The Course

Course Syllabus

ARCH 4219 01 (S14)
Yale School of Architecture
Architecture 4219b, Spring 2014
Wednesday, 3:30 – 5:20
Rudolph Hall, Room 706
 
URBAN RESEARCH & REPRESENTATION
 
Instructor:  Elihu Rubin
TA:  Melody Song
 
Every day, architects and urban designers make proposals that shape the public and private realms of the city. This seminar sets out to contextualize the social and political ramifications of these interventions; to intensify the designer’s tool kit of deep, socio- historical research of site and place; and to cultivate a reflexive practice that considers the social responsibilities of the architect and the urban researcher. 
 
Urban Research and Representation offers a selective introduction to traditions in urban research, perspectives in urban theory, and possibilities in urban representation.  We engage in an interdisciplinary manner with sociology, political economy, geography, environmental psychology, architectural history, and critical theory.  Students will have the opportunity to explore survey research, oral history, photography, video-making, cartography, diagrams, prose, sketches and drawings, architectural and urban design, multi-media and web design.
 
Requirements and Expectations:
 
Seminar meetings are structured as group conversations.  You are expected to keep up with the readings and contribute to class discussion.  Each week you will produce a short reading response or execute a short representational exercise (diagram, photograph, drawing, etc.)
 
The end product will include an individual (or partnered) presentation with a written summary, synthetic diagrams, and a substantive visual, aural, multi-media, or written projects.
 
Readings will be made available as PDFs through Classes V2.  
 
 
BREAKDOWN BY WEEK
 
Week 1, January 15
Afoot:  Itineraries Through the Urban  …
 
Introduction to the course, its central themes, the syllabus, and assignments.
 
 
Week 2, January 22
The Stranger’s Path:  Storytelling and Space
 
Reading
 
J.B. Jackson.  1957.  “The Stranger’s Path,” Landscape in Sight.
 
George Packer.  2006.  “The Megacity:  Lagos becomes an urban test case,” The New
Yorker.
 
Rebecca Solnit.  2007.  “Detroit and the Post-American Landscape,” Harper’s Magazine
 
 
Week 3, January 29
The Urban Text:  Reading the Built Environment and the Cultural Landscape
 
Reading
 
Gabrielle Brainard (YSOA ’07).  2001.  “Party Walls:  Understanding Urban Change Through a   Block of New Haven Row Houses, 1870-1979,” Journal of the New Haven Colony Historical Society.
 
Deryck W. Holdsworth.  1997. “Landscape and Archives as Texts,” Understanding
Ordinary Landscapes, pp. 44-55.
 
Paul Groth. 1997.  “Frameworks for Cultural Landscape Studies,” Understanding
Ordinary Landscapes.
 
 
Week 4, February 5 (Travel Week)
It’s the Ecology/Economy, stupid:  A Debate
 
Reading
 
Robert Ezra Park.  1915.  “The City:  Suggestions for the Investigation of Human
Behavior in the Urban Environment.”
 
Ernest W. Burgess.  1924.  “The Growth of the City.”
 
Roderick D. McKenzie.  “The Ecological Approach to the Study of the Human
Community.”
 
Susan S. Fainstein.  2001 (2nd edition) “Economic Restructuring and Redevelopment,”
The City Builders:  Property Development in New York and London, 1980-2000.
 
David Harvey.  “The Urban Process under Capitalism:  A Framework for Analysis,” The
Urbanization of Capital.
 
Suggested
 
Robert E. Park.  “Magic, Mentality, and City Life”
 
Robert E. Park.  “The Mind of the Hobo.”
 
David Harvey.  “View From Federal Hill.” 
 
 
Week 5, February 12
Archive:  Field Work in Sterling Memorial Library Manuscripts & Archives
 
 
Week 6, February 19
Th e B l a s é A t t i t u d e :   E x p o s u r e , Es t r a n g e m e n t , a n d th e U r b a n C o n d i ti o n
 
Reading
 
Georg Simmel.  1905.  “The Metropolis and Mental Life.”
 
