27 episodes

This collection includes twenty-six lectures, including presentation of slides in each session, which cover proposed theories of city form, urban case studies, and a latter focus on modernism. The last lecture summarizes major themes of the entire course.

Theory of City Form MIT

    • Arts

This collection includes twenty-six lectures, including presentation of slides in each session, which cover proposed theories of city form, urban case studies, and a latter focus on modernism. The last lecture summarizes major themes of the entire course.

    • video
    Lec 1: Introduction

    Lec 1: Introduction

    This lecture covers the motivations for the course, an introduction of urban history, and the role of cities throughout human history. The professor gives a brief explanation of each topic that is to be covered in the course.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    • video
    Lec 2: Normative Theory I: The City as Supernatural

    Lec 2: Normative Theory I: The City as Supernatural

    This lecture focuses on the cosmic model of the city, and the city as a consciousness and expression of religion. Some examples discussed include Solomon's temple, Eliade's depiction of the archaic man, feng shui, Athens, and barays.

    • 1 hr 26 min
    • video
    Lec 3: Normative Theory II: The City as Machine

    Lec 3: Normative Theory II: The City as Machine

    This lecture covers the machine model, characterized by visual economy, decentralization, and urbanizing at low costs. Comparisons are drawn between the cosmic model, with examples including colonial expansion in Greece, Roman cities, and French bastides.

    • 1 hr 24 min
    • video
    Lec 4: Normative Theory III: The City as Organism

    Lec 4: Normative Theory III: The City as Organism

    This lecture covers the organic model and on appropriateness of size and boundaries as dictated by nature, homeostasis, optimal size, population, value of land, and nonorthogonal forms. A case study on the Tennessee Valley Authority is also presented.

    • 1 hr 35 min
    • video
    Lec 5: Descriptive and Functional Theory

    Lec 5: Descriptive and Functional Theory

    This lecture introduces theories concerning historical value, early Marxism, uniqueness, speed of change, genius loci, ecology of people, divisions, economic model, and chaos theory.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    • video
    Lec 6: Dimensions, Patterns, Agreements, Structure, and Syntax

    Lec 6: Dimensions, Patterns, Agreements, Structure, and Syntax

    The lecture starts with Kevin Lynch's The Image of a City, defining image as identity, structure, and meaning. Other topics include the reduction of complexity, the city as a set of agreements, correlation and movement pattern, and the space syntax.

    • 1 hr 26 min

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