You can find detailed explanations of the courses (ordered per semester) clicking on the expanded view on the left.
Think of urban waste management, transport flows, noise abatement or tourist practices. Cities are made of multiple sociotechnical assemblages bringing together humans and non-humans, such as technologies, microbes, fuel or maps, in all sorts of ways for all sorts of purposes. For a long time, however, urban studies have mostly focused on the political economy of cities, on the logics of capital accumulation and class struggles shaping urbanization processes, overlooking the often contested role played by technoscience in shaping sociotechnical assemblages.This area introduces students to new theoretical approaches, conceptual repertoires and understandings of the urban, urbanity and urbanization that, inspired in science and technology studies, address the sociotechnical complexity of cities.
Our contemporary world is populated by carefully designed objects, spaces, services and experiences. More or less interactive material and digital interfaces, visual displays, technical devices and architectural envelopes have a profound effect on how we live and think, on how we engage in relationships, on our everyday habits, and on our hopes and aspirations. This module introduces students to an in-detail analysis of design culture and its effects, paying attention to the practices of conception, marketization and use in order to understand the impact of these material devices in contemporary societies. Through theoretical discussions and qualitative case studies, we would like to address these key questions: How do designers conceive, fabricate, commoditize and circulate their products and projects? What are the organizational, spatial and economic processes affecting or bringing to life different forms of design practice and making relevant different roles for designers? How are users imagined, figured and incorporated in design practice? How can we analyse artefacts, devices, and displays, and how can we intervene in design culture?
Calls for citizen participation have become central in planning and politics in the last decades. This has come hand in hand with the emergence of a critical understanding of the technocratic role science and technology experts have played in our societies and the ethical attempts to let users, patients, citizens, etc. have a say in their decisions. Hence, participatory methods and processes have been created and are often celebrated as forms of further democratizing our contemporary societies. However, participatory methods do not instantly bring more democracy and also create problems of their own. Building from all that, this module introduces students to a series of theoretical discussions, historical analyses, empirical examples, case studies and exploratory exercises addressing some key questions: What is the role and effect of the participatory devices created in those processes? What does it mean for publics, citizens, users or patients to participate in those processes? How is citizenship and expertise imagined and practiced in these participatory exercises? How is participation reframed in technoscientific controversies? What experimental forms of collaboration could be invented and for what purposes?
Science and Technology Studies (STS) is a highly interdisciplinary research field, but it has developed a very specifc set of theoretical traditions, conceptual repertoires, analytical approaches and methodological tools. This teaching area introduces students into STS as an intellectual practice.
Teaching at the Department of Architecture offers an indeed unique opportunity to develop applied and experimental projects with students and in collaboration with other colleagues. The aim of such projects and collaborations is to put STS insights to work in hands-on projects and engage in a two-way dialogue and learning process.
As part of our involvement in MCTS's PhD Programme in TechnoScienceStudies, we have been teaching different workshops and seminars searching to address conceptual and methodological issues for the training of STS students.