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The MUD program is regularly represented in the Sam Fox School’s annual Public Lecture Series, which brings nationally and internationally recognized architects, artists, designers, landscape architects, urban designers, historians, and critics to campus, promoting new ideas in practice, theory, and technology.

In addition, the MUD program often arranges program-specific opportunities to enrich the curricular experience, including a pair of annual workshops: Informal Cities and The Lively City.


View Recordings of Recent Lectures


Informal Cities Workshop


The annual Informal Cities Workshop provides students with an intensive, hands-on opportunity to grapple with frictions and interconnections that exist between the informal and the formal aspects of the city. It consists of a keynote lecture, which is free and open to the public, followed by a one-credit, weekend-long design charrette. Previous workshops have explored conditions in Varanasi, India; Lima, Peru; Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa; and Caracas, Venezuela.

The 2021 workshop kicked off November 12 with a public lecture by Chelina Odbert, co-founder and executive director of the community development and design nonprofit Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI).

Past Workshop Leaders

Geeta Mehta
Co-Founder, urbz: User Generated Cities
Jorge Mario Jáuregui
Founder and Project Director, Atelier Metropolitano
Kathryn Ewing
Director, Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) Programme, South Africa
Thorsten Deckler
Co-Founder, 26'10 south Architects
Heinrich Wolff
Principal, Wolff Architects
Sharif S. Kahatt
Principal Partner, K+M


The Lively City Workshop


The Lively City: Behavioral Studies & Public Space Design provides students new perspectives and skills that put people and their needs at the heart of the creative process of re-imagining and transforming cities. Concepts that connote inviting, vibrant, and stimulating urban environments—such as livability, lively cities, and public life—are frequently communicated in new visions for the future of cities, but are the most often unrealized component of design projects. This course provides the opportunity to explore these concepts and reconcile people’s often conflicting needs for privacy and social stimulation within urban areas.

Typically a one-week masterclass, The Lively City has been reconceived as a summer workshop in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summer 2021

Students participated in a virtual, immersive experience in Copenhagen (Denmark), exploring innovative techniques of remote discovery of areas such as the classic Copenhagen public space icons in the medieval city center and modern icons like Superkilen and the Bicycle Snake Bridge in the harbor. The workshop was led by Oliver Schulze of Schulze+Grassov. Special thanks to S+G’s Toby Adams for recording video footage of the up-and-coming Rentemestervej street in Nordvest with the Schulze+Grassov survey bike, and to S+G’s Krista Doersch for leading video image analysis experiments that were originally developed in marine biology to study the condition of underwater ecosystems in order to analyze the physical properties of Rentemestervej.

Summer 2020

Play video

The Lively Cities online panel discussion on July 9, 2020, marked the culmination of a weeklong workshop for MUD students led by visiting professor Oliver Schulze, partner of the Copenhagen-based studio Schulze+Grassov, and Divided City visiting lecturer Mohammed Almahmood, head of research & innovation for Schulze+Grassov, as part of the summer 2020 MUD Global Urbanism Studio.

The event featured presentations of students’ design concepts for tactical urbanism interventions in St. Louis’ Delmar Loop area, as well as responses to those ideas and discussion of where we’re headed from a panel of experts.