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58597-01 - Course: Material Investigations 4 CP

Semester fall semester 2020
Course frequency Every fall sem.
Lecturers Kenny R. Cupers (kenny.cupers@unibas.ch, Assessor)
Content This course explores research methods focused on the materiality of cities and landscapes. The process of urbanization is not only an economic, social, and political process, but also a transformation in “bricks and mortar.” As they focus on understanding urbanization as a dynamic process, social scientists often regard the built environment as not more than a passive reflection or manifestation of abstract forces. Yet the city exerts power through its material constitution and transformation. The city shapes and is shaped by the production, circulation, consumption of materials and things—from gold to waste, and from oranges to cell phones. Buildings and streets shape not only meaning and experience but also social identities and cultural difference. And the city's physical form and transformation over time guide, however fickle and unpredictably, the agency of its residents.

The seminar explores some major and minor intellectual traditions upon which materially oriented methods of urban research have been based. Our principal focus is on relating current theoretical debates about materiality (often under the banner of “new materialism”) to concrete methods of material analysis. The latter include formal analysis and phenomenological approaches in architecture and urbanism, analyses of the city as a metabolic system, and archaeological research. From Karl Marx to Bruno Latour and through concepts from meaning to performance, the seminar provides students with conceptual tools and research skills to study the city as a socio-material complex. To put these tools and methods to work, students will explore a specific case study and develop it into a collaborative research project.

Learning objectives - An understanding of key conceptual approaches to the material analysis of cities and landscapes
- An ability to analyze environments in aesthetic and architectural terms, using lenses such as style, form, meaning, experience, affect, and performance
- An ability to analyze (and distinguish between) the intentions of physically designed spaces and their social and political effects
- An ability to develop independent urban research projects focused on the materiality of cities and landscapes
Comments ***Important note****
Due to Corona measurements and health and safety reasons - This course is on a first serve basis with Master Students of Critical Urbanisms being prioritised over students from other subject areas.

ONLINE PRESENCE - ***Important note*** - a blended model of in presence and online teaching is aimed for - however, please do follow the instructions of the lecturer each week.
Please do not show up at the room without double checking the course model of each week and keep up to date 24 hrs prior to the next course.

 

Admission requirements ***Important note****
Due to Corona measurements and health and safety reasons - This course is on a first serve basis with Master Students of Critical Urbanisms being prioritised over students from other subject areas.
Course application Please follow corona measurements instructions - further inforamtion below.
Language of instruction English
Use of digital media No specific media used

 

Interval weekly
Date 15.09.2020 – 15.12.2020
Time Tuesday, 13.15-16.00 - Online Präsenz -

ONLINE PRESENCE**BLENDED FORMAT**Please do not show up at the room without double checking the course model of each week!

Date Time Room
Tuesday 15.09.2020 13.15-16.00 Vesalianum Seiteneingang, Grosser Hörsaal (EO.16)
Tuesday 22.09.2020 13.15-16.00 Vesalianum Seiteneingang, Grosser Hörsaal (EO.16)
Tuesday 29.09.2020 13.15-16.00 Vesalianum Seiteneingang, Grosser Hörsaal (EO.16)
Tuesday 06.10.2020 13.15-16.00 Vesalianum Seiteneingang, Grosser Hörsaal (EO.16)
Tuesday 13.10.2020 13.15-16.00 Vesalianum Seiteneingang, Grosser Hörsaal (EO.16)
Tuesday 20.10.2020 13.15-16.00 Vesalianum Seiteneingang, Grosser Hörsaal (EO.16)
Tuesday 27.10.2020 13.15-16.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 03.11.2020 13.15-16.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 10.11.2020 13.15-16.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 17.11.2020 13.15-16.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 24.11.2020 13.15-16.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 01.12.2020 13.15-16.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 08.12.2020 13.15-16.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 15.12.2020 13.15-16.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Modules Modul: Fields: Media and Imagination (Master's degree program African Studies)
Modul: Materialitäten (Master's degree program Cultural Techniques)
Module: Projects and Processes of Urbanization (Master's degree program Critical Urbanisms (Start of studies before 01.08.2020))
Module: Ways of Knowing the City (Master's degree program Critical Urbanisms)
Assessment format continuous assessment
Assessment registration/deregistration Reg.: course registration; dereg.: not required
Repeat examination no repeat examination
Scale Pass / Fail
Repeated registration as often as necessary
Responsible faculty Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, studadmin-philhist@unibas.ch
Offered by Fachbereich Urban Studies

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