This course considers the role of design in social movements. Geared towards advanced students who have some knowledge of architectural history, the course will encourage students to interrogate the multi-faceted ways in which visionary architects and urban planners have confronted the social realities of the built environment. Readings and class discussions will address the ways in which social activists formed alliances both with and against designers in struggles for affordable housing, land tenure, and rights to the city. We will also explore the ways in which design education and practice have been transformed by social activism. Theoretical readings addressing social justice, design activism, and the politics of planning will be balanced with analytical study of social movements, visionary architects, and design projects.
Winter 2017: University of Michigan.