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(Cross) Sectional Urbanism - M1 student work

In December, our Faculty of Environmental Design showcased work of Studio 3, the third design studio which involved all first year MArch students.

Taught by Branko Kolarevic, Josh Taron, Phil Vandermay and Vera Parlac, who also coordinated the course, this third design studio course in the Master of Architecture program studio sequence, involved 47 students and was developed to examine scalar, systemic and material aspects of the built environment by observing the material and technical complexities of the human environment and the impact that human contracts and infrastructures have on urban ecologies. 

The project

Within the complex matrix of the city, architects most often engage a project site or a building only. This leads to a city that is considered in parts and rarely as a whole.

The studio’s title, “cross-sectional urbanism”, reflects this piecemeal condition but it also – if understood as a way to probe the site – points at the range of possibilities that such an approach might engender, especially if it engages critically and creatively the conditions it is producing. In this studio project students were asked to examine conditions and forces that influence and shape programmatic, spatial and formal expression of the city to create social and cultural conditions of the place. Students were asked to propose a variety of programmatic combinations (within a given program matrix) over a series of connected sites that form an urban artery (10th Avenue SW). Acting simultaneously on each site, with a different program and a different design agenda, the students had to negotiate or contest new territories that emerged as each segment of the larger site was activated.

The result

Students developed their projects throughout the Fall semester.  Each student made a physical model of their proposed site which were then placed together and displayed in the EVDS Gallery to form a new 10th Avenue corridor.