A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

Post-Geographic City Workshop

AIADO 4954 001
Faculty: Ben Hooker

This is an interdisciplinary studio about 'the future of the city,' in which we will use multimedia techniques to imagine new kinds of urban experience that arise from the collision of culture and emerging automation, computation and media technologies. The project is a space for us to contemplate new agendas for design and architecture in an age when the prevailing 'brief' defining the role for those disciplines is increasingly out of touch with the daily realities of our electronically augmented and algorithmically orchestrated lives. Rather than authoring seamless scenarios about imagined future urban life, or conceiving of top--down designed 'worlds,' we will approach this speculative project as a sort of construction site. We will employ a variety of hi- and low-tech composition and simulation techniques to introduce new technological elements to familiar environments, creating unfamiliar hybrid situations with a degree of unpredictability and humor. 


This class, then, is as much about an exploratory, experimental method as it is a subject. Exactly what we'll end up designing will not be known at the outset, but we do know we'll strive to envision new kinds of emotionally textured spaces in the context of technology and urban culture which are far from the unchallenging and hokey visions presented to us in many so-called 'smart city' projects. The class will be split into two phases. In phase one, initially working as a group and pooling our findings, we will collect inspiration materials from diverse sources. Then, through a collaging process of leveling modes of research with fiction, of design with art, of engineering with spectacle, the form and tone of our projects will emerge. We will create multimedia vignettes will act as project briefs for subsequent work, where, in the second phase, we'll follow individual project trajectories, building on personal disciplinary interests.