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Michigan-Mellon Project Courses

Experimental Courses explore political philosophy and egalitarianism; architectural and urban histories and theories; and cultural theory; urban economics and social inequality; aspects of egalitarianism, post-industrial cities in the United States, and/or megacities of South America. The courses combine humanities and design-based perspectives and open up new ground in addressing the complexity of urban issues in varying contexts. Faculty from a design and humanities perspective co-teach each course and travel stipends are provided to allow for students and faculty to have first-hand experience with specific sites and contexts in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and Detroit.

Courses 2014 - 2015


Mitch McEwen (assistant professor of architecture, University of Michigan)
Ana Paula Pimentel Walker (assistant professor of urban planning, University of Michigan)

Capoeira, an AfroBrazilian art, and one of the more spectacular and collective forms of everyday life practices in Rio and Sao Paulo, serves as the collective practice to investigate these overlaps and shapes the programmatic focus of the studio. For the first part of the course, the research site is the downtown port area of Rio, adjacent to the proposed Museu do Amanha designed by Santiago Calatrava. For the second part, the site is the area around the Jurere Sports Center in Sao Paulo. In both of these locations, the studio participants will meet with social activists, architects, artists, medical providers, and nonprofit leaders and visit important architectural projects and relevant sites to the topic of egalitarianism and the metropolis.