Summer 2017

Summer 2017
Designing the Smart, Green, and Just City
ARC N386M, ARC N350R, LAR N388, CRP N381
Instructor: Simon Atkinson PhD RIBA, MRTPI
A seminar focused around an affordable field study visit to London and an exploratory design project.
I           The Seminar
            Examines design issues related to sociable, healthy, and resilient built environments.
The following are main seminar topics:
Utopian ideas versus the erosion of environments
A history of smart, green and just principles and projects
Social responsibilities to social networks
Theories of street and city place
Mobility, safety, cost, and energy; new movement in cities, transformative projects
Amenity, culture, and accessibility
Green infrastructure to city agriculture
Designing the resilient city
Smart buildings
Indigenous energy infrastructures, waste as resource 
Each area of investigation will be demonstrated through designed case studies both built and unbuilt.
II          Field Study (June 17th – June 22nd)
            Visit to London:
Examines recent design projects related to new buildings, urban landscapes, city design, and urban conservation; 
Carries out office visits to leading design and planning practices in the city. 
A careful study will be made of socially and environmentally sustainable principles and practices, followed by a visit to London. 
Undertakes fieldwork for the design project, -a live project selected to examine social and environmental sustainability in preservation, landscape architecture, architecture, and urban design.  A particular emphasis will be placed upon design within a historical context; the roles of public place, design of low carbon footprint housing environments; the design of environments that promote health and wellbeing.

III         The Design Project
Aims to: establish values in design through criteria and diagrams; evolve scenarios of future outcomes as integral to the design process; develop a preferred design that meets stated criteria; and addresses a competition format graphic presentation.
The seminar is open to students from Architecture, Sustainable Design, Historic Preservation, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, and Community and Regional Planning.  It begins with a series of topic-based seminars. They take place alongside a workshop that both examines principles in greater detail, and works on a final planning and design case study. This is finalized with a presentation in London, visit to the project site, evaluation, and visits to professional offices.
IV         Seminar Outcomes
The seminar aims to offer a rigorous introduction to vocabularies, case studies, and design preferences for sustainable environments.  It’s timetable is designed to be complementary to undertaking further summer study in Austin, or working in a design office the remainder of the summer.  It offers a platform to undertake competitions, and will be helpful to anyone wishing to undertake the Hines competition.  Students will begin with research, followed by site visits in teams, building a vocabulary of information related to location and sustainable design practices.  This then leads to individual work where more detailed design understanding for preservation, architecture, urban landscape architecture, or planning can be developed.
Students will present research on selected case studies through out the course of the seminar.
V          Costs
Students may apply for a $1,500 Mebane scholarship, which is expected to cover air travel. The hotel in London and related London expenses will cost approximately $650 for bed and breakfast during the time of the study visit. Students with financial need may apply for a small fellowship.
It is important that you respond stating your interest without delay so that hotel space can be reserved.  Contact can be made with Simon Atkinson at, or Edna Ledesma at and we can also arrange to meet to discuss the seminar further. 
The University of Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-6441 TTY.


It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Download adobe Acrobat or click here to download the PDF file.

Click here to download the PDF file.