ENV 643b/ARCH 4254 () / 2023-2024

The (Built) Environment: Environmental Design and Urban Transformation in Practice

Credits: 3

Spring 2024: Th, 11:00-12:50, ARCH - tbd

Over the next decade, cities and human settlements will remain a critical lever for addressing the climate crisis and ecological collapse. Contemporary urbanization differs from historical patterns of urban growth in its scale and rate of global change, touching on such dimensions as food and agriculture, land use, biodiversity, water, energy, governance, and more. Large-scale urban expansion of new and growing cities as well as continued development of established cities present opportunities for a new conceptualization of the built environment in the context of sustainability. As cities dominate the globe, the intersection between architecture and environmental action must be redefined. This course is designed for students who seek new terrain for architectural-environmental thought within the context of evolving urban challenges. The course is run as a colloquium and workshop. Invited professionals and researchers forging new work in the built environment will share their practice and methods of work. Student-moderated discussions with our guests will present the opportunity for students to build the skills to critically position themselves within the discourse of urbanization, architecture, and environmental action. Concurrently, students will workshop individual or group projects resulting in a project proposal of each student’s choosing. In the short-term, students will build cross-functional skills and cultivate an interdisciplinary cohort of thinkers across disciplines. In the long-term, students will build the foundations for their future professional/academic trajectory by forging new methods of practice or research in urbanization and architecture. Students from all programs are encouraged to enroll. The class emphasizes building a cohort of practice between thinkers and doers across YSE and YSoA. There are no prerequisites for this course and students do not need a background in architecture or planning. Projects can be historical, analytical, speculative, policy-oriented or other. The only requirements are for the proposed project to interrogate the intersection between the built and natural environments and open new avenues for cross-disciplinary work about built form as a critical lever for global sustainability.