Design, Urban Political Ecologies, and Environmental Justice

The course helps build a vocabulary to study environment and sustainability as disputed terrains between technological fixes and issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and colonial status.

Students explore cross-disciplinary approaches to design, environmental justice, and urban political ecologies, drawing on debates from architecture and urbanism, anthropology, ethnic and queer studies, and new materialist feminism. The additional lens of Southern cities reveals how unsustainable the cultural structure of modernity is. For some populations (e.g., indigenous people), sustainability is about defending a whole way of life.

Throughout the course, we investigate how these debates relate to designers and other citizens’ efforts to create a more environmentally, culturally, and socially sustainable built environment.