Urban Agent Boot Camps

CAUI’s Urban Agent Boot Camps aim to develop interdisciplinary knowledge and techniques necessary for public engagement or civic practice — skills not typically taught within schools of architecture or other departments at Princeton. The boot camp model is designed to create an intensive experience accessible to students and faculty in the School of Architecture and across the University.

March 1st: Radical Cartography with Philippe Rekacewicz
9:00am-4:20pm at School of Architecture, South Gallery

There is no such thing as an innocent map. Cartography has long been torn between science and art, a dispute that has never been solved because of the complexity of what a map really is: it uses data that has to be handled scientifically while using norms, forms, colors, movements, and other artistic means. At the same time, the creation of maps is impacted by how cartographers see, understand, and interpret the world. In this respect, the map is fundamentally a political object. Workshop participants will be asked to draw a map that represents their personal "identity card/map," or their perception of the world/urban environment. The objective is to enable participants to become familiar with the cartographic creation process by choosing not to map traditional socio-economic indicators (GDP per inhabitant and country, infant mortality, etc.) but more personal and emotional data.

Philippe Rekacewicz is a cartographer and information designer. A specialist in geopolitics and international relations, he addresses topics linked to migrations, refugees and populations’ forced displacements, as well as frontiers. Rekacewicz is the current editor of Visioncarto, a research blog on mapping and visualization.

March 8th: Storytelling for Influence with Second City
9:00am-4:20pm at Lewis Arts Complex CoLab, 120 Alexander Street

This workshop aims to help participants create an environment that promotes innovation and inclusion. Being mindful and alert and activating the “I’ve got your back” mentality creates a culture of teamwork and shared goals. When you make people laugh, you make people think – and when people are thinking more clearly about a topic, they’re more likely to act appropriately when it counts. Process frameworks and organized methodology are not enough to keep up with the impact of rapidly changing industries, market landscapes, product developments, and customer expectations. The workshop will create loud group mindfulness while also building vital skillsets in a way that allows participants to be more empowering, agile, authentic, and more effective communicators. Some of the workshop's areas of focus will include storytelling, empathy, building rapport, and mindset.

Second City Works workshops provide a level of fun not often associated with talent development and team building activities (ZERO trust falls, we promise). The tone is conversational, playful, and light. Through this experience, they practice the fundamental skills that have created the entertainment world’s most beloved collaborators – and show how it can be applied to modern business challenges.

Apply by February 27.

April 26th: Urban Exploration with Helene Koch
The term "urban exploration" is often associated with the documentation of abandoned industrial buildings or city landmarks by means of trespassing or challenging encounters with scenarios normally closed to the public. This boot camp encourages students to engage the discipline of urban exploration with an approach that seeks to portray neglected locations of mundane, everyday life and leftover settings in an urban scenery as it plays out right in front of us. A telling photograph often drives from the ability to be observant. Staying observant and investing the necessary time to capture the essence of a given situation is one of the key elements of this boot camp.

Helene Koch works in installation and photography. She examines the surrounding space as a premise for her interventions, exploring the boundaries between architecture, art, and landscape. In 2017, her work “Canvas in Thames,” part of the series “Investigating Space / Occupying Place,” was selected for the Saatchi Screen Project from Saatchi Gallery in London.

Please direct questions about the Urban Agent Boot Camps to caui@princeton.edu.

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Image courtesy Philippe Rekacewicz
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Image courtesy The Second City Works
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Image courtesy Helene Koch