Exploration Seminar: Asian Urbanism Taipei+Tokyo


Professor Jeff Hou

Course Description

Dense, compact, complex, and dynamic are words often used to characterize the urban landscapes of Asian cities. The fluid matrix of social life, urban spaces, and transportation networks along with proximity of activities and services clearly distinguishes the major Asian cities from their North American counterparts. The dynamism of Asian cities is best experienced on the ground with full exposure to the complex juxtaposition and overlay of movement, activities, and space.

Through walking tours and “city sketching,” this traveling seminar will engage students in a close-up examination of the urban landscapes of Taipei and Tokyo, two of the most iconic cities in East Asia. City sketching is a way of seeing, reading, interpreting, and documenting the city. Through site visits and sketching exercises, students will explore both the everyday landscapes of Tokyo and Taipei and their iconic structures and spaces.

This traveling seminar will enable students to better understand how cities in Asia support the everyday life of millions of residents and visitors; how they embody and reflect their distinct culture and subcultures; and how they function as complex systems.

Course Website