INTRO: Impact of utopian philosophy and living systems on design practice

Aug 29 Intro: part 1
Overall goal, syllabus, partners, project types, blog, reading / writing practices.
Exercise: Colombian Hypnosis
1. Read first third of Stephen Duncombe’s Open Utopia: Introduction, up until it says, “The second book of Utopia begins…”
2. Read five pages of your choice from BOOK II of Thomas More’s Utopia in the interactive Social Book platform. To do so, go to the top right of the Introduction page and follow the gray “Discuss on Social Book” link. Create a login for Social Book, or use your facebook login. Book II starts around the 49% mark in the Open Utopia Social Book document
3. Leave 5 comments on the intro and the pages of choice from Book II in the Social Book version of Open Utopia. ***You should have received an invite to read as a group. Click on that invite and log in. To leave comments: login, click on the “My Group” tab, then “General” then “+ comment.”

Sep 05 Intro: part 2
Discussion: of Duncombe’s treatment of More’s Utopia
Presentation: of some early utopians
Guest: Mary Mattingly visits class to discuss her practice and how she might work with students in the second module of the course
1. Read excerpt from Tod and Wheelers Utopia, pp. Intro 7, Diggers 45-48, Harmony: Utopia in the New World 81-91, 96-99
2. Blog reactions
3. Look through ABC No Rio’s website and prepare questions for Steve Englander

PROJECT 1: Commoning the City: anarchy / squatters rights / urban land use

Partner: ABC No Rio
Projects: 596 Acres, Center for Urban Pedagogy, #whOWNSpace, Storefront for Art and Architecture’s Strategies for Public Occupation, Forays’ Shape Lock, Hans Haacke’s Real Estate pieces
Questions: What political issues are at stake in the discourse about art and public space, particularly in urban environments? How does public space become political space, and which politics?

Sep 12 Commoning the City 1
Meet at ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington St. btn Clinton & Suffolk 12:30 – 2:30
Speak with Steven Englander and Erin Sickler about the organizations history, goals and archive
Discuss: how historical communities (Diggers, Fourier’s Brooke Farm, Owen’s New Harmony, Oneida) described in Tod & Wheeler’s Utopia reading relate to ABC No Rio and urban spatial politics in NYC
Working session: break into groups to discuss development of project proposals
1. read excerpts from Deutsch’s Evictions Art & Spatial Politics, pp 3-17
2. read excerpts from ds4si’s Spatial Justice, pp 3-9
3. blog response

Sep 19 Commoning the City 2
Discuss: Deutsche & ds4si readings in relation to ABC No Rio and NYC squatters
Presentation: contemporary projects and groups questioning or trying to re-purpose public space, 596 Acres, #whOWNSpace, Forays, Haacke
Working session: Vet, develop, reorganize project ideas
1. Read Dolores Hayden’s Seven American Utopias, Chapters 1-3 & 12.
2. Play Prisoner’s Dilemma game online, be prepared to discuss Oct 03

Sep 26 No class, holiday
Trade School (a project co-founded by Caroline Woolard whom we will work with later in the semester) will be running in the New School’s Kellen Gallery (2 W13th St, first floor) for the next month. For extra credit, propose and teach a class there or attend 2 classes and blog about them.

Oct 03 Commoning the City 3
Possible trip back to ABC No Rio and/or archives if needed
Discuss: Hayden reading in relation to ABC No Rio project, current state of LES
Discuss: implications of Prisoner’s Dilemma game
Homework: Complete Commoning the City project; prepare for presentation

Oct 10 Critique for Commoning the City project
1. Read excerpts from Fuller’s Utopia or Oblivion and George McKay’s Radical Gardening, blog responses
2. Visit the Grange’s website and prepare questions for them

PROJECT 2: Ecotopia: urban living systems / food / sustainable environments

Partner: Brooklyn Grange
Concepts: vertical agriculture, housing merged with infrastructure, self sufficient cities, pods of all sorts
Projects (radical gardening): Agnes Denes’ Wheat Field: A Confrontation, Mel Chin’s Revival Field, Leah Gaulthier’s Sharecropper Project, Britta Riley’s Window Farms, Christina Kelly’s Maize Field, Future Farmer’s Victory Gardens, Fritz Haeg’s Edible Estates
Projects (ecotopian living systems): Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti, Atchafalaya Houseboat, Swoon’s Swimming Cities, Mary Mattingly’s Flock House and WaterPod projects, Biosphere 2, Eden Project
Screenings: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

Oct 17 Ecotopia 1
Visit: Brooklyn Grange, 37-18 Northern Bvld, LIC, 12:30 – 2:30
Discuss: relation of food and commodity systems to Fuller’s More with Less concept
Working session: break up to brainstorm project concepts
1. Read Ian Tod & Michael Wheeler’s Utopia, Official Utopias and Architect as Visionary pp. 119-147 and Mattingly essay, blog reactions
2. Plan questions for Mary Mattingly skype session next week

Oct 24 Ecotopia 2
Skype: with Mary Mattingly
Presentation on radical gardening: Agnes Denes’ Wheat Field: A Confrontation, Mel Chin’s Revival Field, Leah Gaulthier’s Sharecropper Project, Britta Riley’s Window Farms, Christina Kelly’s Maize Field, Future Farmer’s Victory Gardens, Fritz Haeg’s Edible Estates
Screenings: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
Homework: read Utopia Forever ch 3 “Ecotopia Emerging,” blog responses

Oct 31 Ecotopia 3
Possible trip back to the Grange if needed or trip to Buckminster Fuller Study Center, 181 N 11th St.
Possible Presentation on reimagining urban / environment living systems: Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti, Atchafalaya Houseboat, Swoon’s Swimming Cities, Biosphere 2, Eden Project
Possible Screening: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace
Possible activity: Geoff Manaugh Utopia Dice game

Nov 07 Ecotopia 4
Working Session TBD

Nov 14 Critique for Ecotopia
1. Read Keith Hart’s Exchange in the Human Economy, blog reactions
2. Visit Solidarity NYC’s website and prepare questions for Solidary NYC visitors

PROJECT 3: labor / value / alternative systems of exchange

Partner: Solidarity NYC (We will meet with Caroline Woolard and some of the other members of this organization)
Projects: Utopia Ohio, e-flux Time Bank, Paul Glover’s Ithaca Hours

Nov 20 Systems of Exchange 1
** Please Note: due to university schedule adjustment, we meet on Tuesday this week
Guests: Caroline and other members of Soildarity NYC visit class
Discuss: relation of the Hart reading to their talk
Working session: Break up and discuss possible projects with SNYC members
Homework: read excerpts from Lewis Hyde’s The Gift, Ch 1 and blog reactions

Nov 28 Systems of Exchange 2
Discuss excerpts from Lewis Hyde’s The Gift and it relation to Systems of Exchange project
Activity: barter game
Homework: read Yochai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks, ch 1

Dec 05 Systems of Exchange 3
Discuss Benkler reading and its relation to Solidarity NYC and Systems of Exchange project
Additional meeting with Solidarity NYC if needed
Workshop, working session or activity TBD
1. Prepare final presentation on alternate economies of exchange
2. Prepare documentation of all three projects; needs to be handed in to instructors during the final class as files on a USB stick, or url of archive (dropbox, yousendit etc) emailed to instructors before the final class

Dec 12 FINAL CRITIQUE to Solidarity NYC Members
FINAL DOCUMENTATION DUE of all three projects in class

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