New LAS Course Reimagines the City Through Film and Architecture

November 4, 2013

"Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Rio: Imagination in Film and Architecture" is a new Latin American Studies (LAS) course that will be offered by Prof. Jorge Colón, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Planning, during Fall Intersession (December 16-20, 2013).

The course explores visual representation - primarily architecture, photography, and cinema - and its role in shaping urban identity. Students will compare and contrast the physical environments of three Latin American cities and the perceived organization of urban spaces as depicted by visual media. The imagined cities of Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, and Mexico City will serve as case studies. Coursework will focus on demographics, circulation and transportation, and social district making as students consider techniques for representation such as mapping, photography, film, and written narrative.

Class meetings will be organized into three daily components: lectures, workshops, and screenings. Lectures will address the various ways that cities have historically been imagined, mentally constructed, and depicted in media. During workshops, students will reconsider and re-present individual and shared urban experiences through a series of drawing and written exercises. Screenings will consist of films that depict contrasting Latin American urban environments, and that offer distinct structures for mentally organizing the city. During the final assignment, students will engage an immediate context and apply techniques for representation in the form of focused visual narratives. Daily routines, habits, and observations may form the basis for the assignment. Please note: while the emphasis of the course is on visual representation, no prior drawing or video-making experience is necessary. Non-design majors are encouraged to enroll.

For more information, see the course flyer or contact Professor Colón at