Columbia University: Chao Lun Wang + David Seo - Fish Sock

Man, Machine, & the Industrial Landscape

GSAPP: Building Science & Technology Seminar

Industrialized communities are prevalent in every corner of the world today, and as a result the global population is now more urban than rural. Over the next century, existing and developing metropolises will have to reconsider traditional relationships between industrial and public territories in order to accommodate and sustain an increased level of demand for space and services.

This course examines past and present strategies of meeting the growing industrial and infrastructural demands of our society. In order to identify areas where industrial technologies and landscapes might be re-calibrated to serve future infrastructural networks, the course explores new relationships between the public, local ecology and industry. Through lectures, field trips, self-directed research and student design projects, the course helps frame an understanding of the means and methods of industrial activities ranging from mining to waste management with a focus on current and future techniques of material extraction, refinement, and redistribution.

Students produce writings and drawings analyzing and re-imagining the current state and potential futures of industrial processes and sites. Students are encouraged to use their research assignment as a way of investigating interesting and unfamiliar industrial processes, but more importantly as a means to initiate a thesis for why and how architects can influence the necessary change in structuring our growing communities.


Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm
Fresh Kills Landfill Gas Refinery
Linden GE Co-Generation Power Plant and Oil Refinery
Battery Park City Water Reuse Facility


Anastasia Cole Plakias (Brooklyn Grange Founding Partner)
Ted Nabavi (Freshkills Park Butane Refinery Plant Manager)
Anna Lindsay (GE Co-Generation Power Plant Manager)
Zachary F. Gallagher (Vice President, Natural Systems Utilities)