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URBANST 182: Activating Urban Spaces: Materializing Hidden Narratives in the Urban Environment (ARTSINST 182)

This course will investigate the organization and shaping of public space from the perspective of story and narrative. The course will consider how authorized narratives feature in the built environment and in the social spaces and usage of the city and how unauthorized, sometimes contentious narratives lurk beneath the surface and persist on the "skin" of the city. It will investigate the role of artists and the arts in "mapping" or surfacing alternative stories, concepts and imaginations of how the city is or can be. Inspired by the writings of Michel DeCerteau and Italio Calvino, this class explores the role of narrative in the city and the imagination from the perspective of cultural memory, lived experience, usage of space and organization of the built infrastructure. It offers an alternative approach to thinking about cities, how they are formed and how they function. This class will utilize and combine active field research methods with creative practice. Locations for our field more »
This course will investigate the organization and shaping of public space from the perspective of story and narrative. The course will consider how authorized narratives feature in the built environment and in the social spaces and usage of the city and how unauthorized, sometimes contentious narratives lurk beneath the surface and persist on the "skin" of the city. It will investigate the role of artists and the arts in "mapping" or surfacing alternative stories, concepts and imaginations of how the city is or can be. Inspired by the writings of Michel DeCerteau and Italio Calvino, this class explores the role of narrative in the city and the imagination from the perspective of cultural memory, lived experience, usage of space and organization of the built infrastructure. It offers an alternative approach to thinking about cities, how they are formed and how they function. This class will utilize and combine active field research methods with creative practice. Locations for our field research and excursions will include areas around Stanford and the Bay Area. The class will function as a hybrid seminar and collaborative studio workspace supporting students interested in applying creative practices to field research to develop methods for materializing narratives in various forms of public performance or place-specific art.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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