Apply for Summer 2017 Course for Faculty: Mapping for the Urban Humanities
Above: faculty participants collaboratively developing mapping-based assignments during the Summer 2016 Mapping for the Urban Humanities course.

With the Dean of Humanities we are pleased to invite interested Columbia University faculty to participate in Mapping for the Urban Humanities: A Summer Institute.

During the two-week Mellon-funded "bootcamp" faculty will learn key skills in mapping, data visualization, and data collection that they can incorporate into their research and teaching. Space is limited. Interested faculty are encouraged to apply by January 27, 2017.

About the Workshop: The workshop will be held from 1:00-5:30pmMay 22, 2017 – June 2, 2017 with an optional third week practicum from June 5-9, 2017. No class will be held on Memorial Day, May 29. If you are interested in taking the course but the timing poses a problem please email Dare Brawley (dare.brawley@columbia.edu) with the dates and times you could commit to attending. 

Eligibility: This course is open to faculty from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Barnard College and to research scholars and doctoral candidates.

Our Motivations: Today, ever-increasing quantities of data are available to scholars and urbanists. However, work with data has largely been the province of data-scientists and policy-oriented social scientists, who have not always been eager to interrogate the limits of their data. Conversely, scholars in the humanities and design practitioners who could offer important critical perspectives on data often lack the technical training to understand data-driven tools and methods. 

The institute will give professors of the urban humanities the ability to make their courses places where students who might not otherwise take computer science classes can learn how to use computational tools to tackle humanistic questions. Students who sign up to learn about nineteenth century Bombay or London in the novels of Charles Dickens will complete their courses having also become conversant with GIS, HTML, Excel, and Python. This summer intensive faculty workshop is the first step in adapting a "writing across the curriculum" model to working with data.

More information about the course as well as materials from the summer 2016 course, including the syllabi that were developed during that course are available here.

How to Apply: Interested faculty should apply by sending the following materials to info@c4sr.columbia.edu by January 27, 2017.

  • A one page statement that describes your interest in acquiring digital and computational skills.
  • The course syllabus, or research brief, that you hope to workshop during the summer intensive.  
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Project
Conflict Urbanism: Colombia
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Author(s): 
Laura Kurgan, Juan Saldarriaga, Angelika Rettberg
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 15, 2016
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After Belonging: The Objects, Spaces, and Territories of the Ways We Stay in Transit
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Over the course of the last thirty years, more than 7 million Colombians have left their homes and towns in a search for safety. In this project we plot the trajectories of these Colombians in conflict. This mass migration, with its dense network of specific and often hyper-local causes, forms one part of the much larger global story of human beings on the move, mostly from countryside to city. But this movement of people also underlines the fact that the massive urbanization of the planet is born out of conflict. This article about our contribution to the 2016 Oslo Architectural Triennale was published in the exhibition’s catalog, After Belonging: The Objects, Spaces, and Territories of the Ways We Stay in Transit.
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Over the course of the last thirty years, more than 7 million Colombians have left their homes and towns in a search for safety. In this project we plot the trajectories of these Colombians in conflict. This article about our contribution to the 2016 Oslo Architectural Triennale was published in the exhibition’s catalog, After Belonging: The Objects, Spaces, and Territories of the Ways We Stay in Transit.
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Kurgan, Saldarriaga, Rettberg
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Conflict Urbanism: Colombia
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Thursday, September 15, 2016
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Conflict Urbanism: Language Justice
This course focuses on how language is a major force in shaping cities, both through a theoretical lens and through fieldwork in linguistically diverse neighborhoods throughout New York City.
   
About

This spring, the seminar will focus on the role of language as a structuring principle of cities, highlighting the ways that urban spaces and the world are physically shaped by linguistic diversity, and examining the results of languages coming into contact and conflict. For this work we will use New York City as our laboratory. The New York City metropolitan area is the most linguistically dense city in the world, hosting an estimated 700 different languages.

To better understand this diversity, we will look closely at micro-neighborhoods such as Little Senegal (Manhattan), Little Korea (Queens), and Little Ramallah (Paterson, New Jersey). In thinking about the transnational and translingual nature of the city, we will consider structures from digital technology to remittances (small amounts of money sent “home”) and their role in language preservation and language extinction. Finally, through visualizing and mapping how language is situated in these micro-neighborhoods, we will begin to explore the cultures, languages, informal structures and architectures that migrants bring to the city.

