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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Postgraduate Course: Cities as Creative Sites: Urban Studio (fusion online) (EFIE11033)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryEdinburgh is a site of prolific, diverse and sometimes contested cultural events and discourses. First critiquing literature and international projects around 'The Creative city', the course, envisioned as an urban studio, then explores locally based creative activities, groups and their associated place(s) in the city as a site-based case study. Group work traverses documentation in situ and remotely gathered knowledge from planning documents, media comment and creative activity narratives. Site stories and spatial studies can reveal incidents, qualities and constituents of strategic and tactical urban project negotiation and agency.

Interrogating cities as creative sites: through site-based case studies of cultural projects, events, urban spaces and discourses.
Course description It has been argued that sites are 'brought under control' for development through intervention or action being situated in a (usually professional) discourse, while other qualities and narratives are suppressed (Beauregard, in Burns and Kahn, ed. Site Matters 2020). A recent dominant discourse has concerned 'The Creative city', solidified in UNESCO's Creative City Network (UCCN, since 2004). Studying shifts from places to sites again becoming places is a way of revealing more nuanced narratives (site stories) of how creative activity is entangled with the urban (spatial studies). Case studies will accumulate into an archive that questions what makes a city, or place(s) in a city an existing, potential or redundant 'creative' site.

In the course you will assemble and evaluate site stories and spatial studies of urban creative activity - for example cases of established festivals or community arts events or proto-cultural institutions and infrastructures. You will work in groups to research, evaluate and critique an international case study (pre-intensive phase, desk based) before focusing on an Edinburgh case study (intensive phase, site based- virtual and in-situ). Groups will be formed to include remote and Edinburgh-based participants who work synchronously during the intensive phase on the locally based case study. Site knowledge is developed through the lens of both proximity of encounter (audio, visual and fieldwork documentation in situ) and remote practice (gathered knowledge from planning documents, media comment and creative activity narratives). Presentations of findings are exchanged between the site and a digital forum, with remote students presenting virtually 'on-site' and Edinburgh-based students presenting 'off-site'.

You will be introduced to the discourse of The Creative City and UCCN from academics across disciplines such as History/theory of Art and Urban Studies. Approaches to exploratory methodologies (site stories, spatial studies) will be guided by academics with practice-based expertise in Architecture, Cultural Geography, Literature Studies. The course aims to foster a critical imagination through visual experimentation and multi-media techniques. A video-making and visual documentation workshop in the intensive phase of the course will support group and individual documentation skills.

Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - Online Fusion Course Delivery Information:

The Edinburgh Futures Institute will teach this course in a way that enables online and on-campus students to study together. This approach (our 'fusion' teaching model) offers students flexible and inclusive ways to study, and the ability to choose whether to be on-campus or online at the level of the individual course. It also opens up ways for diverse groups of students to study together regardless of geographical location. To enable this, the course will use technologies to record and live-stream student and staff participation during their teaching and learning activities. Students should note that their interactions may be recorded and live-streamed. There will, however, be options to control whether or not your video and audio are enabled.

As part of your course, you will need access to a personal computing device. Unless otherwise stated activities will be web browser based and as a minimum we recommend a device with a physical keyboard and screen that can access the internet.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  4
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 18/09/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 2, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 4, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 2, Fieldwork Hours 7, Formative Assessment Hours 5, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Other Study Hours 13, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 63 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Other Study: Scheduled Group-work Hours (hybrid online/on-campus) - 13
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative Assessment:

The course will be assessed by means of the following assessment components:

1) 3-5 Minute Visual / Video Presentation (Small Group) (50%)

The presentation will elaborate on a 'site story' and spatial study of urban creative activity uncovered in local case study with recorded narrative (prepared by small teams).

2) Visual Diary (Individual) (50%)

6 visual diary entries with extended captions of max. 200 words per entry on topics and issues raised in the course, incl. Intl case study, enabling students to pursue particular interests: What makes a city an existing or potential 'creative' site?
Feedback Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.

Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.

Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

1) Presentation
- Verbal comments from educators and written structured peer review form the basis of initial response. This is consolidated in audio-recorded feedback before the end of the intensive phase. Scheduled group tutorials reflect on this which become a feed-forward event for the Edinburgh case study research and presentation in the post-intensive phase.

2) Visual Diary
- Offering verbal formative feedback (in person or remote communication).
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analyse and evaluate the relationship of a cultural/creative project, event, group with distinct place(s).
  2. Collaborative effectively with others.
  3. Use visual and multi-media communication skills in the assembly of documentation, critical analysis and presentation.
Reading List

Beauregard, Robert A. (2020) 'From Place to Site: Negotiating Narrative Complexity' and other essays in Kahn, Andrea and Burns, Carol J., eds. Site Matters. Strategies for Uncertainty Through Planning and Design, Routledge

Corner, James (2011) 'The Agency of Mapping: Speculation, Critique and Invention', Chapter 1.12 in Dodge, M., Kitchin, R., Perkins, C. The Map Reader: Theories of Mapping Practice and Cartographic Representation, Wiley

Landry, Charles (2008) The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators, Earthscan publications, 2000; 2nd ed Routledge

McLean, H (2014) Digging into the creative city: A feminist critique Antipode 46(3)

Miles, Malcolm 'A Post-Creative City?', RCCS Annual Review, 2013, Volume 5, issue 3 Article published in RCCS99 (December 2012).

Pauwels, Luc 'Visually Researching and Communicating the City: A systematic Assessment of Methods and Resources', International Journal of Communication 10, 1309- 1330

Sturglausen, Brent Introduction to 'Critical Spatial Practice Forum' Society and Space [accessed 18 may 2021]


Flew, Terry ed. (2004) Creative Industries and Urban Development. Creative Cities in the 21st century, Routledge

Gerhard, Ulrike Hoelscher, Michael and Wilson David, eds. (2017) Inequalities in Creative Cities. Issues, Approaches, Comparisons, Palgrave Macmillan US

O'Connor, J. and Gu, X. (2020) Red Creative

Radaelli, E (2019) Connecting Arts and Place

Rose, G (2015) 'Visual reserch methods in an expanded field: what next for visual research methods?' [accessed 18.05.2021]

Taylor, J. (2020) The art museum redefined

Troiani, Igea and Ewing, Suzanne eds. (2021) Visual Research Methods in Architecture, Intellect, University of Chicago Press

Zukin, Sharon (2020) The Innovation Complex: Cities, Tech and the new economy, Oxford University Press

Case Studies:

(list and references to be built up over course iterations, for instance)

798 Art Zone (Williams)
Liverpool (O'Brien)
Hudson's Yards
V&A Dundee (Ewing)
The Walking City (O'Keefe)
Cultural Creative Spaces and Cities
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills University of Edinburgh graduates draw on their initiative and experience to expand and fulfil their potential. Making the most of a confident and reflective approach, they take personal responsibility for pursuing their goals and opportunities to grow.

University of Edinburgh graduates use their highly-developed skills in research and enquiry to identify and creatively tackle problems, and to seek out opportunities for learning.

University of Edinburgh graduates use skilled communication to enhance their understanding of a topic or context and to engage effectively with others.
KeywordsCities,Creative Sites,Cultural Projects,Urban Literacy,Speculative Research Methods,Critical
Course organiserMs Suzanne Ewing
Tel: (0131 6)50 2303
Course secretaryMr David Murphy
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