Dept. of Architecture

ARC 564: Architecture and Society

Instructor: Edward Steinfeld


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The goal of the project is to complete an analysis of a place where rebuilding is planned, in process or completed in response to spatial disruption caused by natural or human events. The analysis will seek to understand how the social processes prior to, during and after the disruption affect the rebuilding effort – planning, design and built form. Students will select a well-known example of spatial disruption and rebuilding project or program to investigate and form teams of 2-5 students, depending on the size of the class. The topic must be well documented in publications and/or on the World Wide Web. The team will research and document the spatial disruption and rebuilding process. Each individual team member will be responsible for completing an analysis using two of the five analysis methods taught in the class. The instructor will identify which methods are most appropriate for their topic. Team members will critique each other’s work and offer suggestions for completing each analysis.

The project will include the following tasks:

  • Documentation of the spatial disruption and rebuilding effort as a team
  • Analyses (two by each team member) of the spatial practices using the methods introduced in the course.
  • Essays (one by each team member) that critique the spatial practices with respect to their impact on social relations . Each essay must rely on the results of the all the team members' analyses. Some questions to consider in the essays could include:
    • Conditions: Why did the rebuilding plans, designs or construction turned out the way it did? What social theories can be useful for explaining the conditions you find?
    • Society: What characteristics of the inhabitants contributed to the characteristics of the plans, designs and actual construction? Consider demographic factors, social relationships between different groups, political power, etc.
    • Environment: Are the results successful in terms of supporting respect for place by the inhabitants ? Why and why not?
    • Perceptions: How are the rebuilding efforts perceived by inhabitants and others - what is its status and reputation in the University community, community at large and the profession? How does this reputation reflect on the planners, designers and inhabitants themselves?


Presentations, Reports and Schedule

Background Report – all teams will present their topic and the documentation of the spatial disruption and rebuilding effort in the second class (January 24) and finalize it by mid-semester (March 7).

Preliminary analyses and essay points - Students who were assigned the analysis topic for the week will present their initial analysis and preliminary essay points during the designated class, e.g. Domain Analysis, Access/Exposure Analysis, etc.

Final Essay - Each student revises and completes their essay, incorporating findings of others in their interpretations and contributes his/her slides to the team presentation. This must be completed and submitted to the instructor no later than April 25. All final essays are to be delivered in hard copy and as files on a CD.

Format of Reports

Background Report – A group effort with the documentation on the topic in Powerpoint form on a CD and hard copy (5 slides on spatial disruption and 5 on rebuilding plans, designs and construction)

Preliminary Essays – A concise presentation of your analyses using no more than 3 Powerpoint slides and the initial points for your essay (total no more than 10 minutes long).

Final Essays – A 10 page maximum double spaced essay in MS Word with attached analysis. Hard copy must be on 8.5 x 11 in. paper.

Powerpoint guidelines:

  • Eliminate extraneous graphics and backgrounds and do not include logos
  • Use concise bullet points – no more than two lines of text for each, one line preferred.
  • Insure that the slide is readable from the rear of the room considering font size, type and colors of text and background
  • Include a title slide identifying the title of your presentation, team members, date, class and instructor
  • Present only the information you need to make your points
  • Rehearse the presentation and revise until you can present it within the time limit.

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Last revised 1-11-06

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