Institution: Illinois Institute of Technology
Department: Architecture
Degree: MS
Year: 2014
Keywords: M.S. in Architecture, July 2014
Record ID: 2025535
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10560/3366


The question about the future of our cities starts with the consideration of what kind of society we want. What role will architecture play in shaping our society and the way people live their lives? Can architecture really be a tool for other objectives? Can it be part of reactivation of the economy? The future of cities, whether they are as densely populated as the modern metropolis or more sprawled like its surroundings, need to adapt to new technologies and ways of living. We have to be aware that our cities are in constant change and development, and that their future relies on how able they are at adapting. In order to adapt, urbanism needs to step back and analyze the existing city structure, to improve it and create a more flexible environment that will adjust to the next century. The objective of this thesis is to propose a strategy that enhances sustainable development and meets the needs of today by opening a path to the future. Sustainable development is the kind of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.1 Change is occurring - society is willing to connect with the city and therefore the city must connect back. It should be the playground of young and not so young people. It is in our hands to transform the built environment and create spaces of relation in society. 1 Definition coined in the Brundtland Commission of 1972. xv However, what is really needed is to fix, re-activate, remodel and improve the existing metropolis that we already have. The objective of the thesis is to investigate the urban model of a city and how this can address the present but at the same time is flexible enough to shape the future. Opposites exist and, by definition, there is a strong connection between them. In this research I will work towards a hybrid condition of society. Why do we need to have the opposites separated? Can we bring them together, make them work and interact but at the same time maintain their identity? Can nature influence the metropolis without causing it to lose the density that characterizes it? To investigate this and find answers to the continuous evolution of society, the first studio will concentrate on the Retreat, what it is and how it works. This research will provide an abstraction of nature and Retreat in its pure simple form. I will use this abstraction by applying it to the built environment and using it to analyze and shape the metropolis. I will also observe what changes occur in the basic relationships of society. Many questions arise when an architect gets into the topic of the future city. What kind of people and cities do we want? What will make us experience the difference that we are searching for? How can public spaces be used for people to meet and connect and for culture to grow? What is the difference between metropolis and nature? These questions will guide the projects to find a coherent strategy that could be applied to different metropolitan…