Taubman College

Course List

Term Winter 2012
Class ARCH 509
Class Title Complex Clarity
Description In comparison to the scientific method, design thinking represents a uniquely agile and dynamic problem defining approach. These design methods originated in response to the combined urgency of pressing problems in the 2nd World War, limitations of linear problem solving and development of computing power. With the advent of the information age came advances in soft-systems approaches—innovative methods that enabled an expansive (rather than reductive) approach to studying adaptive systems. Concurrently, the term “wicked problem” came into use to characterize problems with large numbers of complex and interdependent variables—all of which are dynamic, contextually bound and interdependent.

This course will seek clarity in and around issues of complexity through the exploration of visual, design thinking techniques. The seminar will take a collaborative approach towards the definition, representation and communication of a set of wicked problems as an approach towards positioning design provocations within current architectural discourse. Participants in the course will actively engage in dialog, multi-scalar thinking, and precision in representation. Tutorials will introduce participants to advanced techniques (in Excel, ArcGiS and Grasshopper) that build on and interface with common tools (Rhino, Adobe Suite) to distill representational methods linked to data and projective design potential. The first half of the semester will involve short exercises tied to tutorials, case studies and discussions. Participants will select a topic of individual interest to explore through a final representation project. It will be expected that this work, while flexible in content, will demonstrate an extensive synthesis of the techniques and ambitions introduced in the first half of the course. Open to graduate and upper-level undergraduate students.
Prereq none
Crosslist none
Required No
Elective Yes
Selective No
Meets Friday 1:00-4:00pm Room 2204 A&AB
Credits 3
Faculty Jen Maigret
Syllabus Arch509_Maigret_W2012.pdf