Speculative Urbanism

Speculative Urbanism

The Ecological Urbanism concentration (Concentration II) situates itself within a long and rich history of speculative urbanism particular to the discipline of architecture. This history includes such visionary proposals as Antonio Sant’Elia’s La Citta Nuova (1914), a collection of drawings depicting the new industrial city of the twentieth century, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City (1932), a prescient image of what would be referred to sixty years later as landscape urbanism, and Kenzo Tange’s Plan for Tokyo (1960), a postwar reimagination of the city as infrastructural prosthetic.  As such, the program challenges students to mine the daring and often prophetic urban visions of previous generations as a means of speculating on the future of the city in the twenty-first century.

A Century of Speculative Urbanism (1898-1999)

Ebenezer Howard, Garden City (1898); Antonio Sant’Elia, La Citta Nuova (1914); Le Corbusier, Ville Contemporaine (1922); Frank Lloyd Wright, Broadacre City (1932); Le Corbusier, Plan Obus for Algiers (1933); Takis Zenetos, Electronic Urbanism (1952-74); Yona Friedman, Spatial City (1958); Constant, New Babylon (1959-74); Buckminster Fuller, Dome over Manhattan (1960); Kenzo Tange, Plan for Tokyo (1960); Buckminster Fuller, Project for Floating Cloud Structures: Cloud Nine (1960); Kenzo Tange, Clusters in the Air (1962); Archigram, Computer City (1964); Peter Eisenman and Michael Graves, Jersey Corridor Project (1965); Paul Rudolph, Lower Manhattan Expressway (1967); Kiyonori Kikutake, Ocean City (1968); Paolo Soleri, Novanoah (1969); Archigram, Walking City (1964); Archigram, Plug-In City (1965); Cedric Price, Potteries Thinkbelt (1965); Buckminster Fuller, Triton City (1967); Archizoom, No-Stop City (1969); Superstudio, Continuous Monument (1969); Paolo Soleri, Arcosanti (1970); Archigram, Instant City (1970); Rem Koolhaas, Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture (1972); Andrea Branzi, Agronica (1994); MVRDV, Metacity / Datatown (1999)

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Evan Douglis, Professor


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
School of Architecture
110 8th Street - Greene Building
Troy, NY 12180 - USA

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