ARCH430 | Networked Technologies
Thomas Kearns | | office hrs wed 12:40-1:50 – 3410 Computer Lab

The www has emerged as the most freely traversed ‘social space’ in the world. Every day, millions of geographically disparate people connect, converse, work (etc.) with one another via Internet-based communication technologies. These networked technologies are perhaps the most radical force currently contributing to the changes in both the form of the City and the mutation of social urban space. As a result, this new ‘electronic’ urban space is subverting, displacing and redefining our notions of the relation between architecture and the traditional gathering place. Furthermore, these emerging gathering places are being fashioned in much the same way architects and planners have always envisioned the public realm: they are being designed as dense interactive networks within which people (purposefully or randomly) meet, communicate and exchange information.

Course Introduction
An investigation into the relationship between architecture, the city and networked technologies. Students will learn principals of designing for networked digital space, ways of augmenting physical space through digital technologies, and how networks and web based communication have transformed our daily lives and the practice of architecture.

Throughout the semester practical examples will be supported with readings and discussions of concepts fostered by Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze + Felix Guattari, the Situationist International, Lawrence Lessig, Steven Johnson and more.

Course objectives

  • To investigate new technologies and how they are influencing architecture
  • To develop an understanding of new forms of organizational and relational logic.
  • To learn how to use and create interaction
  • To learn basic principles of object oriented development
  • To learn new modes of digital presentation
  • To learn how to teach yourself
  • To develop more efficient modes of production to facilitate group projects

Course structure
The class will be broken into three phases; A skill + awareness building phase in which students will be introduced to ideas and processes and will develop skills through structured exercises, followed by an individual development phase where conceptual lectures will be replaced with ones which provide insight into how to organize and implement a project of the students development, and culminating in a group project development phase which will be run more or less as a design build workshop.

Project and Assignments
Over the course of the semester students will complete 3 projects. In some cases students may be given the opportunity to work in groups or individually. Each project will have a formally outlined set of technical criteria that will be evaluated for completion. In addition, the students project designs will be evaluated for uniqueness + craft. For each project a total of 30 pts will be awarded, 10 for technical completion, and 10 for concept  and 10 for craft.

Readings + Journal
There will be a select number of mandatory readings or websites to visit, and where appropriate additional optional texts or areas of investigation. As a seminar course it is expected that students have thoroughly read the material and are able to speak to the issues of the text in class discussions. Additionally students will be required to cultivate the class blog with posts related to the topics of the class. These blog posts will be recorded and evaluated for quality. Each quality post will be given one 1/2 pt. Students may accumulate up to 15 points for blog posts.

Letter Grades will be administered based on the above mentioned criteria, with a percentage grade determined by the total points accumulated to those available

The professor will take attendance at the beginning of every class. If you are late for the class without a legitimate excuse (see student handbook) this will count as half an absence. 2 unexcused absences will cause your final grade to be reduced by one letter grade, 3 unexcused absences will result in failure of the course.

All students will be required to keep a backup copy of their work on Zip Disk, CD/DVD, or Micro drive. In the event that the server goes down or work is lost due to some computer failure the student will be expected to produce a backup copy of the work. Failure to produce a backup copy will result in a failing grade for the assignment. There will be no exceptions to these rules.

Americans with Disabilities (ada)
Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with documented disabilities.  In order to receive accommodations, students must go through the Center for Disability Resources office. The Center for Disability Resources (CDR) is located in Life Sciences Room 218, telephone 312 567.5744 or

One thought on “Syllabus

  1. Hey Professor Kearns,

    I was wondering, did you do some sort of trick with the Html that is leaves a smiley face randomly on a page each time its linked to an IP address? Because I have one in the bottom center, and Rosa has hers in the top right… and when we refress the pages it still there…

    Just wondering.

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