Term: Fall 2024
Section: 8
Class Number: 29429
Credits: 3
Required: No
Elective: Yes
Course Brief

/ ARCH 509


This course interrogates the relationship between methods of producing borders and the spatial manifestations that those borders represent. Borders are designed intentionally (or not) to categorize elements as a tool for delineating territories. Although their representations are familiarly depicted as lines on a map, borders physically materialize themselves in the built and natural landscape through diverse methods. Thickened lines representing man-made structures become walls and fences. “Perforated lines” might be invisible, instead representing ephemeral and time-based pathways, marked by monuments or landmarks along the way. Lines and shapes defined by natural features like rivers, mountains, and seashores shift and erode over time. Policies and laws enacted in differing jurisdictions (enforceable within their own defined territories) create stark formal and social contrasts on either side. Past borders linger in the memory of some and are forgotten by others. Their traces are sometimes left behind in ruins. Present borders are contested; becoming sites of disruption and conflict. These cartographic spaces are frequently abstract, and their physical representations become malleable and rewritten through time.

The course will begin by exploring the origins and stories surrounding various borders to be used as precedents and case studies. Through this exploration, students will gain insight into the processes of creating, mapping, and marking these spaces across time. Afterwards, students will use mappings and diagrams to reimagine speculative borders. These exercises will highlight the role representational techniques play in shaping and communicating the narratives embedded within the landscapes that they define. The exercises will be paired with a series of small workshops, lectures, and reading discussions. These sessions will cover a range of topics including an introduction to cartography and mapping techniques, the historical contexts and narrative constructions surrounding borders, the evolution of border infrastructure over time, and the dynamics of border cities and crossings. By the end of the course, students will not only have a deeper appreciation for the multifaceted nature of borders but also possess the analytical skills to critically assess how borders are conceptualized, represented, and transformed within different socio-political contexts.


Fri 8:30-11:30am 3142 A&AB


Olaia Chivite Amigo