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Publication Detail
E-merging Design Research: Pop-up City
Abstract
The E-Merging Design Research module (EDR) is a new research/practice-based module in the SDAC MSc at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. It brings the measurable aspects of urban and architectural environments (evidence-based) to serve those aspects that are considered immeasurable, such as design, intuition, ethical position, social values, place-making, and wellbeing. As none of the measurable and immeasurable aspects can separately provide a holistic approach to creating value, or satisfy the concerns of both policy makers and people, the module offers a unique integrated pathway to design/data-to-knowledge. The course focuses on cities as physical/virtual networks reasserting the values of embodied space in face-to-face encounters and digital communications. It develops responses to urban and social challenges, such as new and emergent forms of urbanisation, urban heritage and historic urban environments, sustainability, informal settlements, healthy environments, rapid urbanisation, safety, security, mobility and immigration. The students encounter a range of theories, technologies and methodologies for breaking down the barriers between Prefaceevidence-led explorations and design-based approaches, each of which currently belongs to different educational and professional silos. The course combine expertise from architecture, urban design, social sciences and related areas. It draws from collaborators in London, UCL and internationally through field trips abroad, workshops, seminars, publications and exhibitions of experimental design/research projects, artistically inspired and scientifically grounded work. The Bartlett School of Architecture, one of the most renowned international schools, based in a truly global city is a fitting place from which to interrogate the wider challenges of architecture and cities in a rapidly transforming world. It is from this perspective that we undertook our investigation of informal settlements in Rio in 2016. Given both the prominence and the permanence of this particular urban form in that city our hypothesis might easily be stated as ‘the favela IS the city’. The contributions which follow provide a glimpse into a ‘self-organising’ urban system accompanied by speculations about the potential for intervention and what forms those interventions might take.
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