Urban Visions: Art, Design and Film in the Modern City

Kingston University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Urban Visions: Art, Design and Film in the Modern City

  • Host University

    Kingston University

  • Location

    London, England

  • Area of Study

    Design, Media Studies, Radio - Television - Film, Studio Art, Visual Arts

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Prior introductory study of the visual arts useful.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Content:

    This module aims to engage students with the many ways in which visual cultures of the
    modern city - and responses to them, in design, architecture, visual art, digital media and
    film - vitally determine everyday life and perceptions of the environments we inhabit.

    The module will trace the lineage of the contemporary city through a sequence of closely
    interconnecting strands examining the correlations and crossovers between visual art,
    architecture and moving-image media at pivotal moments of preoccupation with the
    urban, across a wide historical span.

    A particular emphasis is placed on vision and concepts of visuality (panoramic, the gaze,
    the glance, surveillance), and the module will invite students actively to participate in
    conceptual projects around the 'envisioning' of urban space, through readings of urban
    components such as hoardings, practices of urban engagement such as walking and

    Topics covered may include:
    ? Histories of the rise of the metropolis and its cultures, in late 19C Europe, USA
    and Asia
    ? Preoccupations with the modernist city in the media of visual art, film and
    ? The design of urban spaces as key experiential sites: hotels, cinemas, shopping
    ? Cities as power-formations and as zones of arts-inspired activism, rebellion,
    ? Writing and transiting the modern city, from Simmel and Kracauer to Debord and
    ? Seminal cities: Urban case-studies in art, design and film: for example - 1900s
    Berlin, 1920s Paris, 1950s New York, 1960s Tokyo, 1970s Los Angeles, 1990s
    London, 2010s Bangkok
    ? Moving-image forms as urban-media: city-films, digital hoardings, portable
    ? Dystopia, abandonment, depopulation, surveillance: cities as 'problems' in art,
    design and film
    ? The design of everyday life in the city and its artefacts
    ? Speed, sensation, excess, overload: art as the 'analysis' of urban perception
    ? The city as the locus of art works: performance-art in urban space, public

    Autumn semester:
    ? Envisioning the city
    ? The word on the street ? urban narratives
    ? We build this city?
    ? Art on the Underground / writing skills workshop
    ? The Artist?s City (Paris, London and the formation of the Avant-Garde)
    ? Cities, artistic disciplines, and misrecognition
    ? Cities as sites of creativity
    ? A spreading of avant-garde: Prague, Moscow
    ? Art as urban intervention: Sculpture in the city
    ? From still to moving image: the city in motion

    Spring semester:
    ? Temporal city
    ? Where is Dystopia?
    ? Brand City
    ? The city, memory and typology; Collage City; Roma Interotta
    ? The Delirious, the suburban and the Generic: Koolhaas on New York, Atlanta and
    ? The megalopolis: Asia and Africa / Doing business in the city: Koolhaas on
    Shenzen and Lagos
    ? City futures

    Teaching: Lectures, discussion-based seminars, screenings, museum visits, walks, study groups

    ? Photo essay with critical commentary (1,000 words) (20%)
    ? Group presentation based on an aspect of a particular city (30%)
    ? Research project: ?writing the modern city? (50%)
    STUDY OPTION 2 OR 3: essay (2,500 words) (tbc)

    Study Option 1 = Whole Year
    Study Option 2 = Autumn
    Study Option 3 = Spring/summer

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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