Perspectives on Contemporary Practice

Much has been said and written about the theory and history of urban design and planning but how do contemporary practitioners apply an evolving theory to their projects, practices and places? How are contemporary design firms structured to address today’s demands? Led by DUSP’s David Gamble, 11.333 or Urban Design Seminar: Perspectives on Contemporary Practice, weaves traditional lectures with reflective practitioner presentations and firm visits to explore these questions. Students visited Boston-based architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and planning firms to better understand how design and urban planning theory translate into practice across scales, geographies and project types. 

Private and public-sector practitioner guest lecturers included: Agency (Liz Cormak and Brie Hensold), Hargreaves Jones (Kirt Rieder), Scape (Laura Marett), Landing Studio (Marie Law Adams), AECOM (Nadine Berger), urbanAC/The Just City Lab (Toni Griffin), BPDA (Nupoor Monani), Sasaki (Margit Liander), Stull+Lee (David Lee), Northeastern University (Cory Berg) and MAPC (Josh Fiala). Site visits in teams of two included: nbbj, Supernormal Studio, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Studio Luz, Utile, Interboro and Mass Design Group.

“The course exposes students to the wide variety of practice types, recognizing that there are many ways in which to effectuate change in the built environment. Our final conversation will provide a platform for reflection and I hope others will drop in,” says Gamble, Lecturer in Urban Design at DUSP and Principal of Gamble Associates. 

The final conversation surrounding the nature of contemporary urban design practice will take place on Thursday, May 9th from 12pm-1:30pm EST in Room 9-451. Members of the MIT community with an interest in the built environment, planning, community engagement, and design are invited to attend. 

Class participants include: Victoria Avis, Yihong Chen, Annabel Consilvio, Lucy Corlett, Bianchi Dy, Emily Fang, Olivia Fiol, Sylvia Jimenez, Wil Jones, MinJi Kim, Daniela Martinez Chapa, Adea Mekuli, Mena Mohamed, Aika, Hazel O'Neil, Elyse Oliver, Victor Vergara Castillo, Cale Wagner, Keiko Yabe and Mabelle Zhang.