Stanley Milgram.  1977.  The Individual in a Social World. (Chaps. 1 - 4, pp. 24 – 53)
 
Anthony Vidler.  1991.  “Agoraphobia:  Spatial Estrangement in Georg Simmel and
Siegfried Kracauer.”
 
Erving Goffman.  Behavior in Public Places, Chap. 6, “Face Engagements”
 
 
Week 7, February 26
En c o u n t e r s :  Ac c e s s , Eq u i t y , and t he P ubl i c R eal m
 
Reading
 
Don Mitchell.  2003.  The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space (Ch. 4).
 
Ocean Howell.  2005.  “The Creative Class and the Gentrifying City:  Skateboarding in
Philadelphia’s Love Park,” Journal of Architectural Education.
 
Sikivu Hutchinson, Waiting for the Bus
 
 
Week 8, March 5 (mid-term week)
Walking:  The Street, the Flâneur, and the Crowd
 
Reading
 
Edgar Allan Poe.  1840.   “The Man of the Crowd”
 
Walter Benjamin.  1969.  Charles Baudelaire:  A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism. (“The Flâneur.”)
 
Elizabeth Wilson.  1991.  Sphinx in the City.  (chap. 1, “Into the Labyrinth”)
 
Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift.  2002.  Cities:  Reimagining the Urban.  (Chapter 1:  The
Legibility of the Everyday City.)
 
Suggested
 
Thomas F. McDonough, “Crimes of the Flaneur”
 
 
– SPRING RECESS –
 
 
Week 9, March 26
Wayfinding:  Mapping, Disorientation, and the Discovery of Social Space
 
Reading
 
Guy Debord.  1958.  “Theory of the Dérive” and “Two Accounts of a Dérive,” in Ken
Knabb, ed. Situationist International Anthology
 
Thomas F. McDonough.  1994.  “Situationist Space,”
 
October. Simon Sadler.  1999.  The Situationist City (chs. 1 & 2)
 
James Corner, “The Agency of Mapping:  Speculation, Critique and Invention,” in
Mappings, ed. Denis Cosgrove.
 
 
Week 10, April 2
Techniques of the Observer:  Photography and Video
 
Reading
 
Howard S. Becker.  2007.  Telling About Society, chapter 11, “Visual Sociology, Documentary Photography, and Photojournalism.”
 
Elihu Rubin.  2011.  “(Re)Presenting the Street:  Video and Visual Culture in Planning,” in Multimedia Planning and Policy:  Beyond the Flatlands, eds. Leonie Sandercock and Giovanni Attili.
 
Alan Trachtenberg.  1990.  Reading American Photographs.  “Four:  Camera Work / Social Work”
 
Suggested
 
Thomas Campanella.  2001.  Cities from the Sky:  An Aerial Portrait of America. (Introduction, “Sherman M. Fairchild and the Airborne Camera,” and Epilogue, “The Airplane and the City.”)
 
 
Week 11, April 9
That Glistening Wheel of Life:  Cinema and Spectatorship
 
Reading
 
Siegfried Kracauer, Theory of Film, selections TBA.
 
Anke Gleber, “Women on the Screens and Streets of Modernity:  In Search of the Female Flaneur,”
 
James Donald.  1999.  Imagining the Modern City, Chap. 3, “Light in Dark Spaces.”
 
The Ultimate Capitalist/Socialist Film Festival (time to be announced … )
 
Walter Ruttman.  1929.  “Berlin, Symphony of a City.”  (72 minutes)
 
Dziga Vertov.  1929.  “Man with a Movie Camera.”  (68 minutes)
 
 
Week 12, April 16
Pin-Up  and Plan for (Re)Presentations
 
 
Week 13, April 23
Pin-Ups and Public Meeting
 Rubin_Arch 4219b_2014.pdf