Urban Events and Ephemera

“In the midst of events, people remember the past and imagine the future” – What Time is this Place (p. 3)

In his book What Time is this Place, Lynch argues for public and semipublic entities as responsible agents for structuring and celebrating the passage of time (p. 224.) The core idea revolves around the notion of new design opportunities that would arise if we turn to consciously celebrate it. By staging a memorable sequence of events we can open new sources of public enjoyment at relatively little cost, and thus expand our social enjoyment of being alive in time. This he states can add both meaning and legibility to what would otherwise seem chaotic urban landscapes. For this, Lynch foresaw the new artistic abilities and technological enterprises coming into being.

DUSP’s Leventhal Professor of Urban Design and Planing, Dennis Frenchman, has dedicated an important part of his professional life doing both practice and research that focuses on the transformation of cities. He is an expert on the application of digital technology to city design and has designed large-scale media oriented cities and industrial clusters including Seoul Digital Media City in Korea, the Digital Mile in Zaragoza, Spain, Media City: UK in Salford, England, Twofour54 in Abu Dhabi, and Ciudad Creativa Digital, Guadalajara, Mexico. He has a particular interest in the redevelopment of industrial sites and has prepared plans for the renewal of textile mill towns, canals, rail corridors, steels mills, coal and oil fields, shipyards and ports, including many of international cultural significance[1]. His work focuses not only on the physical elements of design, but also on the programmatic components needed to foster a strong temporal identity that work harmoniously within spatial dimensions.

[1] Text from http://dusp.mit.edu/faculty/dennis-frenchman (accessed 4.21.13)

Past Winners:

Barnaby Evans (2003)

Boston’s First Night (1990)

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