URP 537– Architecture of Public Education
Course No.: 20469
Department: Urban and Regional Planning
Location: Hayes Hall – 402
Meeting Day(s): Monday
Meeting Time: 6:00PM - 8:40PM
The seminar will focus on the old Buffalo Technical High School building and the area surrounding it as a case study and design problem. The school district is considering a new high school with an ambitious program to return to the building. Comprised of three school buildings and a recreation center organized around a large green space, the area is one of several campus-like settings dotting the Buffalo urban landscape. The seminar will produce research and multi-scalar design ideas exploring how the new educational programs can be embedded in the existing building, while integrating the overall ensemble with the rest of the city.
This is the second seminar in the Architecture of Public Education series, focusing on the major challenges faced by institutions of public education on spatial terms. These challenges are caused by factors broadly categorized as internal (transformation of curricular models, modes of teaching, concepts of educational adequacy, and pedagogic priorities, etc.) and external (scarce public resources, indeterminate enrollment patterns, questions of transportation, sustainability, etc.) Seminar sessions in the first half of the semester feature lectures and discussion sessions in order to orient the students in the current debates. During this phase, students are asked to clarify their specific research and design trajectories, further developed in the second half of the semester.
Robust design research, effective interdisciplinary collaboration, and holistic thinking are crucial components of contemporary spatial practices. Far from being a sole theoretical exercise, the seminars intend to expose the students to critical content creation in support of their development of practice tools. The students must possess excellent graphic skills and a willingness to conduct self-guided and extensive research.