Advanced Workshop in Landscape+Urbanism

This workshop experiments with emerging trends in the fields of landscape architecture and urbanism as they relate to MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism’s (CAU) biannual special topic: “The Future of Suburbia.” Modern suburban development has endured in our cultural imagination for almost a century. Despite mounting environmental, social, and political pressure for its reform, the suburban model remains the most ubiquitous form of development in the metropolitan region.

This Workshop will tackle an array of multi-disciplinary topics around the subject of “Suburban Futures” through the lens of five overarching themes: The Infrastructural, The Social-Demographic, The Environmental, The Formal-Prototypical, and The Technological.

Three main exercises will culminate in the design of suburban prototypes that respond to a set of pre-selected “future-oriented” design briefs around those themes. The first exercise involves the production of a retrospective and extensive graphic timeline corresponding to each “lens” as they relate to the formation of the contemporary suburb. The second involves leading and organizing a design charette with invited experts from across the Institute in the space of the CAU. These invited experts will consult with the various teams on their “suburban future” prototype.  The final assignment is the delivery of a schematic “future-oriented” and projective suburban prototype that corresponds both to their lens and given design brief. The collective effort produced in the Workshop will form the foundations of an exhibition at the Media Lab in the Spring 2016.