Taubman College

Course List

Term Winter 2012
Class ARCH 509
Class Title Energy as Spatial Project
Description The triad of energy, economy, and environment is again at the forefront of concerns. However, dominated by a positivist techno-economic quest to increase capacity and improve performance, the energy discourse represents space as an “externality:” it slides costs out of sight and abstracts the role of space in the production of value and social relations.
This course asserts the centrality of space in the energy discourse. The research seminar proposes a critical spatial inquiry on the relations of energy and space to understand, critique, and ultimately influence choices regarding energy options. The goals of the course are threefold: to spatialize large technical systems of energy, to critically analyze existing and speculative energy visions, and to reflect on energy futures in relation to contemporary assertions of ecology and sustainability. The readings draw on the history of technology, environmental history, and critical geography to bring together energy attributes, which are understood to be either separate from each other or external to the design disciplines. Drawing on historical and contemporary design proposals, the seminar identifies different scales of thinking energy spatially –from that of the building envelope and environmental systems, to cities, regions, and global landscapes.
The course requires active engagement with the weekly assigned readings and a semester-long research project. The research examines a historical or contemporary energy-landscape (such as Tennessee Valley Authority, Keystone XL Pipeline, Andasol 1, Offshore Wind Developments in the Great Lakes, etc.). Students present their research in class and submit a final paper, which includes a mapping documentation and written analysis.
Prereq none entered yet
Crosslist none
Required No
Elective Yes
Selective No
Meets Friday 9:00am-12:00pm 2204 A&AB
Credits 3
Faculty Rania Ghosn
Syllabus Arch509_Ghosn_Winter12.pdf