LA 1001 in the news

I’ve been busy developing a new course for spring, LA 1001 Sustainability by Design: Community, Place, & Environment. Last week, there was an article in the CDES Memo written by my potential co-instructor: Sarah Wolbert (it all depends on enrollment figures if I get teaching help).

Over at MN Daily, they just published an article too. My favorite quote selected by Ashley Bray, the reporter at the MN Daily piece, is:

“It’s going to be a salad bar of sustainability and design at the University.”

We’ll see about that – I certainly will aim to be the bacon bits that tie the class together.

Part of the class will be a weekly sustainability & urbanism film series – I’m looking for good films that offer solutions, not just doom and gloom. No, I won’t be showing An Inconvenient Truth or Koyaanisqatsi.

The films I’ve picked so far include:

Carbon Nation

Cool it (if I can get a copy from my friend Ondi Timoner)

Troubled Waters -or- Flow

A few episodes from the e2 series

The Story of Stuff

The Next Industrial Revolution


and a few TED talks…

Still need a few good films about urbanism, so any suggestions?



3 thoughts on “LA 1001 in the news

  1. Sounds like a great class. I was pleased to see CDes receiving some bold headlines in the MNDaily.

    _The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces_, 1988, William H. Whyte. Founder of Project for Public Spaces opening salvo. I’ve only seen clips ( ) but it can be found in its entirety:

    _Manufactured Landscapes_, 2006–artistically achieved depiction of humans in the landscapes they have created–principally industrial. Chronicles the photography of Edward Burtynsky, visually wonderful, available from Netflix:

    Zombieland, 2009. Sincerely, zombie movies are wonderful for the passage of a few people through city spaces that are typically filled or at least designed to be filled with intentional activity. They work to reveal flaws and idiosyncrasies in urban fabric. Zombieland unlike like most has an honesty in it’s depiction of space, plus the students get Bill Murray:

    And I know you’re looking for film but, Michael Sorkin has a wonderful, hopeful and forward looking essay in last winters Harvard Design Magazine, _Eutopia Now!_. Splendid and evocative manifesto on the intent to develop ecologically informed cities–from scratch!


  2. Christopher,

    I’m currently watching Burtynski, since I use his images in many of my lectures, it would be good to show Manufactured Landscapes.

    I’m not familiar with the other two, so I’ll check them out. My preference is to use documentaries versus fiction, but zombies would be fun (or I can just show Taxi Driver).

  3. I’m not sure these following suggestions add to the notion of forward thinking, but something I have found in speaking with first-year undergrads is that the recent generations don’t really know the history of how the infrastructure we are now faced with redesigning came about. As a fan of trying not to repeat past mistakes I find history a nice starting point, so I offer:

    The fear that informed our modern cities:


    The illogical solution, escape:

    The sales pitch:

    And this is a little harder to digest being filmed sans sound in 1927. It does raise the notion of how fast “modern” transport took hold and that the transition faced no opposition which I find sociologically interesting: I suppose Old Order Amish communities do pose one faction of opposition, anyways:

    All these and more can be found at, specifically in the Prelinger Archives section:


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