Category Archives: Education

The Outlaw Urbanist at SSS10 |13-17 July 2015 | London

mark_v3UPDATE: Dr. Mark David Major is scheduled to speak at SSS10 on Tuesday, July 14th at 12 Noon during the “Urban Morphology” session in the Leolin Price Lecture Theatre.

Dr. Mark David Major, AICP, CNU-A, founder of The Outlaw Urbanist and author of the Poor Richard Almanac series for architects and planners, will be speaking at the 10th Space Syntax Symposium (SSS10) held in London from 13 to 17 July 2015 at University College London, Bloomsbury. Major was the Symposium Organizer for the inaugural 1997 conference in London and generally regarded as the founder of Space Syntax Symposia, which is now approaching its twentieth year.

Major will be speaking about “The Hidden Corruption of American Regular Grids: why space syntax doesn’t work in the United States, when it looks like it should”. Read the abstract below for a sneak preview:

Space syntax has made remarkable progress in practice and research around the world over the last 40 years. However, this is not the case in the United States. Space syntax remains on the fringes of the American planning and development process. This is odd since there appear to be several inherent advantages for the widespread application of space syntax in an American context, i.e. continuing large-scale urban growth, an established research programme at one of the country’s leading universities, and seemingly ‘natural’ allies in professional practice.

The paper outlines the financial, institutional, and legal hurdles and pitfalls confronting space syntax in the American market, especially in the private sector. Using a series of ‘back-of-the-napkin’ financial calculations common to the American planning and development process, the paper demonstrates how these challenges can transform into a distinct advantage for advocating the cause of the space syntax in the United States. Given this, the paper concludes by discussing the enormous challenges and opportunities for space syntax in America today.

More information about SSS10 is available here.

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Reimagining the Urban | Art and Public Space | University of Auckland

A global search to find the planet’s most outstanding public art will culminate in an awards ceremony, exhibition and conference in Auckland in early July.

The 2015 International Award for Public Art (IAPA) seeks to promote and advance culturally diverse, socially responsive public art. An exhibition of case studies featuring the top 32 projects from around the world will be on display at Auckland Art Gallery during the conference, and the 2015 winner will be announced at a prize-giving dinner at the gallery on Wednesday 1 July.

Projects as diverse as a floating school in Nigeria, a restaurant serving cuisine from countries the USA is in conflict with, an experimental sexual politics initiative in India, and a post-earthquake pavilion for the people of Christchurch, represent a selection of the rich, challenging, and divergent practice of public art.

The International Award for Public Art is a biennial search for the most outstanding recent socially-engaged art projects. The inaugural award (2013) was won by Venezuelan artist and architect Alejandro Haiek Coll, co-director of design collective LabProFab, for the Tiuna el Fuerte Cultural Park project, an inventive and community focused redevelopmemt of an abandoned parking lot in Caracas.

The 2015 conference, titled Cities in a Climate of Change: Public Art and Environmental and Social Ecologies, is jointly hosted by Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland and Shandong University of Art and Design, China. Held at the University of Auckland from 1-4 July 2015, the event will bring together artists, curators, urban planners, architects and museum directors from around the world to discuss art and its relationship to urban development.

Cities in a Climate of Change will encourage dialogue about public art and the place-making practices contributing to the formation of ‘liveable cities’. Alongside keynote speakers and the inaugural IAPA winner, creators of six of the finalist projects will present and discuss their work. The conference will also include presentations on the scholarship of studio teaching, focusing on the public dimension of the built, visual, and performing arts.

Chair of the Institute for Public Art, British curator and cultural consultant Lewis Biggs comments: “Congratulations to Auckland for hosting this combined event of a Conference, Exhibition and Awards ceremony – which together focus on the power and flexibility of public art as a rapidly developing area of knowledge and expertise globally. The Institute for Public Art was founded to undertake and share research, to create a supportive network for practitioners, and to advocate public art to decision makers worldwide. Cities in a Climate of Change demonstrates how vital these motives are, and how much there is to celebrate once knowledge starts to flow from continent to continent.”

