Monday, October 31, 2005

Qualifying Exams

I just got the questions for my qualifying exam. The written work is due this Thursday, with an oral defense the following Thursday. Well, in case you're wondering - and I know you are - I'm including the questions below. I mean, why start on the exam when I can just blog about it...


1. Peter Hall, in the book “Cities of Tomorrow,” states that in the U.S., social pathology has been divorced from any discussion of urban design solutions. What role could design, as conceptualized by both current and earlier generations of planners, play in addressing social problems like urban poverty and the permanent “underclass”? Discuss the various theoretical viewpoints about the role and limitations of design in addressing social problems. What are the methodological and empirical factors that complicate the attempt to use design in solving social problems? Discuss why solutions that have to do with city design are controversial. Construct a framework around which the many complexities can be organized and understood.


2. You have identified several approaches to design inquiry ­ rational models, problem solving, conversational description, abductive reasoning, sense making ­ that focus primarily on how design happens. Other normative approaches ­ classical, modernist, new urbanist ­ focus on content and form, on what should result rather than how it is designed. If your intent is to influence urban design ­ through teaching, advocating, designing, or meta-designing ­ which of the approaches to design inquiry and normative outcomes will be useful, in what ways, and why? What do we not know about any of these approaches that might be knowable and ease your task of influencing urban design? In other words, what can an urban design scholar add to what we know?


3. In addition to the scholarship on inquiry in design, which considers design as a process of inquiry, there is also a substantial body of work that is inquiry about design itself. As a complex, messy process, much of which is hidden from view, design represents a challenge for those seeking to study it. What are some of these challenges and how have they been addressed in the methods used in these studies? To illustrate how choices about methods might be made, please identify a very simple (even simplistic) question about design and discuss how you would deal with methodological choices in an empirical study of that question.

4 Comments:

Blogger Kieran Snyder said...

I'll take the exam for you for fifty bucks. :)

Tue Nov 01, 09:48:00 PM CST  
Anonymous russian woman said...

Qualifying Exams

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Wed Nov 02, 01:49:00 PM CST  
Blogger onlybrody said...

A bargain at twice the price!

Please email exam answers by 5:00pm CST. Thanks!

Thu Nov 03, 01:05:00 AM CST  
Anonymous russian girl said...

Qualifying Exams

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Thu Nov 03, 10:05:00 PM CST  

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