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Urban Design Conference: Conditions and Projections

Sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Co-sponsored by the South Asia Initiative, The Andes Initiative at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, The Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard UniversitySwissnex Boston, Switzerland’s science and technology outpost in Boston, and the Loeb Fellowship Program, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

The contemporary conditions that are shaping the built environment globally are of an unprecedented scale and complexity creating the need for a critical evaluation of the methods, tools, and the broader design culture that surrounds the practice of Urban Design. The focus of the conference is to explore the state of urban design globally, and to critically appraise the discipline’s legacy throughout the course of the twentieth century. Furthermore, the conference hopes to propel a discussion about the unfulfilled potential of the practice of urban design and the role it can play in mediating the different disciplines and forces that eventually mold the built environment in our cities, suburbs and peri-urban conditions – the larger landscape that comprises the objects of human interventions of various kinds. It is the objective of the conference to both calibrate the nature of these shifts as well as to speculate about the potential trajectories the practice of urban design could take in the future.