IHP Cities in the 21st Century: People, Planning, and Politics (Spring)
- How to Choose a Program
- View SIT Study Abroad Undergraduate Research / ISP Collection
- View the 2014 Overview Brochure (PDF, 2MB)
- View the 2014 Semester Catalog (PDF, 8MB)
- View the 2014 Summer Catalog (PDF, 1MB)
- View Our Photo Galleries on Flickr
- Academic Resources/Library
- Track Your Application Online
- US State Department "Students Abroad"
- SIT Study Abroad Gear
Spring 2010 Letters Home
- Read Letters from:
- New York, USA
- Sao Paulo and Curitiba, Brazil
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Hanoi, Vietnam
New York City, U.S.A Letter Home
Greetings from the IHP Cities in the 21st Century program! On January 19, 2010, our around-the-world journey began in New York City. We spent ten days getting oriented to the program, exploring New York, and learning how to “read” a city. To give you a better sense of our NYC experience, several members of our fantastic student group have shared their perspectives below. Enjoy!
While I waited for my flight to New York out of Minneapolis, I was overcome with so many emotions: scared, nervous, excited, ecstatic, sad. But as the plane took off I got one long last look at the city. We flew so low that I was able to pick out the park I lived by and take it all in- the shops, the streets, the people, my home. The gray that had surrounded the city was left behind as we pushed through the clouds to be met by a violent burst of sunshine. This was the reassuring moment that my life from that second on was going to change.
I felt horribly awkward meeting people the first day. Alone and unsure of myself, I threw bits and pieces into conversations, trying to “get to know” everyone. But after ten days together in New York I feel as though some of these new people are old friends of the past who have always been there and will continue to be.
New York was great! Staying at International House was really fun and I definitely know my way around the city now. We heard from some excellent speakers and were able to visit a variety of sites and agencies during our ten days. I was part of groups visiting Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation, where we learned about job creation and the industrial sector in Southwest Brooklyn; the Manhattan Borough President’s office, where we talked about food policy in Manhattan and beyond; the United Nations Foundation, where Gillian Sorensen spoke to us about what it means to be a global citizen and practice “militant moderation;” and on Neighborhood Day I had the chance to visit Jackson Heights and learn about housing policy in this very diverse Queens community. My favorite part of the New York program was getting to know the city through its systems and networks, and learning how New York is a compilation of boroughs, more than just Manhattan. I also greatly appreciated getting to know the other students I am traveling with. We had a lot of fun exploring the city together, and I know that we will enjoy traveling through Brazil, South Africa, and Vietnam.
We learned all about New York City in informal ways like walking around neighborhoods and riding the subway but also in more formal meetings with different agencies that are involved in their communities. These ranged from a union, the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office, a development corporation in Brooklyn, a non-profit organization that supports the homeless, and a sculpture park. In these visits we sought to understand the agencies’ operations, effectiveness, and challenges. Another set of visits surrounded the themes of food and water. Groups met with organizations that focus on food security and health and the water infrastructure of the city, ranging from small neighborhood organizations to government departments. These visits brought up themes of access and power relations within the city as well as the issue of sustainability.
In New York we were also introduced to Neighborhood Day, an exercise we will do in each city we visit. On Neighborhood Day we split into groups and go to a range of neighborhoods in the city to understand the urban environment through observation, interviews, and critical analysis. In New York the groups visited Manhattanville, Jackson Heights in Queens, Hunts Point in the Bronx, and Gowanus and East Flatbush in Brooklyn. We learned that “reading” a neighborhood can occur in many different ways. To “discover” our neighborhoods we attempted to understand the social networks, built environment, problems, and history of the areas. These visits allowed us to engage with residents and communities in New York City and to learn about pertinent issues within the urban environment.
During our weekend in New York, many of us participated in some fun optional activities. On Saturday afternoon we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. While waiting for our guide, IHP alumnus Marlon Williams, the group shopped at the farmers’ market to get apples, cider, and cakes. Marlon had a wealth of knowledge and advice for us and taught usabout urban economics and public policy formation. Even on such a cold day the view of the city was amazing. Marlon has worked in numerous jobs in housing within the city and the most memorable thing he pointed out was the difference between types of housing – affordable and less so.
In addition to the history of the Brooklyn Bridge, Marlon had lots of advice for our nerves. He told us about the lasting memories and friendships we are on the verge of making – I can’t wait for the future!
