the year all participants will have preparatory task in order to organize a successful trip, tasks are amongst others: logistics, accommodation, local transportation, general information, potential partners for lectures and workshops, and specific background in the field of urbanism and architecture.
During the trip students will have to present their research project. This project could be chosen thematic or could be a specific location. Main goal of the research project is to train the students to work on a specific research (location) within another urban context than the usual one we normally work in. This means students will have to formulate research goals, and once there will have to observe what they actually see and when returned home reflect on their research and observation. During the trip each student will have a moment to guide the participants to their research location. A plenary presentation in which an interpretation of the project and an indication of relevant social, cultural, urban and architectural elements for the project introduces the project area for the other participants.
By formulating a research question and collecting relevant data the first phase of the research project is started. This phase with desk research will be concluded with research goals and questions for the field trip. This gives a general outline for the research and precise observation scope with intended and thought over results. Students are stimulated to explore the location by using for example the methods of Jan Gehl or Kevin Lynch if such a research has added value.
The observation and interpretation of the local situation in relation to the desk research is the second phase of the research project. Students present their research on the specific location and will perform a local research with help of the other students.
The third phase consists of further desk research and a reflection of all phases and the research results. The story line, which is edited over the research will come up for discussion in relation to the original research question and hypothesis for the field trip. Finally the research will be concluded with a final presentation and a research report. In these reports the process containing all the relevant research elements (hypothesis, research questions, methodology, and bibliography) is described.
Each trip we strive to organize something to relate more to the local context, a workshop with other local students might be part of the program. This workshop could be studying a specific area in which they have to relate their observations to the situation and the map. The workshop is intended to research and question the specific local interventions. In this way the students will learn more about the local civil context in relation to the plan and scheme of the city. By working together with local students knowledge gaps, cultural understanding and local ways of working are better understood and are made explicit.
Basic Literature (from reference List):
a) Kostof Spiro, The City Assembled: Elements of Urban Form through History, Little Brown, Boston 1992; second printing Thames & Hudson New York 2005.
b) Kostof Spiro, The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History, second edition Thames & Hudson, New York 1999
c) Landry Charles & Murray Chris, Psychology of the city, Gloucestershire 2017
d) Gehl Jan, Cities for People, Island Press 2010
e) Gehl Jan and Svarre, Birgitte, How to Study Public Life, 2013
f) Lynch, Kevin. The Image of the City. Cambridge MA, 1960
Course specific literature and Suggested reading:
Depending on the specific location and research questions
Organization and participation during the field trip
- Guided tour at the research location for all participants
- Presentation and research report:
• The structure of the research: have the relevant research techniques been used in the correct manner in the different phases of the research and is the research understandable and transparent?
- The relevance and coherence of the found facts.
- The structure of the story/argument: is there a consistent story line starting from the research questions and based on the research and the found facts?
• The critical reflection on the results of the research.
A written reflection on the researched planning principles in which a clear case is described. The case should reveal in which way implementation of designs is influenced by planning systems.
The result of the studio will be an analysis, vision and elaborated design for the chosen area. The design will integrate the various qualities and approaches on different scales and levels.
Thesis, the students have to deliver their research at the end of the course. Argumentation in which the students are showing their capacity to evaluate, reflect, interpret and translate knowledge, data, analysis and sources into a relevant research is assessed.
List of course objectives:
1. Ability to develop own research project
2. Ability to analyze a different culture and its built form
3. Ability to find the different actors in urban planning and development
4. Ability to characterize and define cultural differences and habits
5. Ability to analyze urban patterns and structures in relation to typical geographical conditions
6. Ability to organize and collect the needed data
7. Ability to relate the urbanization to local processes and procedures
8. Ability to analyze the built form in relation to the organization of society
RESEARCH, level 2
COMMUNICATING, level 2
ORGANISING, level 2
PROFESSIONALISM, level 2
WORLD SCHOOL, Urban Civilization
two week workshop
5, 26 april, 3 may
WORKSHOP STUDIO, LECTURES, FIELD TRIP