Conjectures on The Future: Colin Rowe's Approach to City Design

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This paper examines Colin Rowe’s (1920-1999) approach to city design through a comparative analysis of select urban scale projects undertaken under his direction at Cornell University. Three types are examined: grid collisions, composite buildings, and city-wide mapping projects. Taking studio projects as the material of study, and adopting a method of formal analysis, differences in
project character, approach, and brief are bracketed through a limited set of compositional-formal moves. As distinct from other secondary writing which treat the impact of his teaching (Rowe as educator and protagonist), or his specific contributions to the history of architecture (Rowe as historian), I undertake a preliminary exploration of Rowe’s processes of urban design, opening up a line of research into his work as architect of the city. This research also contributes to discussions about the practice and theory of urban design more generally. The paper is in three parts, the first an overview of the guiding questions and methodology, the second an analysis of studio projects, and the third a summary of findings and further research areas. The paper aligns
with parallel Symposium themes of new approaches in urban planning and design and new methodologies in architectural research and urban studies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication5th Annual Symposium of Architectural Research
Subtitle of host publicationArchitecture and Resilience
EditorsMinna Chudoba, Malgorzata Joachimiak, Mikko Laak, Panu Lehtovuori, Jenni Partanen, Annuska Rantanen, Nathan Siter
Place of PublicationTampere, Finland
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9789521531095
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event5th Annual Symposium of Architectural Research: Architecture and Resilience - Tampere, Finland
Duration: 28 Aug 201330 Aug 2013


Conference5th Annual Symposium of Architectural Research: Architecture and Resilience


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