Architecture vs. Urbanism


In the week 11 lecture delivered by Professor Peter Richards, the concept of urbanism, what it is and how it differs from architecture were discussed. The discipline of urban design was introduced and the differences between urban design and architecture were highlighted. As it happens, i am studying Urban Design, (UDB368) this semester, as part of my second major, of urban and regional planning, and i found this lecture to be relevant, relate-able and useful. 

Peter highlighted key differences between architecture and urbanism, most notably the nature of the design and construction process and the scale of the projects. Architecture was described as being buildings, while urbanism was described as being places. This was a particularly engaging notion and made me think about my current design projects in both architectural design and urban design. Unique, individual and intuitive, were all words used to describe architecture, while urban design and urbanism was described as a certain type of design, collaborative, common and ultimately, a framework for others to use. This got me thinking about my current urban design project, an adult respite centre at the Riverstage, and which category my design solution fitted into. Ultimately, it seems that urban design is essentially, architecture on a larger and broader scale. It is more focused on creating spaces, than creating built forms. 

Towards the end of the lecture, Peter also explored Nolli maps, and how they highlight and marginalise certain elements of the city. He made the notion that nolli maps only display the internal floor plans of public buildings, in conjunction with outdoor spaces including public squares, and streets. As a result, a nolli map essentially displays public spaces within an urban environment, whether they be indoors or outdoors. I had never thought of a nolli map in this way, and by doing so, i have never fully appreciated their effectiveness in informing a design, or just generally in providing information about urban form of a city. 




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