Coming Soon in Rome: IED History as Theory and Practice: Urban Studies and Environmental Design

Monday March 30th 2020 by Peter Thomas Lang

March 2020


The present epoch will perhaps be above all the epoch of space. We are in the epoch of simultaneity: we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and far, of the side-by-side, of the dispersed. Michel Foucault (1967). This course sets to examine theories and practices in architecture and the evolving discourse with the city, the countryside and the environment.  Requirements for the completion of this course include a midterm paper on a specific global city, and a final design object.



Lesson 1. Roots of Utopia

  • City States and Nation Cities
  • In Defense of Ideal Cities


Lesson 2. The Human gaze.

  • Optics and Perspectives
  • The Baroque dynamic.


Lesson 3. Industrialization and Romanticism.

  • Arts and Crafts, Manufacture and Industry.
  • Early Utopian projects

Lesson 4. Utopian debates

  • Utopia , Dystopia, Heterotopia
  • Trans-Cultural urbanism, Decolonisation, and Global Cities

Lesson 5. Mapping Territories on the Margins

  • Ruralism, Romanticism, Escapism, hippyism, Intentional communities. Commoning
  • Stalkers, outliers and exiles, and the digital frontier.

Lesson 6. Superarchitecture

  • Super architecture-Utopia by Design. 1966- 1978
  • Florence – the non-Aligned architecture movement 1960-1966 Lesson 7.


Lesson 6. Architecture Education

  • HfG at Ulm, S-Space and the International Institute of Design Summer Sessions. London.
  • Cybernetic Forests, Premonitions on the future of design education.



Lesson 8. Variations on the same history.

  • Art and Architecture contaminations. Lara Vinca Masini. The Godmother of Superarchitecture movement.
  • Beyond Florence: Appropriation and re-appropriation: de-balancing systems, Global tools, Alchemia and ex-urban material culture.

Lesson 9. Brave New Worlds.

  • Contested monuments, landmarks and landscapes. Re-signification Architecture.
  • The last great frontier.  Planet Earth.  Marvels and Catastrophes