The condition of the turn-of-the-century metropolis has been marked by serial urban environmental crises and a perpetual crisis of the urban. In looking at crisis as an opportunity for transformation through innovation the summer school will combine Pratt’s traditional expertise with state-of-the-art design knowledge, technology. Most importantly the questions posed by ecological thinking in design are uncharted and without specific codified techniques, we will bring our expertise at working with the productive capacity found in complex emerging fields.

Presently, ecology is primarily viewed as a (natural and social) science methodology or field, not design logic. Even the subset of architecture and design working with sustainability has too often been concerned more with its own imperatives and not committed to design excellence. But to join design and ecology and to produce the necessary paradigm shift in the way we conceive and build cities in order to better respond to crises, it is not sufficient to consider metrics alone. How cities are designed, and what effects different geometries, processes, and morphologies have on complex human-dominated landscapes must become an essential part of the research in urban ecology.

Why Istanbul and New York in a global field?

Istanbul is a metropolis with historic significance and renewed aspirations to become an important global and regional player and consequently there is significant enthusiasm for exchange and dialogue on the future of the urban condition. Both cities are cultural and environmental reference points. Both cities ecologies are closely tied to their relationship to oceans, seas and rivers. Both cities are economic powerhouses. Both cities are active as design centers at a global level and each offers significant laboratories of urban culture a dynamic of architecture and the broader environment – for research, both cities have long and varied histories of documented complex urban and environmental exchange even crisis, and both have significant ongoing and developing design cultures. Even with local inflections, there is much about urban pathologies that is truly global and shared.


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