2021 The Principles of Sociospace

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Urban Design and Built Environment
Dohi Masato 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
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Syllabus updated
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Course description and aims

Human being is a social creature and at the same time spatial existence. We are able to describe our history as an interaction of these two aspects. To understand the contemporary society and city, the lectures give the thinking method to grasp both society and urban space.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Understand and explain the theoretical background and historical development of the interaction of society and urban space.
2) Understand and explain the processes expressed in the urban design through the interaction of society and urban space.


social space, Community design, citizen participation, urban design

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

How each class will be conducted: A lecture on a topic is provided for the first 45 minutes; and for the second half, students present their research results on the topic followed by an open discussion.
How the subject matter will be covered over the course of teaching: The course shows the theoretical and historical position of community design and the occupational ability of community designers. It discusses the challenges for community design, which is essential for the coming era.
The method of teaching: This course encourages the proactive thinking of students by combining presentations and discussions with lectures.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Orientation Understand how sociospace can be situated theoretically in the academic sphere.
Class 2 Practices of community designers: examining the academic outcomes Understand and explain how the academic intelligence on sociospace has been accumulated.
Class 3 Designing through working together: living environments and space Understand and explain the influence of working together on people’s living environments and space.
Class 4 Designing through working together: sharing a language with the government sector Understand and explain how to translate the government sector language into something that can be applied to living environments: an ability which is necessary for working together under community design.
Class 5 The recent history of citizen participation in Japan Understand and explain the history of citizen participation that enabled community design after the 1980s.
Class 6 Challenges for citizen participation in Japan Understand and explain the current challenges of citizen participation that has social and spatial limitations, as well as the ways to overcome those challenges.
Class 7 The urban design produced through sociospace design Understand and explain the role of comprehensive socio-spatial designs.
Class 8 Summary Understand and explain the processes by which community design through citizen participation is expressed in the urban design.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Hester, R. T. and Dohi, M. (1997) “Machizukuri no hoho to gijutsu [The methods and techniques of community design]”, Gendai Kikakushitsu

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Course materials are distributed as necessary.

Assessment criteria and methods

Students are required to do a research presentation and submit a report. Both presentations and reports are marked out of 100 with 25 for the degree of understanding, 25 for the knowledge, 25 for the ability of structuring the report, and the final 25 for the ability of expressing the idea.

Related courses

  • ARC.P302 : Landscape Architecture
  • ARC.P204 : Introduction to Urban Study
  • UDE.D410 : The Principles of Community Design
  • UDE.D403 : Theories of Urban and Community Design
  • UDE.D449 : Landscape Design Studio Ⅱ

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

None required.

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