City Planner: You
building city plans to express culture
This activity provides and opportunity to apply the concepts developed in the previous models to another culture. It also is an excellent assessment tool of the techniques presented in CITY. In particular it assesses students understanding of:
The activity also provides a opportunity to assess understanding of other cultures that you may have studied. The examples given here are for Hinduism and Buddhism but could easily be adapted for other cultures.
Day 1: Hinduism
Using the Hinduism WebGate, textbooks and other materials consider the Hindu religion. Hinduism, like any religion, describes the world and explains how the world works. This is called cosmology. The Hindu cosmology explains the physical world such as the sun, stars, the elements (fire, earth, water, air, etc) and unexplainable events such as lightning, death, decomposition, etc. It also explains the relationship between the gods, humans and other creatures. Finally, cosmology explains the relationship between groups of people within the culture and why they have the positions that they do in society.
It is common for this set of ideas, a cultures cosmology, to be expressed in the cultures art and architecture. When planning cities, it is not unusual for the planners to attempt to mimic the order of the cosmology in their arrangement of the streets, buildings and public spaces that comprise the city.
Design the ideal Hindu capital. Draw a plan for the city paying attention to the arrangement of space. Remember how size and position can be used to symbolism meaning (high, low, centrality, etc.) Plainly label the structures you create, indicating the function for which each of the major buildings is intended (a library to preserve and provide knowledge, hospital to maintain health). Consider where people of different positions would live, and think about how the physical geography of the place (mountains, hills, rivers, lakes) would be employed by the planners.
Day 2: Buddhism
Buddhism was a reform movement which criticized many aspects of the existing Hindu tradition and cosmology. Buddhists, therefore, had problems with some of the common arrangements and understanding of the Hindu world. Buddhists would have been unhappy with a city planned according to the Hindu cosmology.
Using the Buddhism WebGate, textbooks and other materials, write a thorough Buddhist critique of the Hindu city plan you designed. What would Buddhists have diaapproved of in the Hindu city plan? Explain why they would not have approved. Suggest ways that the city plan could be revised to suit the Buddhists. Be specific as to why Buddhists would be opposed to particular arrangements or structures. You must prove that you understand the Buddhist philosophy by expressing Buddhist criticisms of Hinduism.
Evaluation (100 points)
(15 points) Institutions
(25 points) The Plan
(15 points) The Research
(15 points) The Design Award
(15 points) The Critic
(15 points) The Solution