URSI 110--The City


Projects

There are 5 projects/activities in this class (the assignment dates for each are listed in the Course Calendar). Each involves doing something—and then writing a short (2-3 page) paper reflecting on the experience. Each project is worth 10 pts. Please pay attention to your writing style (grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence & paragraph construction, word choice). While I will not specifically take off points for poor style, it is annoying to read it and it could affect my grading of the content.

The 5 projects are:

1)      History Underfoot—The City Tour:

This will be an actual, on-the-ground (smell the dust, feel the sun on your face, trip over the cracks in the sidewalk) historical tour of Mankato.

For your essay, respond to the assessment questions at the end of the tour.

2)      Where in the World Are You?

Using found materials, create a 3-dimensional model of some place that might have been on the Grand World Tour.

        Pay attention to issues of architectural style, relative scale and massing, decoration—we (the class and the teacher) should be able to look at it and say, “Oh, of course, it’s from xyz place!”

        Also pay attention to use—make it apparent what is going on in each structure and the spaces between the structures.

        If you are modeling more than a single building, pay attention to the functional issues—how does the space work in its native environment?

Again, you must bring your model to class, or photograph it, or in some other way make it a “public” piece that can be shared with your classmates (and teacher).

3)      Build a forum/agora:

Using found materials, create a 3-dimensional model of a Roman Forum or a Greek Agora.

        Pay attention to issues of architectural style, relative scale and massing, decoration

        Also pay attention to use—make it apparent what is going on in each structure and in the spaces between the structures

        And pay attention to transportation and “economic” (broadly understood) issues—in other words, it should be functional.

You must either bring your model to class, or photograph it, or in some other way make it a “public” piece that can be shared with your classmates (and teacher)..

4)      Creating Sacred Space:

You have been hired by a group of people who share your particular spiritual convictions to design a “place of worship” (however that is expressed by your spiritual practice). Given what you now know about how spiritual beliefs have shaped the way buildings are formed, create a form that expresses both the traditional and the modern components of that belief system (in other words, while not breaking completely from past tradition, neither be completely beholding to it—make it “now”).

You may express your design in two dimensions or in three, but remember also to include the essay reflecting on what you were trying to accomplish.

1)      Build It So They Will Come:

Now comes the point of it all. Having looked at the tradition of city building across time and space, design either

        A neighborhood

        A downtown

        A city (composed of neighborhoods & a downtown)

Your job is to create a unified and functional vision of what your desirable place to live would look like. You do not have to assume that you will build it all yourself, nor that you will need to have all the money to create it (others can invest, too)—it’s not that money is no object, but it is not the prime consideration. You are trying to create a place of beauty and comity, which is both comfortable and challenging.

Again, you may express your design in two dimensions or in three (or in multimedia), and remember to include the essay reflecting on what you were trying to accomplish.


MSU

2006 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 18 August 10