The Urban as Projection of Desire

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The Urban as Projection of Desire

Noam Shokeid

An alternative city is constructed in the midst of, yet invisible to, the dominant city under the regime of puritan cultural practices. An interiorized and erotic formulation that challenges the more orthodox constructions of the city, the gay nightclub, where spectator and spectacle become one, is assumed to provoke a social safety valve for turning transgressive forces loose.
 
Looking at two scales, the urban and the interior space of these sites of nocturnal entertainment, and uncovering acts of confinement and decentralization, this thesis aims to bring the question of desire and sex back into the city and urban discourse.

  • 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.