On Sunday morning a group of us went on a walking tour of East Harlem lead by Marshall Swinney and attended a church service. In the afternoon we met Jocelyne Chait at Chelsea Market. We had time to walk around, buy lunch, and check out all the delicious options provided in the market. From cupcakes and homemade breads to soups and hot chocolates, we really had a feast!
Afterward we walked a few blocks to the High Line park. Once a freight rail elevated above ground, New York City has turned it into a natural and architectural space. The park is still expanding and with ample bench space, natural growth, and old train tracks, the park is a quiet space in the city.
Sao Paulo/Curitiba Letter Home
Written by Jill Goforth, Chelsea Gleason, Kristen Bryant, Sohani Khan, Michelle Haimowitz, and Maureen White
Our overseas learning adventure got off to a great start in Brazil! After a long flight we had a weekend to orient ourselves to Sao Paulo and to settle in with our homestay families. With so much to see in such a large city we hit the ground running with a very full schedule. We started each day with some "Survival Portuguese" lessons followed by discussions, lectures, and field trips. In addition to our traveling faculty we heard from a wide array of guest speakers on topics ranging from transportation and master planning to Sao Paulo's real estate boom and the cultural roots of Carnaval. We also had a chance to explore downtown on a guided tour with local architecture students, speak with city councilors at City Hall, and to visit Sao Paulo's many diverse ethnic neighborhoods- showing us just how cosmopolitan this city really is.
When we arrived in Sao Paulo we immediately discovered that the city had been experiencing a record amount of rainfall. It didn't let up upon our arrival; every day at 5:30 pm the clouds would roll in, the sky would turn grey, and the rain would begin. (This always corresponded with the time of our walk home from school!) After getting drenched the first couple of days, we learned to carry our raincoats and umbrellas with us at all times. The rainstorms provided us with our first glimpse of the great inequality that exists between Sao Paulo's neighborhoods. One afternoon we got caught in the rain downtown, where the elevation is much lower than where we lived and met each day. As a result, we were able to see and experience the flooding of this district that we had heard so much about. The downtown streets quickly filled with water, and within minutes the entire area became inaccessible. When the rain finally let up a bit, we waded through water up to our mid-calves to reach our subway station. (The enormous crowds in the station illustrated another important lesson: how difficult it is to move 18 million people around a giant, sprawling mega-city!) Despite the dramatic impact of the rains, the city government does little to assist the (mostly low-income) areas that are affected by flooding. By the end of our stay, the local newspapers were reporting growing protests over the city's lack of attention to these neighborhoods.
We explored the theme of inequality again when we spent two afternoons visiting very different neighborhoods- a wealthy, gated community and a favela (or slum area). Our visit to the favela totally turned our assumptions upside down. In fact, it showed us the importance of truly "checking our assumptions at the door." While the word 'favela' may conjure up images of despair and squalor, we instead found a lively and vibrant community. The favela we visited is the largest in Sao Paulo, with over 125,000 residents and one million square feet of space. It not only has 30 community organizations working on behalf of the residents but it also has amazing services: a daycare, pet shop, library, several markets, a radio station, and even a restaurant called McFavela's. (McFavela's had been sued by McDonald's over its name, but won the right to keep it. Some of us were troubled to hear of the greed of such a large corporation that would sue an establishment inside a favela...) Experiences like this – of visiting communities and learning from the perspectives of others – has definitely been a huge part of our experiential learning on IHP.
One of the themes we talked about in New York is the idea that "the city is our classroom." This was certainly the case during our weekend excursions in Sao Paulo, where we had all kinds of interesting cultural experiences. Some of us went to a soccer game where we cheered with the crowd and stood in the open-roof stadium through the rain. Many of us also went to the Carnaval parade, which started at midnight and continued into the morning. We watched from the Sambodromo, which is an enormous stadium reserved all year just for this one event. Despite struggling to stay awake through it all, we were blown away by the elaborate costumes, the music to which the different samba schools danced, the crowd that sang along, and by a few of our own classmates who danced in the parade with the school Mancha Verde! The next afternoon we found an impromptu bloquo (a small neighborhood marching band) in the streets and joined them for music and dancing. It was unlike anything we've ever seen in the States!
