Urban Territories I 2015/2016
Urban Territories 1 looks at the qualitative methods and theoretical-methodological foundations of empirical social and urban research. Scientific research and design processes are explored in seminars, tested in practice, and theoretically considered. Referring to “Parapolis” (Terkessidis 2010), this year’s focus of study for Urban Design, which understands the city as a translocal structure of relationships, we analize the local traces of global practices.
The focus is on hubs, where global networks of information, goods, and people can be experienced locally — in the city. These range from places like the “transit” point in HBF, where refugees arrive in order to travel to other destinations, to Wi-Fi spots (Apple Store, Starbucks, etc.), where people gather, to Internet call and cell Phone repair shops, where the connection to home is maintained, to the Western Union stations that act as monetary wormholes conducting money into other worlds, to the hot spots of sex, sports, musical, and shopping tourism, and to the high-profile real estate investment properties of Elbphilharmonie or the Marco Polo Tower, where the capital from international investors comes together rather than people.
In seminar work we track down the hubs of global networks and record, analize, and present the locations, actors, practitioners and their productions. The meandering between theoretical text work and practical field research forms the backbone of the work and introduces the process of qualitative research. It will also address the observations of participants, mental maps, cartographic “dense” and “flat” descriptions, and different interviewing techniques.