403C.3 Research Studio

Mark Mack, Professor
One time there was a picket fence with space to gaze from hence to thence. An architect who saw this sight approached it suddenly one night, removed the spaces from the fence and built of them a residence.
The picket fence stood there dumbfounded with pickets wholly un-surrounded, a view so loathsome and obscene, the Senate had to intervene. The architect, however, flew to Afri- or Americoo.
This research studio focused on creating more integrated and technological, holistic planning and building strategies for existing urban environments. It will use Venice, California, as a model where these strategies could be implemented by 2020, thus the project name, Venice CA 2020. So-called Modern Cities, like Los Angeles, which are heavily dependent on the continuation of private automobile transportation, have become now obsolete as a model for our environmental and livable future.
The studio explored two areas of interest. On the one hand, smart city planning incentives and policy realizations that relate to the communal city. On the other hand, neighborhood sites of experience such as music halls, public bathhouses and other civic structures, which enhance urban life, build sustainable communities, and integrate networks of interest.
The studio traveled to some of the “Old Cities” of Europe in the fall quarter to investigate how older urban structures deal with new demands for an integrated, sustainable, and holistic environment.
In order to create a dynamic, networked and self-regulating urban environment, one needs to revamp the process of urban planning and building integration. In addition, as many urban communities have started to implement some of the components, like sustainability and density, into their new planning codes and mechanisms to regulate building codes, they stumble over implementation and public acceptance. In order to ensure a sustainable future, we must deploy newer, evolving technologies and strategies to create a sensitive and healthy nervous system for urban environs. These strategies will hopefully encourage environmental stability and con- tinuation, a reliable system of governance, and citizen participation.
students: Krysten Burton, James Currie, Eoanna Harrison, Yadira Jerez, Ban Jung, Megan Lepp, Ellen Pierce, Cristina Toth, Catherine Wu.