Urban ghost ships, haunted houses, dead zones, pencil towers. Zombies are no longer limited to popular culture alone but have shifted shape and infiltrated architectural design and urban development. Architects now design ultra-thin towers as investment property for the one-percenters, developers engineer neighborhoods to accommodate tourist interests but not local residential needs, municipalities transform public spaces into advertising and marketing venues, all in the name of profit and capital accumulation. How does the specter of the living dead help us understand the development of architecture and urban form in the last century? How does it shed light on familiar developments like suburbanization and urban decline? What does the zombie figure reveal about the relationship between capitalism and the built environment? To answer such questions, this seminar will track the zombie in environments like Haitian sugar plantations and Midwestern shopping malls as well as in popular outlets, from The Walking Dead to Dawn of the Dead. In addition to film screenings and class discussions, the seminar will feature a tour of zombie urbanism in Detroit.
Fri 8:30-11:30am Glass Room 2369 A&AB