During our time in Brazil, we also visited the landless movement, or Movimento Sem Terra (MST). We stayed for two days at an encampment in Parana state where the movement had built an agricultural school. In contrast to our mostly urban experiences, the MST visit brought us into a rural environment where we learned about how it has become the most powerful social movement in Brazil. Within the context of highly unequal land distribution in Brazil, the MST fights to redistribute land to farmers. Individuals in the MST set up encampments on land not being used for a "social function" (as required by the Brazilian constitution) with the goal of claiming the right to the land. Currently, many MST settlements have been granted this right through the government. At the MST visit, IHP learned about agricultural reform and collective living. We were able to speak personally to old and new members and participate in collective living through eating meals with the MST group. We visited several of their communities, or agrovillas, that are focusing on ways to farm sustainably and move away from conventional farming techniques which often harm the earth. This experience gave us an incredibly valuable opportunity to learn from others, and we will carry this learning with us as we continue to travel and when we return to the United States.
After a few weeks in Sao Paulo we packed up our bags to head to Curitiba, a city world-renowned for its innovative urban planning initiatives. It took us a bit of time to master the extensive bus system the city is known for, but eventually we got the hang of it. In Curitiba we had a chance to see the many parks, cultural monuments, and museums that make this city so “livable;” it was quite a contrast to Sao Paulo’s crowded streets and masses of concrete sky scrapers. While many of us enjoyed the slower pace of life in Curitiba, some of us missed the energy of Sao Paulo – though not for long, as we returned there for our last week in Brazil.
On our final weekend, several of us went on a hike. Although strenuous, we were rewarded with a breathtaking view of Sao Paulo from above. It is surely an image we will remember as we think back on our time in this enormous, colorful, dynamic city. The next day, after some tearful goodbyes to our homestay families, we headed off to the next leg of our journey: South Africa!
Cape Town, South Africa Letter Home
Written by Abbey Brown, LeighEllen Vanzino, Stephen Albonesi, Daria Lombroso, Rachel Egan, and Maureen White
As we write this it is hard to believe our time in South Africa has already come to an end – how in the world did that happen? It felt like just a couple of days ago we were getting off of the all-night flight (full of Argentinean rugby teams) from Brazil. Upon arriving in Cape Town we were immediately struck by its incredible landscapes. Situated between Table Mountain and the sandy beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, the natural beauty of the Western Cape permeates the city. Through lectures and site visits we heard about Cape Town’s amazing biodiversity and natural attractions. We climbed Table Mountain and visited the Kirstenbosch botanical gardens as well as Edith Stephens Wetland Park. Many of us also made the journey to the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Point Nature Reserve, and Simon’s Town where we saw penguins on the beach! The nature is gorgeous and almost everyone on the program would agree that Cape Town is among the most beautiful cities we have seen. But while the city’s natural landscape is stunning, it belies a most disturbing social landscape.
The present inequalities that stem from the apartheid regime are striking, not only in terms of socio-economic indicators but also in terms of the built environment. For example, through our homestays in the neighborhoods of BoKaap and Langa, we experienced the spatial segregation that defines the city. The BoKaap’s mixed race, or “coloured,” residents were spared the forced removals under apartheid; consequently, we enjoyed the convenient location of the neighborhood next to the city center. On the other hand, Cape Town’s black residents were relegated to the Cape Flats area on the opposite side of Table Mountain, in townships such as Langa, where they are cut off from easy access to jobs and services. Everywhere we looked we saw the fortress-like homes of the city’s white residents, hidden behind walls and protected by private security firms. Throughout our time here we have been able to see the whole spectrum of the city, from the ocean-view mansions with swimming pools to the informal settlements with hundreds of shacks and communal water taps. It became achingly clear that while political democracy has been established in South Africa, achieving true equality here involves a long and slow process…
This persistent and visible inequality has led many of us to view our time here as one of the most mentally challenging and complex experiences of our lives. Everything we learn about in our lectures is so present in everyday life, even in just walking down the street. That is why Cape Town has been so exhausting – we never stop thinking about and talking about the issues we’re learning about. It’s been very difficult, but rewarding and fun too.
Our guest lectures here have provided us with an impressive amount of information and questions, offering a solid background and confidence to take on the challenge of entirely student-led “Neighborhood Days” and case study projects. After several weeks of studying here we split up into case study groups and concentrated on the issues of education, crime, transportation, gentrification, and the 2010 World Cup in Cape Town. Over the course of four and a half days each group spent time analyzing what we had learned so far about their topic from our guest lectures, faculty sessions, site visits, readings, host families, and observations. Then it was time for us to go more in depth with additional research, and, having the benefit of being able to communicate with many people in English, we were able to take full advantage of speaking with local experts. With the help and guidance of our coordinator Sally Frankental, we set up meetings with everyone from educators and city officials to urban planners and stadium architects. We also honed our skills at doing interviews and surveys, and by the end of our research time we had a wealth of information from primary sources.
