The class provides an introduction to the history and theory of urbanism from the Greek polis until the contemporary city. We explore the development of urbanism as a discipline in search of spatial solutions to socio-economic and political-strategic issues or priorities, in relation to the transformation of architecture and engineering. The interactions between theory, practice and representation; concept, context and materialization in situ; as well a city, territory, network are the backbone of the course.
Recurring themes are:
- tension between public – private; planned – spontaneous; utopia – pragmatics;
- the influence of discourses ‘outside’ the discipline: art (e.g. new esthetic categories such as sublime and picturesque), mathematics (e.g. Euclides, Descartes), physics (e.g. Corpernicus, Newton, Leibniz), literature (e.g. Machiavelli, Hobbes);
- recuperation and/or transformation of existing concepts (shifting meaning of the grid, the axis, facade, …);
- European ‘archetypes’ in colonial and post-colonial contexts;
- perception and experience of the urban environment.