Michael Sorkin outlines the current state of urban life worldwide, arguing that even as the globe becomes urbanized, the city as a sustainable, equitable and beautiful site of social possibilities is in danger of disappearing. He insists that the master plan remains a necessary tool for designers.
Video Archive | Urban design (78)
Michael Sorkin discusses projects for new cities: Weed, Arizona (1994), Houguan Lake Ecological City (2010) and Qingtan Lake Ecological and Technological Park (2013-4) near Wuhan.
Michael Sorkin outlines his research into ways of enabling New York City to produce its own food.
Peter Trummer discusses his disciplinary approach and the aggregated figure and its unfolded ground. He discusses form not as a means of representation but as an investigation into the dynamics, material circumstances, and organizational patterns.
Jesse Reiser presents Kaohsiung: The Harbor City, a design for a major cruise ship terminal and tourist center in Taipei. The challenge with this project was to find a way to deal with the existing industrial aspects of the port while introducing postindustrial and touristic uses. The strategy was to go from a two-dimensional to a three-dimensional urbanism which allows for simultaneous access to the waterfront for multiple user groups. Flexible use spaces are distributed throughout the project and can be combined for larger events.
Prix discusses his interest in architecture as society rather than surface and form. He reccomends resistance to tools and technologies that push too narrowly in one direction. He argues that virtual public spaces without a physical component are not truly public. Prix presents a series of quotes, thoughts and ideas on complexity, problem solving, and rule-breaking. Prix presents several projects, describing the importance of finding new solutions without being distracted by the notion of a perfect solution. He explains his back and forth, analog and digital methodology. He argues that imperfections and chance occurrences can generate emotional content. He discusses client relationships in terms of the balance of what they want and what he hopes to achieve. He stresses the importance of fighting for projects, arguing that radical architecture is not just in the idea itself but in the building. Prix concludes with several projects of drastically differing scales. He addresses the integration of monumentality and dynamism. In principle he defends working in autocratic political contexts today as analogous to working for the Catholic Church in the past, but personally refuses to work on projects that conform to autocratic ideals. Prix discusses materials and fabrication, showing examples of ship building technologies combined with forms made from hand bent reeds.
This lecture commemorates architect Raimund Abraham, who was teaching at SCI-Arc at the time of his death in 2010. In a talk specifically addressed to Abraham, Steven Holl reviews his recent work in terms of ambiguity of time, place, and scale, ambiguous systems, and programs, and the clarity of concepts.
Michael Sorkin presents several urban design projects that demonstrate what he calls “a fuzzy urban logic.” In his drawings, every visual or color difference represents a difference in the drawing process as well as the urban makeup. The ratios of built space to green space to water space are all crucial. For Sorkin, sustainable urbanism is deliminated, body based, self sufficient, local, complex, equitable, singular, and green. For Sorkin, successful urbanism involves the ability to get lost, stating that “a little confusion is good.”