From there each group crafted a 45 minute presentation to share our findings with our classmates and faculty. Learning how to put together an engaging presentation that summarizes what we learned, makes comparisons with the other cities we have visited, and highlights our conclusions is no easy feat, but we think we rose to the occasion! The presentations that resulted were really impressive – they used a variety of creative formats (think dramatic skits and humorous mock news broadcasts) and lead us into discussions on some big questions: Is it possible to revitalize a neighborhood without gentrifying it? What is the true root cause of urban crime? How do you fix a broken transportation system when the stakeholders don’t agree on the solution? Is hosting a major sporting event a good investment for a city, or does it just benefit the few at the expense of everyone else? What is the key to creating an equitable education system? While we may not all agree on the answers to these questions, we learned a lot from the case study process here in Cape Town.
The result of our time here became apparent one evening during our final week when thirteen of us hiked Lion’s Head mountain on the night of the full moon. We all climbed into a minibus taxi and arrived at the foot of the mountain at 6pm, excited to make the hike during sunset. As we hiked the trail, which wrapped around the mountain, the slope became more and more steep but the view became more and more breath-taking. As we approached the top the sun was setting over the ocean to our left and the full moon was rising alongside Table Mountain to our right. It was spectacular to see both at once- so large and so colorful! At the top we had a 360 degree view of Cape Town. We could see the hostel where we spent our first night; the BoKaap, the Muslim neighborhood where we had our first homestay; Camp’s Bay, the beach we went to on many weekends; and downtown, where we interviewed and surveyed countless people, made our way through the confusing transportation system, tried different foods at various markets, and danced many nights away. The hike was the perfect way to end our time in Cape Town because we were not just tourists at the top of a natural icon; we were in a place where we could recall memory after memory after memory of adventure, fun, laughter, confusion, joy, sadness, frustration, and excitement.
We can’t wait to get to Hanoi and create a new set of memories there!
IHP Cities in the 21st Century, Class of 2010
P.S.- We have fabulous memories from our homestays here in Cape Town, from the call to prayer ringing out over the brightly colored houses of the BoKaap to the gumboot dance performance welcoming us into the township of Langa. To say “thank you” to our hosts for their hospitality, we wrote this medley of songs as a fun tribute and performed it for them at our farewell dinner. Enjoy!
(To the tune of “We Are Family”)
Here we are in Cape Town all together,
Sad to say good-bye
We’ve had laughs, and had fun, and site visits,
Time to leave- oh why?
All of the people around us they say,
Could we be so close?
Just let us say for the record,
Staying with you is where we belong!
Our host families
Bright houses in the BoKaap we see!
Our host families
We’re staying in Langa, oh baby!
(To the tune of “ABC”)
We love our host families
Cape Town’s the best place to be
It’s been you and me yeah!
Hanoi’s our next destiny
But they can’t beat these families
We love it in CT
We’re so sad to leave, yeah
(To the tune of “Lean on Me”)
Made Cape Town our home
In BoKaap and Langa
We never feel alone
We’ll call on the phone
And keep in touch
When we’re far and long gone
In our time in BoKaap and Langa
We’ve learned and had fun
IHP has family to lean on
This warmth and hospitality
Makes Cape Town number one
IHP has family to lean on!
Hanoi, Vietnam Letter Home
Written by Charlie Cordero-Matos, Vicka Aronson, Davis Wang, Graciela Gonzales, Alison Flint, Zoe Schladow, and Maureen White
As our time on the last leg of our journey comes to an end, we can’t help but think of all the amazing experiences that we’ve had in Vietnam. Stepping off the plane from South Africa, the wall of heat and humidity that hit us was an instant reminder that we were now in a totally different part of the world. Once in Hanoi we met Hoai Anh Tran, our Country Coordinator, as well as the Assistant Coordinators, Thuy and Dung. Hoai Anh, who trained as an architect and does housing research in Sweden and Vietnam, was so much fun and upbeat from the start. The Hanoi traffic, however, was not as much fun! We were all struck by the huge amounts of motorbikes swarming the streets. Our first time crossing the street, with its chaotic traffic, was so scary but also exhilarating, as we learned the art of dodging an oncoming stream of bicycle, motorbikes, cars, and cycle-rickshaws (the key is finding the right opening, maintaining a steady pace and making eye-contact with the drivers.) After a couple of times it became second nature and even fun- it’s definitely a skill we have added to our repertoire!
