Introduction to Urban Design Theory

BPro UD – Research Cluster 14 (RC14)


Introduction to Urban Design Theory



Term 1

During Term 1 the focus will be on building up a theoretical background around key themes of the RC14 agenda and constructing knowledge for the first submission: the Literature Review. The students are provided at the beginning of Term 1 with a Core Reading List, which introduces the key topics of RC14. An introductory session will be dedicated to assist students in building key skills on plagiarism and reference management. Moreover, two Cross-Lectures with other clusters will explore transversal themes and key concepts across different Research Clusters (1st round of Cross-Lectures scheduled for 05 November 2020 & 2nd round of Cross-Lectures scheduled for 19 November 2020). Further, each student will be asked to propose an individual research topic for their Literature Review submission, which should be selected from the Core Reading List and will be discussed during a one-to-one tutorial. The students will then submit their Draft Literature Review (10 December 2020). Feedback on the Draft Submission will be provided in writing at the end of Term 1. Submission of Final Literature Review is currently scheduled at the beginning of Term 2 (21 January 2021).



Key Dates & Deliverables

  • Literature Review Draft Submission:
    • Deadline: Thursday 10 December 2020

Format: A min 1,000-word written essay with a bibliography and illustrations where appropriate, electronically submitted via Moodle.


  • Literature Review Final Submission:
    • Deadline: Thursday 21 January 2021

Format: A 1,500-2,500 word written essay with a bibliography and illustrations where appropriate, electronically submitted via Moodle.



Referencing Style   (EndNote – Reference Management Tool)

RC 14 Core Reading List


A) Urban


Hillier, B. (2007). Space is the Machine: A configurational theory of architecture [pp.19-38, 288313] must read

Castells, M. (2004). Space of Flows, Space of Places: Materials for a Theory of Urbanism in the Information Age must read

Kluitenberg, E. (2006). The network of waves: Living and acting in a hybrid space

Manley, E., Filomena G., Verstegen, J. (2019). A computational approach to ‘The Image of the City’

Easterling, K. (2014). Extrastatecraft: the power of infrastructure space [pp.9-21]

Sassen, S. (2012). Urbanizing Technology

Mitchell, W. (1995). City of Bits

Shepard, M. (2011). Toward the Sentient City, in Sentient city: Ubiquitous computing, architecture, and the future of urban space [pp. 16-37]  Batty, M. (2013). The new science of cities  



B) Computation


Manovich, L. (2020). Data: Representing Phenomena as Data must read

Marininc, N. (2019). Computational Models in Architecture [pp. 13-123] must read

Mitchell, M. (2019). Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans [pp. 3-26]

Turing, A. (1950). Computing Machinery and Intelligence

Bratton, B (2014) The Black Stack, e-flux Journal #53

Fry, H. (2018). Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of Algorithms

Carpo, M. (2017) The Second Digital Turn [pp. 9-98]

Galloway, A. (2004) Protocol, How Control Exists after Decentralization

Varoudis T., Penn A., (2020) Spectral Clustering and Integration: The inner dynamics of computational geometry and spatial morphology

Varoudis T., Penn A., (2019) Variational Beauty of Space: Machine Intuition and NonLinear Neural Aggregations


C) Design


Ago, V. (2019) Series and Other Unit-Based Alternatives: Notes on Contemporary Digital Operations [pp.110-117] must read

Rehm, C.(2019). Complicit: The Creation Of and Collaboration With Intelligent Machines must read

Wiscombe, T. (2014) Discreteness, or Towards a Flat Ontology of Architecture

Witt, A. (2016). Cartogramic Metamorphologies; or, Enter the RoweBot

Bottazzi, R. (2019). Crypto-architecture: Notes on Machine Learning and Design

Allen, S. (1997). From Object to Field: Field Conditions in Architecture and Urbanism

Markussen, T; Birch, T. (2006). Transforming digital architecture from virtual to neuro   Verebes, T. (2014) Masterplanning the Adaptive City, Computational Urbanism in the TwentyFirst Century [pp.141-152]