Utile Institute


I haven’t found the right template for the Institute yet, but here are the two examples we batted around last night:

Eisenman + Gandelsonas’ baby, the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies / NY had a good run – 1967-84 – and they managed to attract the coolest designers and thinkers in NY (read: their friends) to teach at their non-accredited think tank.  Very theoretical, heady stuff.  Probably fun, probably not that lucrative (if we’re being crass about it).

Urban Design London is much more municipally-linked than I first realized; it’s basically funded by the City (plus the tuitions they bring in).  I like the fact that it is highly practical, and that the master classes are a mix of some standard fare with some pet themes suggested by the instructors. 

I’ll keep thinking about it.


7 thoughts on “Utile Institute

  1. The more I think about this, the more I love the idea. There may not be a "right" template for us to look at either. We have wholly unique parameters that we’d be operating within, demanding a unique solution. A couple things that do seem clear to me: The Institute would be a separate, non-profit division (it’s own 501(c)3. (Finally Tim!) It would be the incubator for our growing mass of non-billable agendas; our Think Tank or R&D lab. All class revenue would go toward publishing our entrepreneurial sideline work, whether papers, books, atlases, maps, or other. I’ll keep thinking too CC. My mind’s already solving scheduling logistics when it should be thinking about a mission statement! -Billy

  2. Utile: The Institute of Practical Design TheorySome initial seminar ideas: Graphic Design Theory and Methodologies for Architects. Co-taught by Crawford, Sullivan, and Genter The seminar will focus on those aspects of graphic design typically embedded within creative architectural practice. Issues to cover include proposals, PowerPoint presentations, brochures, and information design. The course will include strategies for setting up InDesign template, a workable theory of fonts, the Dos and Don’ts of slide presenations, layout strategies and the mechanics of on-line self-publishing. The instructors will also suggest several off-the-self blog and website software approaches. Several architecture and design firms will serve as case studies including OMA, Pentagram, and IDEO. The course is ideal for marketing directors trained in graphic design, architects with an interest in the larger publishing apparatus of leading-edge firms, and architects interested in exploring the mostly unexplored territory of multi-disciplinary design practices.New Directions in Urban Design: The New Urbanists vs. the Dutch. Taught by Love and othersToo much debate is focused on the ideology and design outcome of the New Urbanists on the one hand and the Dutch on the other. But what really matters in terms of practice (and theory) are the precise methodologies both schools of thought deploy to collect and sort the program brief and provide solutions. Central to our analysis will be the framework within which input is received and decisions are made (Open charrettes for New Urbanists, brain-storming sessions in the atelier for the Dutch) and the precise representational techniques that are used to both test ideas as they unfold and then present them to project stakeholders. As a result, the course will deconstruct the project process timeline of both methodologies and will look at specific representational techniques from case study projects. The instructors will also discuss strategies for incorporating BIM into urban design and the overlap between urban designers and the real estate development consultants around issues of design methodology. This course is ideal for urban designers, architects, and master plan development project managers that have been using a tried-and-true approach and are interested in learning about and applying new and innovative methodologies.The seminars are four sessions long @ 2 hours and will be held at Utile between Noon and 2 PM. Maximum enrollment is 25 people and the cost of the course is $750. A list of resources and an image file library is included with each course.Let me know what you think.

  3. Would love to teach something in this—another idea would be to get a publishing deal such as the BASICS series from Birkhauser. Though I think the key is to reaach out to cross-institutional players, and to find space outside of Utile (free and or low-lease) that could be cheaply/nicely fit out…

  4. But the office is perfectly located to get the maximum number of people to attend at lunchtime. Would a two-hour meeting once a week be too disruptive?

  5. The office does seem right for this kind of thing… PK to me seems less effective as a model—it operates in distraction and as distraction. I would think that these sessions would need to be focused (maybe it’s an inversion of the PK model…?)

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