New York: Design & the City
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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art and Design History and Theory
Department: Art and Design History
Course Number: PGHT 5722
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
- Design History, Theory & Criticism
- Art History, Theory & Criticism
- Visual Culture
The built environment of New York has always been more than physical objects; it has become a set of cultural narratives. A building or a neighborhood might inspire artworks, or claim a social significance far beyond its utilitarian function as an office tower, theatre or apartment house. This course will survey the history of the physical city of New York as it shaped and was shaped by the city's cultural history, from the 17th century to the present, with an emphasis on the mid 19th to mid 20th century. We will discuss the architectural history of the city, but also ways in which the building and street plans themselves reflect the cultural aspirations of their builders. We will look at major decorative arts manufacturers and designers based in the city and considering patterns of patronage, stylistics, and engagement with urban space. The course will also deal with patterns of cultural institution building in the 19th and 20th-century city; and how artists and designers used, or didn't use, the city as subject. Classes will focus on such topics as the conception of the urban grid; parks and class structure; the city as spectacle; civic sculpture; and the cult of the skyscraper.
Open to: All university graduate degree students
Open to Graduate students.