11.332J / 4.163J
Urban Design Studio

The design of urban environments. Strategies for change in large areas of cities, to be developed over time, involving different actors. Fitting forms into natural, man-made, historical, and cultural contexts; enabling desirable activity patterns; conceptualizing built form; providing infrastructure and service systems; guiding the sensory character of development. Involves architecture and planning students in joint work; requires individual designs or design and planning guidelines.

The Spring 2020 Urban Design Studio (practicum) focuses on the jute mill campuses located along the Hooghly river both north and south of Kolkata. The studio examines the challenge of industrial preservation and socially and environmentally equitable development in a setting characterized by monumental industrial structures, campus-like riparian sites, and ‘company towns’ of worker housing, characterized by substantial unemployment. Identifying alternative pathways to ‘modernization’ is the overall and principal challenge of the proposed practicum. To examine this provocative, compelling, and important situation, the POST-INDUSTRIAL KOLKATA urban design studio (with one mandatory week field visit during late March 2020 spring break) is structured in two basic parts: a six-week pre-visit research phase to conduct research, develop understandings of regional and policy context, and develop planning proposals; and a six-week post-visit proposition phase to examine specific jute mill sites and to propose specific preservation, heritage, design, and development strategies for these sites. Studio participants will have the opportunity to deeply learn about the local context; develop an understanding of the Kolkata political economy, industrial and social history and policy; design proposals for specific sites; develop the business, social and development cases for the sites; and, craft strategies for a larger socially responsible rehabilitation and improvement agenda in the Kolkata region, involving local authorities, private investors, and citizens. 

11.332j/4.163j is open to DUSP students who have applied via November 2019 practicum process and to SMArchS Urbanism and M Arch students from the MIT Department of Architecture who will apply via studio lottery at beginning of Spring 2020 term. Due to limited funding, studio enrollment will be limited to 12 total students.