Alongside the Cities in a Climate of Change conference, Tokyo-based artist Jun Kitazawa will create a socially based public art project in central Auckland during the 2015 IAPA. Kitazawa is a Elam International Artist in Residence who has established a practice working in collaboration with local government, educational institutions, business and local communities to develop projects which relate to everyday life.

The 2015 International Award for Public Art Exhibition and Conference

For more information, visit here.

Conference: The University of Auckland (1-4 July)
Exhibition: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (27 June-6 July).
The University of Auckland’s National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries comprises the Elam School of Fine Arts, School of Architecture and Planning, the Centre for Art Studies, the School of Music and the Dance Studies Programme.

For more information, contact:

Miranda Playfair
Media Relations Adviser
National Institute of Creative Arts & Industries
The University of Auckland
Phone: +64 (9) 373 7599 ext 85029
Mobile: +64 21 063 8393

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Dispatches from Dawn in the USA | The Original Green

Dispatches from Dawn in the USA | via the Original Green
by Steve Mouzon, AIA, December 8, 2014

Steve Mouzon, AIA discusses the influence of Benjamin Franklin within the context of the release of Poor Richard, Another Almanac for Architects and Planners by Mark David Major.


“Ben Franklin was a Twitter master a quarter-millennium before the medium, as I wrote in the Foreword to Mark Major’s excellent new book Poor Richard, ANOTHER Almanac for Architects and Planners, but Franklin was also more skilled at describing true Original Green sustainability than anyone alive today. What follows are some of my favorite nuggets of Poor Richard wisdom.”

Read the full article here: Dispatches from Dawn in the USA | the Original Green | Steve Mouzon

Download the full article here: Dispatches from Dawn in the USA | the Original Green | Steve Mouzon

PoorRichardv2_FrCoverPoor Richard, Another Almanac for Architects and Planners (Volume 2)
by Mark David Major
Foreword by Steve Mouzon
140 pages with black and white illustrations.

Available in print from Amazon, CreateSpace, and other online retailers. Available on iBooks from the Apple iTunes Store andKindle in the Kindle Store.


For the best digital eBook experience, the author recommends purchasing the iBook version of the book.

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America’s Planning Schools: ‘Incest is Best’ | Planetizen

Who Teaches Planning?
by Thomas Sanchez, Planetizen, January 14, 2013

Here’s the recipe for ‘group think’ in urban planning. Images are from the Planetizen article (link below).


What role does the background of planning faculty, and the institutions from which they earned their degrees, have on the training of future planners? Tom Sanchez examines the profile of the nation’s planning faculty to help advance this discussion.

Where Planning Faculty Come From
The top ten schools produced almost half (46%) of all planning faculty (out of approximately 850 total faculty)… The top 20 schools produced nearly two-thirds of all planning faculty (63%).

Social Network of Planning Academics
Because the top 10 schools that produce planning faculty represent nearly half of all planning faculty, they also have extensive reach across accredited planning programs.  These schools currently have faculty in nearly all (about 80) planning programs.  UC Berkeley, for instance, has faculty in nearly half of all accredited planning programs…

Read the full article here: Who Teaches Planning? | Planetizen: The Urban Planning, Design, and Development Network.

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The Human Scale | Sustainable Cities Collective

Urbanism and the Most Influential Architect You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
by Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman via Sustainable Cities Collective
June 18, 2013

Interesting article about Jan Gehl and William Whyte at the Sustainable Cities Collective.


“Anthropologically this is brilliantly simple. We are social animals (animals, I say!) and we also have limits based on our physical senses. Think about your vision for a moment – how far can you see into the distance and recognize a person as someone you know? Or determine their emotional state? How about hearing? What is your most comfortable but also audible distance from another human being? Travel is affected by this as well. Think about how quickly you walk when next to a blank wall with nothing to look at. Now compare that to walking by a vibrant street scene with frequent storefronts, open doors, and street vendors! Even stairs can be scaled in such a way that they are easier for people to climb. All of this is so amazingly simple to do when you just put the emphasis on making cities for people…”

Read the full article here: Architecture and Urbanism Documentary | Sustainable Cities Collective.

You can follow Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman on Twitter @think_katrina.

Watch the trailer for The Human Scale documentary here.

You can watch some short clips from The Human Scale on YouTube here.

You can purchase or rent The Human Scale on iTunes here.

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