After mastering the art of crossing the Hanoi streets, we began using the most common form of transportation, the motorbike. Throughout our travels we’ve experimented with many ways of getting around town: navigating the stadium-like crowdedness of the Sao Paulo metro, and cruising around with the combi drivers who ruled the road in Cape Town. Here in Hanoi, many of us get to and from class on the backs of motorbike taxis. The drivers call to us from their spots on sidewalk corners when they notice us with our (IHP approved) helmets, and together we begin the ritual of negotiating a price. This process becomes a cultural exchange of words, hand movements, and hard bargaining tactics. Once the deal is settled, we hop on and hold on tight. Riding on the backseat of a motorbike is like navigating traffic among a swarm of bees: moving through any space between cars, bicycles, pedestrians, and other motorbikes, and occasionally utilizing a sidewalk that allows them to cut corners. Motorbikes were often one of the best ways to see the city, connecting what we learned in class to what we see as we zoom by, watching history and new changes play out as if on a movie reel. Given that a decade ago most of the city’s commuters traveled by bicycle, the ubiquity of motorbikes on Hanoi’s streets today can be seen as a sign of the city’s rapid economic development- as incomes increase with economic expansion, so does the desire for the motorbikes, a relatively affordable form of mechanized transportation. Many of our host families commented to us how cars (a relatively new addition to Hanoi’s streets) as well as higher-end motorbikes are seen as status symbols. There seems to be a shared feeling among many local residents that this new economic growth is also adding an element of materialism to the culture.
Living in Hanoi is nothing short of sensory overload. From the horns of the vehicles to the smells of food being cooked on the streets and the sight of all the informal sellers, there is always something to experience. After a few days of settling in and getting our bearings, we moved in with our homestay families. They welcomed us with open arms, inviting us to make ourselves at home in their houses, showing us the sights in and around the city, and quickly incorporated us into their daily routine. Some of us had family members who spoke English and could teach us some Vietnamese words and phrases, especially about food. (A few key phrases include “Maiko en com a,” which means “Please enjoy your meal,” and “Cho chau xin bat com a,” which means “May I please have more rice.” These are really important ones!
It has been such an honor to be in Hanoi at this time, so near to the celebration of its 1000th anniversary. All the museums and monuments were in top shape for the occasion, and we got to visit many of these with our classmates and homestay families. Our guest lectures and site visits have given us the foundation for exploring the changes Hanoi is undergoing as it strives to become a global city. We had a fascinating lecture on Vietnam’s history given by an extraordinary 92-year-old historian and author named Huu Ngoc. He took us through the wars, conquests by the French and Chinese, the era of Ho Chi Minh, unification, the famine, and the economic reform that opened up Vietnam’s borders called Doi Moi. There is a lot of rich history to this country. We also learned quite a bit about Hanoi’s new Master Plan that will create five satellite cities to make Hanoi into a new (and improved?) megacity. We heard from Hoai Anh, our Coordinator, about housing policy, including the new phenomenon of speculation on real estate by investors (mainly foreigners), and visited several different types of housing projects. When we visited the offices of JICA, a Japanese urban planning consulting firm, to learn about transportation in the city, we were in for a surprise- they wanted to hear OUR input on Hanoi’s current transportation system! We shared ideas and examples we saw from our studies, including the intricate bus system we had seen in Curritiba and the new integrated rapid transit system being designed in Cape Town. It was a nice exchange. These lectures and visits, plus a range of others, gave us great insight into what makes Hanoi tick.
During our third week here many of us took advantage of an opportunity to attend an international conference titled “The Informal Sector and Informal Employment: Statistical Measurement, Economic Implications, and Public Policy.” We were invited to the conference by two of our guest lecturers, economic researchers from France who had created the first survey measuring the extent of the informal economy in Hanoi. While the informal sector is minimally acknowledged in the United States- most people think of kids babysitting or illegal businesses like organized crime- in the countries we’ve visited, up to half of all economic activity is performed by unregistered, unincorporated enterprises and individuals. In Hanoi, it’s difficult navigating through streets and sidewalks filled with small plastic stools and tables of women selling pho, and people trying to peddle their wares. The informal economy is everywhere! Many of us had never attended a conference before, and it was great to talk with people from all over the world about the papers being presented. Some of the theories were new to us, but after seeing the informal economies of these different countries first-hand it was easy to follow the discussions and fascinating to compare them to our own experiences.
