Course Description and Objectives:
This class teaches theories and methods of how to develop original data about, analyze, and produce visualizations of urban space, as used by people. It helps students think critically about conventional ways of conceptualizing and representing cities whether it be at the neighborhood, urban, regional, or global scale and their potential biases and omissions. Class assignments empower students to uncover alternative spatial knowledge by incorporating both fieldwork and digital lab work and to utilize their creativity and experience. The methods and skills attained in the course will give students a broader repertoire for incorporating ground-truthing fieldwork into mapmaking and visualization, and experience in ethically engaging local community institutions and members in the production of this knowledge.
Students will build an online portfolio of still and moving images and maps as their knowledge and skills evolve over the semester. Research methods that will be integrated include: critical GIS, participant observation, interviewing, field surveying, photography, video.
This class is a research-based class. Students will be engaged with honing inquisitive and critical thinking and have much deeper understanding of the methods taught by trying to apply them to an actual project. Class sessions consist of a hybrid educational format of learning through seminar discussion, critiques of visual pin-ups common in studio classes, and lab work. This class is inter-disciplinary in integrating the social and physical dimensions of urban space. It is intended to be useful to students from a variety of fields including: planning, public policy, architecture, cinema, communications, and art practice.