Island maps © Alessandra Cianchetta with Ania Soliman

Project Capital(s): Cities of Hedonism

 

Master Studio: Geography Landscape Cities

Alessandra Cianchetta

The studio explores the kaleidoscopic assemblage that shapes every great modern city, the interrelation between urban dimensions and the scale of architectural elements, and the question of public architecture and what of it remains public. It draws on Walter Benjamin’s assemblage technique, a collage of scattered observations of urban life, aiming to record and let connections form in an experimental fashion. Globalization, displacement and technology have radically changed the relationships between individuals, social groups and the physical space they inhabit. Under currently fast-changing conditions, the question is how architecture and urban design may or may not allow us to imagine new possible spaces and places for the public beyond the logic of commodification. The studio will start by examining an extensive area described by Benjamin and located on Paris’ Right Bank, from the ancien régime pleasure palace, the Palais-Royal, to the primordial landscapes of consumption in the Arcades.

The studio will then explore and map New York’s Lower East Side, examining its stealth aesthetics and gentrified culture, as well as – possibly – London’s Soho district and its post-punk culture.

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Project Capital(s): Cities of Hedonism

 

Master Studio: Geography Landscape Cities

Alessandra Cianchetta

Comparative analysis will provide the urban context for the projects. Examining different contexts and their cultural history, students will question and elaborate established theoretical knowledge, urban design concepts and methods. This research and design-based course draws on design methods that enable a cross-cultural design practice. We will consider inspirations as diverse as Walter Benjamin, Bruno Latour, Lou Reed and Kenneth Goldsmith. Students will explore the tension between particularism and globalization through architecture, literature, music, and culture in general. Although the Internet, technologies and luxury items are identical all over the world, the specific qualities of each place and culture do not allow the use of generic spatial strategies. How can architects and urban designers address local challenges of specific demographics in a world that is undergoing tremendous global change?

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Project Capital(s): Cities of Hedonism

 

Master Studio: Geography Landscape Cities

Alessandra Cianchetta

The first part of the studio is devoted to research, and analytical and conceptual mapping. In the second part, students will choose a site in or related to the above-mentioned areas, and engage with the critical issues discovered there. Are trade and commodification inherent in every urban fabric? Can new typologies of public space and (public) architecture be invented? What are the present-day interrelations between the economic activities that occur in such places (globally/locally) and the resulting nature of the places, and of space in general? What new practices and typologies can emerge? What is the role of architecture in the “experience economy”? 

> Link Booklet s18