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Master of Architecture II Fall 2013

Professor: Diana Agrest
Instructor: Lydia Xynogala
Urban architecture and urban form can relate to the form of film as one text to another, in terms of configurations composed of so many fragments of languages organized in time through space. The city, analogous to film, is a continuous, fluid, open sequence of spaces and objects perceived through time. Time and Movement are the essential parameters. These very specific parameters of film open up a different dimension in which to consider the city; the question of the narrative is also an essential aspect for understanding it. Reading the city through film allows access into the complexity, the expansive force and sequential organization of fragments in time that characterize the city.
Through diagrams, drawings and text, the particular mode in which a specific fragment of a selected film articulates Urban and Filmic parameters is articulated, in terms of movement, time, narrative, action, montage, space, and sound. This exercise is developed in two weeks.
Los Angeles, CA, United States—Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—Moscow, Russia
Professor: Diana Agrest
Instructor: Lydia Xynogala
This studio focuses on Urban Form through the exploration of the many different forces that intersect in generating it. Three cities, representing the forces at play in the contemporary city—social, cultural, economic, political and/or morphological—are given as the site of this enquiry, revealing through readings a number of their own hidden, self-generated architectures.
Through the reading process as the articulation between a creative subject and the various texts of the city—writings, drawing, building, photography and film—another city is revealed and manifested. Political Events are the narrative through which readings on the selected cities are produced. In the development of projects, emphasis is placed on process. Drawing and physical models, as tools for critical thinking, are at the heart of these explorations.


Projects & Links

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.