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P+ARG Biennial Conference: "Utopia vs. the City"

February 1, 2020 at 8:30 am - 8:00 pm

P+ARG Biennial Conference: “Utopia vs. the City”

Is utopia simply what the city is not? The pastoral, the ethereal, the equitable, the apolitical, the unbuilt, the city to end all cities? Or is it (the exception to) the smart city? BIM’s telos, AI’s metropolis, the singularity’s social network?

Then again, must utopia and the city be at odds? Perhaps urbanism is humanity’s true soteriology. P+ARG’s fifth biennial conference, Utopia vs. the City, questions both the endlessness of possibility and the finitude of existence.

Keynote Lectures:

Friday, January 31, 2020: Saskia Sassen, Columbia University
Saturday, February 1, 2020: Rodolphe El-Khoury, University of Miami

This two-day conference will run January 31 – February 1, 2020.

Conference Schedule:

Friday, January 31st

1:30     Welcome | P+ARG Coordinators

1:35     Introductory Remarks | Jonathan Massey, Taubman College, U-M

1:40     Prolegomenon | Robert Fishman, Taubman College, U-M

2:00     Panel 2 | The A(nta)gonistic: Urban Belonging and its Discontents
            Moderator: Soyoon Ryu, History of Art, U-M

  • “A State in the State: Krupp’s Utopia circa 1871”
    Maur Dessauvage, Columbia University
  • “Architecture for the ‘Common Man:’ Gregory Ain’s Mar Vista Housing Tract”
    Courtney Rawlings, Emory University
  • “Military Urbanism, Militant Urbanism: Local Sovereignties and the Spatialization of Conflict in Nigeria”
    Abdulbasit Kassim, Rice University
  • “Spaces of Ideology: Islamist, Secular, Democratic Registers of Urban Transformation in Istanbul”
    Onursal Erol, University of Chicago

            Respondent: Se-Mi Oh, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, U-M

3:45     Break

4:00     Panel 1 | The Projective: Imag(in)ing the Counter-City
            Moderator: Timothy Berke, Urban and Regional Planning, U-M

  • “Unthinkable City? Think Again”
    Anne Berg, University of Pennsylvania
  • “Recuperating Black Bottom: The Complicities of Modernist Design”
    Madeleine Aquilina, University of Michigan
  • “Utopia in the Expanded Field: Cross-disciplinary Transitions”
    Charlott Greub, RWTH Aachen University & North Dakota State University
  • “Non-Urbs: A City Without Ownership”
    Eduardo Mediero, University of Michigan

            Respondent: John McMorrough, Taubman College, U-M

5:45     Break

6:00     Keynote | “Predatory Formations Dressed in Wall Street Suits and Algorithmic Math”
            Saskia Sassen, Columbia University
            Introduced by Martin Murray


Saturday, February 1st

8:30     Breakfast

8:45     Interlegomenon
            Performance by Adam Kahana, School of Music, Theater & Dance, U-M

9:00     Panel 3 | The Intelligent: D(esider)ata and the City as Digital Network
            Moderator: Alaa AlGargoosh, Architecture, U-M

  • “Actualizing Providence: What Might Happen to Environmental Design within Ubiquitous Artificiality”
    Adel AlBloushi, Kuwait University
  • “Crypto-Utopia and Colonization: Questioning the Potential of Blockchain in Urbanization and Economic Development”
    Jillian Crandall, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • “Imaginary Maps: A Posthuman Urban Design Method Based on Neural Style Transfer”
    Matias del Campo, Sandra Manninger & Alexandra Carlson, University of Michigan
  • “Smart City, Just City: Open Data and Accountability”
    Brett Merriam, Anne Lin & Chelsea Lee, Harvard University

            Respondent: Malcolm McCullough, Taubman College, U-M

10:45   Break

11:00   Panel 4 | The (En)gendered: Subjectivity and the City Experience
            Moderator: Luis Flores Jr., Sociology, U-M

  • “The Unsettled City: Competing Senses of Place in a Rapidly Changing City”
    Lynne Manzo & Richard Desanto, University of Washington
  • “The Great Elephant of Nantes: Gentrifying, Enchanting, and Placemaking in the Contemporary City”
    Jason Grant, University of Michigan
  • “Brasilia and the Utopia of an Egalitarian City: Hidden Shades of Gender-oriented Segregation”
    Rogério Rezende & Hilde Heynen, University of Leuven
  • “Breaking The Third Wall”
    Seantel Trombly, Wentworth Institute of Technology
    Meesh Zucker, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

            Respondent: Kimberley Kinder, Taubman College, U-M

12:45   Lunch

1:45     Interlude | Conversation with Keynote Speakers
            Facilitators: Eric Bettis, Urban and Regional Planning, U-M and Irene Brisson, Architecture, U-M

2:15     Break

2:30     Panel 5 | The Typ(olog)ical: Rethinking Urban Topoi and Morphologies
            Moderator: Alexandra Judelsohn, Urban and Regional Planning, U-M

  • “Utopia in the Suburbs: Picturing the Corporate Landscape”
    E. Scott Mitchell, University of Virginia
  • “Utopia as Socialist Experiment: Linear City Socmisto in Kharkiv (1930s)”
    Oksana Chabanyuk & Olena Remizova, Kharkiv National University of Civil Engineering and Architecture
  • “Randel’s Utopia: Mitigating Manhattan’s Disordered Past with its Relentless Future”
    Fran Leadon, City College of New York
  • “Envisioning Real Utopias in Postindustrial Detroit”
    Vince Carducci, College of Creative Studies

    Respondent: Robert Fishman, Taubman College, U-M

4:15     Break

4:30     Postlude | Scott Campbell, Taubman College, U-M

4:50     Break

5:00     Keynote | “Animating the Public Realm with Emerging Technology”
            Rodolphe el-Khoury, University of Miami
            Introduced by Upali Nanda


February 1, 2020
8:30 am - 8:00 pm
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