5.0 Big Plans

Constrained between the false modesties of public policy and professional decorum, the disciplines of architecture and urbanism have shrunk from their obligation to think big. But in this bearish intellectual climate and bullish neo-liberal economy, both of which pay homage to the recent cult of "self-organization," one form of research at the School is to rethink the projective ambitions of the plan, a century after Burnham and Bennett's 1909 Plan for Chicago.

When deployed creatively, architecture and urbanism are two of the most powerful tools available to remake the world as an artifact of our desires, ethics, and ideologies. A forty-year history of refusing this potential has made the world a poorer place, one that inhibits the ability to develop alternative ways of associating with others, managing material and ecological flows, and organizing the spaces and stuff of our various passions and pleasures.

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