TRULAB:  Laboratory for Designing Urban Transformation is an experimental practice that pursues a seemingly simple, yet powerful, question:  What can urbanism be?  Rather than focusing on how we can make urbanism somewhat better, or imitating so-called best practices, or articulating how a singular approach such as a focus on sustainability or on technology will supposedly save our cities, the book Designing Urban Transformation crafts a  profound meta-argument:  How we think about cities absolutely impacts how we design them.  The most fundamental shifts in transforming cities do not happen by tinkering around the edges, but by fundamentally rethinking processes, methods, and outcomes of urbanism. 


 

Urbanism

 . . . is city-design-and-building processes, and their spatial products, as in “Urbanism is as much about designing processes of social and political empowerment, as it is about designing systems and structures.”

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Design

. . .  is the art of creating possibilities for the use, management, and form of settlements or their significant parts.  Thus the design of cities concerns itself with human activities, institutions of control, and the three-dimensionality of objects.    

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Transformation

. . . is significant and fundamental positive change, as in “The fundamental task of urbanism should be to transform cities.”  The critical question is:  How are the three--urbanism, design, and transformation--interrelated?  The answer is more complex, surprising and powerful than one may think . . .

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