Syllabus: Better Boroughs, Resilient Regions – Spring 2013

MIP 602 / ARCH 464: Better Boroughs, Resilient Regions – Syllabus Spring 2013 Mondays 1:00-5:45; Wednesday 8:30-11:25; Thursday 2:30-6:20 Weston Hall Faculty: Georgeen Theodore, School of Architecture ( Room 765 Weston Hall Office hours: by appointment Type of Course: Interdisciplinary studio of 5 credit hours/11.5 contact hours Studio criticism format 10 students expected Course Overview: The subject of this studio is the rebuilding of New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane, which made landfall near Atlantic City on October 29, 2012, wreaked havoc, and the damage to shoreline and waterfront communities was devastating. Housing, schools, roads, and recreational landscapes were wiped away by winds and rising tides. The scope of rebuilding is overwhelming, and most post-disaster efforts are local, and as a matter of necessity, focused on immediate needs. In contrast to the “let’s rebuild now!” mantra that is being repeated and organized on a “town-by-town” basis, this studio will work to examine the larger, regional design opportunities confronting the counties of Bergen, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Atlantic, and Ocean, and seek ways to interlink these opportunities with local initiatives. Working “on the ground” with representatives of the Regional Catastrophic Planning Team (NY-NJ-CT-PA), the Department of Homeland Security, Architecture for Humanity, FEMA, and with local community members, the studio will develop designs that purposefully negotiate between the urgent need for visionary, large-scale planning and demands to restore what was there. While the scope and ambition of the studio is clearly regional in its focus, students will be encouraged to develop discrete architectural proposals that engage issues of infrastructure and landscape, such as the redesign of seawalls, boardwalks, bridges and coastal barriers, as well as resilient housing. Given that preliminary estimates indicate a minimum ten year rebuilding effort, this studio seeks to help students develop expertise in an area that will drive the design and construction industry in New Jersey for the foreseeable future. The course will be organized in two phases: • 5X5 Investigations • Resiliency Proposals In the first, five-week phase, 5X5 Investigations, students will develop a set of projective illustrations that investigate the circumstances that led to wide-scale damage, assess post-Sandy conditions, and identify opportunities for future resiliency building. During this phase, the studio will work primarily at two scales: the scale of the state of New Jersey and at the scale of the borough or township. The studio will work collaboratively at the state scale, and individually at the borough scale. Each student will focus on different borough selected from the studio’s list of towns severely impacted by the storm. (See the attached list of selected boroughs.) Using his or her work from the first phase as a base, in the second phase Resiliency Proposals, each student will develop a resiliency proposal for his or her respective borough. Studio participants will have the freedom to develop their own project’s direction in consultation with the instructor, although all projects must perform in a way that (1) responds to short-term needs and (2) provides a long-term vision for improving the place. Emphasis will be on design thinking that negotiates local community needs with visionary regional strategies. The work of the studio will be collaboratively developed into a publication by semester’s end. (read more)   rollercoaster