Methods

Our work will be, by necessity, multidisciplinary across history, architecture, politics, law, literature and linguistics as related to the topic of Conflict Urbanism. Our work will also be multi-media. Students will create a web-based map as well as written reflections, incorporating analogue as well as digital media. No previous technical skills are necessary, and professors will set individual guidelines for each student based on their disciplinary expertise.

Course Topics

Conflict Urbanism, Environmental Justice, Linguistic Human Rights, Transnationalism, Multilingual spaces and borders, Urban language politics

Tutorial Topics

Carto, QGIS, MapBox, Data types, creation, and cleaning

 
Laura Kurgan Speaks at SUPERHUMANITY TALKS at the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennale

On October 20, 2016 Laura Kurgan spoke about the Conflict Urbanism: Aleppo project as part of SUPERHUMANITY TALKS, a panel event at the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial presented by e-flux Architecture.

Laura Kurgan spoke about the Center for Spatial Research’s work on Conflict Urbanism Aleppo in relation to e-flux’s provocation:

Superhumanity aims to explore and challenge our understanding of “design” by probing the idea that we are and always have been continuously reshaped by the artifacts we shape, to which we ask: who designed the lives we live today? What are the forms of life we inhabit, and what new forms are currently being designed? Where are the sites, and what are the techniques, to design others?”

View the recording of the panel event. 

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Conflict Urbanism: Aleppo on view at 2016 Istanbul Design Biennale, Are We Human?

Conflict Urbanism: Aleppo is on view at the 2016 Istanbul Design Biennale from October 22, 2016 to November 20, 2016. The Biennale is titled “Are We Human?” and presents projects that stretch “from the last 2 seconds to the last 200,000 years.”

Our exhibit is on view in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum and presents two zooms from high-resolution satellite images of Aleppo at the scale of 1:1000. For every one unit of space in the gallery, the corresponding space in Aleppo is one thousand times larger. Visitors can also browse the Conflict Urbanism: Aleppo interactive map and case studies including a case study on the “Time Scales of Aleppo” researched and written for the exhibition.

Exhibition photos by Sahir Ugur Eren.

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Conflict Urbanism: Colombia Recognized at Habitat III Conference in Quito

Conflict Urbanism: Colombia was named a winning entry of the CityVis Competition at the Habitat III conference in Quito. The competition was organized by University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, Germany and the Future Earth Media Lab.

We are thrilled to have been selected as a winner!

Read more about the competition and the Visualizing Cities platform here

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Symposium on Conflict Urbanism Projects

To mark its inaugural year, The Center for Spatial Research will present its work on "conflict urbanism" in Aleppo, and Colombia. The event will engage participants in a discussion about the role of conflict in structuring urban space and the politics of representation in zones of discordance, disruption and violence as it contributes to the making and remaking of cities. Friday, October 7, 2016 at 1:30pm in Ware Lounge, Avery Hall.

Watch the recording of the event. 

The roundtable will feature Eyal Weizman, Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture and Enrico Bertini, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering as respondents to the work presented by CSR researchers and students: Laura KurganJuan Francisco SaldarriagaGrga BasicDare BrawleyViolet Whitney, and Michael Storm

The center point of Conflict Urbanism: Aleppo is an interactive web-based map representing the intensifying violence in urban Aleppo after five years of civil war in Syria. The map combines layers of high-resolution satellite images together with data gathered from multiple perspectives and sources to show the historic city from 2012 to the present. Using the logic of a typical geographic information system (GIS) map, the Conflict Urbanism: Aleppo project overlaps these layers, as it explores two kinds of evidence: evidence about the physical destruction of the city and evidence about how urban warfare is tracked and monitored from a distance.

Conflict Urbanism: Colombia traces the trajectories of Colombians who were forcibly displaced between 1985 and 2016 as a result of the decades long conflict between state and non-state actors. The project visualizes conflict at the scale of the country through a single government-created dataset that will shape transitional justice efforts. The visualizations that have resulted reveal the paths of more than eight million people displaced by war while critically examining how this conflict has been recorded. Conflict Urbanism: Colombia is a collaboration with the Masters on Peacebuilding at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia.

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