We use the term “ad hoc urbanism” as a way to interpret and construct our understanding of the urban landscapes as the outcomes of our individual and collective adaptations. The purpose for creating the Guidebook is to bring attention to aspects of our everyday environment that are important parts of the urban experiences but are often neglected by mainstream design discourses.
This Guidebook is the final project of Professor Jeff Hou's Landscape Urbanism class of the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Washington's College of Built Environments.
In this class students examine the multiple and competing forces that influence the making of urban landscapes. It addresses urban design from a landscape perspective that views the urban environment as a continuum of movements, processes, and change. In examining the multiple forces shaping urban forms and processes, it investigates different paradigms and visions of cities, contestations of meanings and understandings, the social and political process of placemaking, and phenomenology and imaginaries of cities. Cases around the world including the U.S., Pacific Rim, Europe and Latin America are introduced to contrast and compare design practice with the everyday realities of urban landscape. While exploring the broader contexts of urban processes, the course also explores specific design strategies and devices that could begin to negotiate the competing social and spatial forces in urban landscapes.