Design — at all scales — is inherently an act of storytelling. Before designers, planners and policymakers can intervene in urban space, they must learn the tools to observe and interpret urban dynamics and to create documentary evocations of existing conditions. This lecture recounts a series of field reports from the research, practice and teaching of Cassim Shepard, an urbanist who has dedicated his career to developing qualitative tools of place-based analysis and representation in multiple media, including books, films, exhibits and online journalism.
About Cassim Shepard
Cassim Shepard produces non-fiction media about cities, buildings and places. As the founding editor-in-chief of Urban Omnibus, an online publication of The Architectural League of New York, he spent six years working with hundreds of local architects, designers, artists, writers and public servants to share their stories of urban innovation, with a particular emphasis on housing, infrastructure and the changing nature of cultural institutions.
He lectures widely about the craft of visual storytelling in urban analysis and design and is a frequent moderator of panel discussions on a wide variety of urban topics. His film and video work has been screened at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Ford Foundation, and the United Nations, among many other venues around the world. His writing on urbanism has appeared in Next City, Places, Domus, Public Culture, as well as in books and catalogs documenting work by Geoff Manaugh, David Adjaye and others.
Shepard teaches in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and has been a guest lecturer in the Cities Programme of the London School of Economics and a Poiesis Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He studied filmmaking at Harvard University, urban geography at Kings College London and urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.