Now we find ourselves at the end of our journey, back in Hanoi after a four-day retreat in a small village named Mai Chau. We stayed in traditional stilt houses, and reflected back on our experiences on IHP. We also talked about adjusting to life when we get back home. While it is a little overwhelming to think about returning home after so many months, it is exciting to have the feeling that many doors are open to us all over the world. We want the comforts of our old homes, the love from our friends and family, but we also know that things may look different to us when we return, and we may have different goals than we did when we left. We know that our experiences abroad will manifest in our future lives in unexpected ways, at unexpected times, and we are excited to welcome them when they do. Most of all, we share a bond with the other students on IHP with whom we have lived, worked, and studied for four months. We have had to depend on each other in profound ways over the course of the semester and we will always have that connection, even when we return home and we start back on our own lives.
See you soon!
IHP Cities in the 21st Century, Spring 2010
PS- As a last thought, we wanted to share with you a personal reflection on the semester written by our classmate Zoe Schladow. Zoe incorporated this piece into our end-of-semester presentation to our faculty.
I'm reimagining the world, the perfect world, Utopia. Does Utopia have boundaries? How do we govern Utopia? Is this collective, ideal world possible if we as individuals have created this world? This made me wonder: can individualism exist in Utopia? We are, of course, innately different, but when we stress those differences -I am Zoe, I am a student, I am American and Australian, I am white, 5Ǝ", blonde, blue-eyed, have done x, y, and z- do we limit the potential of the collective? If I were just Zoe, and you were just you, what could we do? I am not advocating less competition but less division.
I think catastrophe is the greatest unifier. We worry that we cannot change the world in an instant, but only natural disasters and terrorist attacks ever seem capable of that level of change. The end of the Vietnam War, the end of Apartheid, the end of the military government in Brazil, all built up over time, and were dependent on being in the right place at the right time. The right place at the right time. What does that mean?
We think of this program as life-changing for us, but what about all the people we interact with? The ripple effect of us being in these places? If we were able to go back in time, any changes we make would play out in the future. So now it is the present, and every decision -walking down one street instead of another, asking a question that sparks an idea, living with a foreign family- these too will play out in the future.
I have also been considering microcosms and macrocosms, playing with scale as a means of explanation, maybe a solution. There are things I can see -IHP might be a microcosm of the way cities function- but there are things I would rather not see -maybe the U.S. is a gated community, Mexico a favela. When I think about scale and these aspects replaying in different sizes, I think about time and these factors travelling forward and backward in history. When I looked at Sao Paulo from a cliff above it, I saw the eternal return of all our bad decisions, a monster who vomited concrete in the jungle, the end of the world at the beginning of civilization. Contrast that with Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, which looks like the drop off point, the physical end of the world, but a beginning too, of networks of mercantilism, global cartography, and the affirmation that the world is round.
We too have seen that the world is indeed round. We are at times haunted by the circuitous systems through which the world functions. We individually lament while we collectively should be driven into action. How do we redevelop the world sustainably? First, we institutionalize, teach, harvest creativity and innovation. Second, we step out of the individual and join the collective. Will we have to wait for more catastrophic unifiers? My fear, dare I admit I am afraid, is that we will give up hope. That we, the crafters of eternity, will leave this earth with a legacy of mega-cities, mega-hells. The decisions we make now shape whether future generations will be able to exercise free will over their time and space.
I have a theory about our world, a sort of secular reincarnation theory. It's based on the principle that energy cannot be created nor destroyed, solely rearranged. I am asking that we rearrange the negative, rearrange ourselves to be part of a whole, even if it means abandoning the individual and our lifestyle. In architecture studio you are told that all ideas, all forms, are already in existence, and that you must rearrange them and charge them with new reasoning, new meaning. That is Utopia, our world redistributed, our energy rearranged. The opposite of terrorism was once defined to me as "senseless humanism". Do not wait for catastrophe, act now, act with senseless humanism, and do not let the evils of our world multiply in time or space.
Duration: Spring, 16 weeks
USA, Brazil, India, South Africa
Prerequisites: Previous college-level coursework and/or other preparation in urban studies, anthropology, political science, or other related fields is strongly recommended but not required. Learn More...
View Student Evaluations for this program:
About the Evaluations (PDF)
888.272.7881 (toll-free in US)
PO Box 676, 1 Kipling Road
Brattleboro, VT 05302 USA