Contextualism, Collage City and Beyond

The global migration of Rowe’s contextual and collage ideas and concerns
especially in Latin America and Asia.


October 26 2022
2pm CET, 8am NY, 8pm CHN

Extended Poster Pdf

It seems an appropriate time to revisit Contextualism and Collage City within
the framework of GUDesign network, and the new tools of representation
available in the contemporary meta-city of information.
This initial Contextualism, Collage City and Beyond seminar will investigate
Colin Rowe’s mid-twentieth century role in appropriating Sitte’s 1890’s reaction to Von Forster’s 1860 imperial design for the Vienna Ringstrasse.
Rowe’s critical appropriation paved the way for later iterations and code shifts
that greatly expanded into a more fragmented, inclusive Collage City. It took
Rowe several iterations to develop this concept with Fred Koetter and with
his Roma Interrotta team. Hopefully, this and future seminars will explore
strength and weaknesses of the mutations of Rowe’s classical impulse as it,
in its turn, evolved with urban design into the 21st century.


  • Welcome Address: Professor Marichela Sepe, GUDesign Network Coordinator
  • Chair: Professor David Grahame Shane, Columbia University, NY.
  • Discussant: Professor Ali Madanipour, professor of urban design of Newcastle University, UK.


  • Professor Ming Tong
    from South Eastern University’s two translations of Colin Rowe’s Collage City into Chinese were Important events in the dissemination of Rowe’s ideas in Asia. Professor Ming Tong will talk about the translations and their impact on his own work and generation, as well as later generations.
  • Professor David Gouveneur
    from the landscape program of the University of Pennsylvania will describe the influence of contextualism in Latin America, using international examples as well as his studio work applying contextual techniques to the informal growth patterns and planning of self built favellas and rancheros.
  • Phd candidate Sylvie Nguyen
    will describe her study of Vietnam’s rur - urban development patterns in the Mekong Delta, under the direction of Prof. Paola Vigano at EPFL, and her recent exhibition in ‘Redesigning Deltas,’ at TU Delft. Here the context becomes an active design component in an expanded Socio-techno-ecological field, composed of a palimpsest.
  • Phd candidate Melissa Barrientos
    will talk about rapidly growing cities in Chile and potential similarities from previous processes of growth in the region. An urban morphology approach in combination with complexity science methods propose an innovative strategy to address of the phenomenon. Melissa will present this way of reading different urban fabrics in their structure using contemporary morphometrics.


This session of GUD will be published in Astragal, a new Spanish magazine edited by Professor Carlos Tapia of Seville University. For more details about the publications and informations about future call for articles please visit the website:

YouTube video part I:



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