Choose a case-study from a list of projects.

Learning Goal: I’m working on a research & summaries project and need guidance to help me learn.Analyzing Architectural Controversies (Final Term Paper) Overview This research paper assignment will introduce students to architectural controversies, an idea that buildings emerge from, continue to exist as, and/or are demolished as a result of complex social and material arrangements. Many projects engender controversy: sports arenas, responses to environmental disaster, public memorials, adaptive reuse, transportation, and housing. But, once established, buildings are often viewed as simply inevitable and stable objects. Who remembers that Maya Lin’s now beloved design for the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial was initially condemned by veterans, including Senator John McCain, who called it “funereal” and opposed its construction? Following how buildings are debated and made (and sometimes unmade) dismantles the designer-as-sole-creator myth and focuses instead on the heterogenous nature of environmental design that goes beyond thinking of buildings as formal objects or techno-social solutions. Architectural controversies is a way of understanding buildings as an evolution that involves many human and non-human actors. This approach is inspired by the work of influential social theorist Bruno Latour, who, along with scholars in cultural geography and other fields, have developed theories and methods for analyzing relationships between the social and material dimensions of environmental design objects. Among the concepts this paper asks you to explore is the idea that agency—the power to decide or control—resides not only in individuals and institutions (architects, developers, builders, publics, design agencies, corporate sponsors) but also in material objects (friable brick mortar, expensive steel) and ideas (historic preservation, ecology, architectural theory, professional culture, popular beliefs). Considering both human and non-human actors accounts more fully for the forces that shape a project’s lifespan. This assignment will ask you to map your case study controversy. Mapping architectural controversies is a technique for investigating and representing the dynamic and contingent processes of developing the built environment. This kind of map can be temporal, spatial, organizational, even ecological, depending on the analytical framework developed. A map can follow a building from pre-design to social consensus (or dissensus), construction (or demise), occupation, rhetorical transformation, and, sometimes, demolition. Assignment You will choose a case-study from a list of projects. Drawing on ideas from the readings, (in particular, Yaneva and Jacobs et al), you will conduct your research to give an account of the different actors, decisions, actions, events, etc. that shape your ‘building event’. Including the building’s archive of design, approvals, public hearing minutes, media reports, social media posts, podcasts, etc. provides a more nuanced understanding of how building ideas develop and solidify through consensus—or reveals the seeds of their destruction. As Albena Yaneva writes, through this lens ‘we do not simply learn what design is, we learn what design does.’ This framework is useful because it provides a way to reflect on the relationship between theory and practice and gives architects the tools to understand architectural and urban practices in the context of social, historical, political, and economic forces. Your task is to write a detailed analysis of the creation (or destruction) of your selected project. All of the listed projects are famous, even notorious, for igniting—or being the lightning rod for—social, political, economic, and cultural debates of the moment. Explore the physical design of the project (its formal and material qualities) in relationship to the conversations (‘discourse’) the building engendered among its opponents and proponents. How were features of the design used to advance arguments for or against the project? What are other relevant factors, precedents, concerns? Once you have informed yourself and documented the various arguments, you may develop your own assessment of the claims and events that mark the project’s evolution. Key questions to ask: WHO are the actors (consider human and non-human actors) What roles do they play? WHAT: kinds of things mark the evolution of this project WHEN: do different decisions, actions, discourses take place WHY: do certain ideas emerge, decisions get made HOW: do events unfold Deliverables Your final work will include a paper and a map of your case study. The paper and the map should include the physical building, the key actors, location of important factors, such as sources of power and discourse, temporal information, causal or correlating relationships. paper students will produce one paper of approximately 2,500 words in length and one map of their project controversy. The analysis of the paper and map should be integrated, i.e., the paper should refer to specific parts of the map and explain the map. The paper should provide both a description of what took place as well as account for the relationships between the different actors, events, ideas. Your paper can progress chronologically or could use an organizational approach that emerges from your project analysis. Use quotes sparingly and cite both direct quotes and ideas taken from sources that you have paraphrased in your own words. Use endnote superscript for citation with Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition for your notes and bibliography. MAP This is meant to be a creative exercise where you invent new visual and analytical ways of representing the key events, ideas, institutions, people, timelines, places, etc. of your case study. Draw from the Controversy Diary you created as well as analytical insights from writing the paperto represent relationships among factors. Be sure to provide caption for images used. PART III: Annotated Bibliography An annotated bibliography is a list of sources (books, articles, websites, etc.) with a short text about each source or each group of sources. It is a useful step before drafting a research paper as it aids in classifying, organizing, and evaluating a large list of sources. Provide a 1- to 2-sentence description next to each source (or type of sources) that explains the following: o Main focus or purpose of the source o Usefulness or relevance to your research topic o Background and credibility of the author(s). Who the author is in relationship to the controversy Potential Sources o articles in scholarly journals o scholarly books o archives and manuscript material o photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, films o newspapers and magazine archives o government publications o op-eds, blogs o records of organizations, committees, agencies o autobiographies and memoirs o printed ephemera o research data o social media posts/groups, o newspaper comments sections o city/municipal archives o architectural reviews/criticismPart IV: Controversy Diary See the Yaneva text for a description of how to log a project evolution’s key events, decisions, actions, announcements include important figures, ideas, institutions, laws, announcements, materials. Describe the significance of these decisions, actions, words, events. How does the project enter the public consciousness? Who is the public? Are there multiple ‘publics’? Learning Objectives Students will apply theory through an investigation of empirical case studies and develop critical reading skills. They will identify and design multi-method research strategies, including critical media analysis, use digital technologies as rigorous research tools, and explore inventive map-making to represent social, symbolic, spatial, temporal, and causal relationships.
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