Housing & Urbanism applies architecture to the challenges of contemporary urban strategies. Today’s metropolitan regions show tremendous diversity and complexity with significant global shifts in patterns of urban growth and decline. This programme investigates how architectural intelligence helps us understand and respond to shifting urban conditions. Housing is considered both as a critical aspect of urbanism and as a means to reflect upon changing ideas of domesticity, identity and public space.
Student work is divided among design workshops, lectures and seminars, and a final thesis which allows for a focused study within the broader themes of the course. The programme explores the interplay between graphic tools and writing, in order to develop research ideas about the urban condition and skills for intervening through spatial design.
There are three current research themes of H&U work:
This year's design workshops took place in the Lea Valley in London and in Taiwan in collaboration with the Graduate Institute of Architecture at National Chiao Tung University, complemented by a study visit to Hamburg. The workshops addressed processes of rapid urban development related to knowledge-based economies, as well as the potential for synergies between new and existing urban cultures. H&U reaches beyond the AA through publications, participation in events such as EcoBuild 2009 and exhibitions. H&U staff have contributed to the UN Global Studio in Johannesburg; the INTA International Urban Development Association programme in Taiwan; and are involved in urban projects internationally in the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Sudan, Spain, Singapore and the USA.