Introduction to Urban Design | Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem

Introduction to Urban Design

Total Hours
Semester B
Course Day
Time 14:00 - 17:00

Introduction to Urban Design focuses on the foundations of the spatial, design and critical theory of urbanism. Through exploring basic urban concepts, we will examine urban theories and practices since the end of the 19th century until nowadays, in the local and in the global contexts. The course offers a broad and updated urban perspective through key figures, cultural phenomena and various challenges in the urban development, and provides an extensive basis for urban thinking while acknowledging contemporary trends, various critical approaches and developing independent skills for spatial analysis, representation and interpretation. In the course we will focus on the relations between urban phenomena in the present to past forms in which they appeared, through their transformations in time and on the ways the role of the architect-urban designer changed in shaping the urban context: shifting from dictation of rules and recipes for ideal spaces, towards critical thinking, design principles and toolboxes, based more on collective knowledge, collected from various interfaces with the field and users, in an ever-going integration of zoom-in and zoom-out. This will be further developed with the discussions and exercises during the course.

In each session we will focus on two basic urban concepts, complementing yet different to one another, through which case-studies and issues will be examined. The sessions are divided into 3 thematic urban forms of thinking: elements, tactics, and strategies, shifting between zoom-in, zoom-out and scales. During the course the students will experience integrated learning of lectures and exercise in two modes: active group discussions about texts and theory, and group work on mapping exercises. In the end of the course the students will submit a series of urban mappings based on critical interpretation of urban samples in Israel.

The goal of the course is to develop and strengthen the 3-dimensional urban thinking of the students, through an extensive learning on urbanists, theories and significant urban projects. In addition, the students will develop their abilities in site-analysis through urban mapping and visual analysis tools.