AR-401(ah) / 12 crédits

Enseignant: Malterre-Barthes Charlotte

Langue: Anglais

Withdrawal: It is not allowed to withdraw from this subject after the registration deadline.

Remark: Inscription faite par la section


"To be useful, helpful, of assistance to someone:" The "In Service Of: Marseille" studio reflects on the architectural project as a form of public service. It explores how architecture and design can assist activist communities engaged in spatial struggles.


Teaching Format:

Depending on enrollment, students will work in groups of two/three after the first week. Each desk crit will require the attendance of at least (2) student groups for peer-to-peer feedback. Desk crits will happen on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. All group attendance is required for episode reviews, guest lectures, mid-term and final reviews. Note that some lectures may be online.

Course Description

"The uncanny that disturbs the critical going on above it, the professional going on without it, the uncanny that one can sense in prophecy, the strangely known moment, the gathering content, of a cadence, and the uncanny that one can sense in cooperation, the secret once called solidarity."

Ruth Wilson Gilmore, in Stefano Harney, The Undercommons : Fugitive Planning & Black Study, ed. Fred Moten, Fugitive Planning & Black Study (New York,Port Watson: Minor Compositions, 2013), 42.

Architecture and design are powerful tools to conjure, materialize and unlock horizons. But who has access to and can afford design?'In Service of:...' is a studio series that seeks to redress uneven access to design and to planning literacy by the majority. To do so, it places architecture as a tool at the service of a place, a population, a narrative, in order to benefit the common good. In this class, we will seek to deploy architecture processes "with values and interests different from those of capital." In that sense, 'In Service Of:..' conducts a reflection on architecture as a form of public service. Seeking to 'detoxifying narratives' around architecture and urban design, there shall be no claim of righteousness, but instead an attempt to learn and unlearn from the sites and the people encountered. Architects can no longer claim to be "the bearers of a compass" or of any absolute truth, and 'expertise' a highly contentious term. Through a comprehensive exploration of the forces (i.e., social, legal, political, economic, cultural, environmental) that generate and control space at first, and then diving into the selected contentious sites, the studio seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the reciprocal relationship between architecture and community, recognizing the potential for design to foster social cohesion, enhance well-being, and contribute to the overall betterment of society. The studio will also conduct a reflection on its own format, to question architecture attachment to solutionism, the expectation to 'fix problems' and other tropes that have conducted to socially and spatially unjust developments, such as the massive Euromediterannée project in Marseille. It also seeks to produce works that have utility for active local groups engaged in struggles against gentrification, state violence and expropriation strategies, and unsafe housing to name a few of the questions faced by inhabitants of Marseille. By focusing on the idea of being useful without romanticizing the task, this design studio seeks to articulate an agenda for a self-critical architecture with a heightened sense of responsibility and a commitment to creating spaces that truly serve the needs of the people.


Marseille is the setting for the "In Service Of:..." first design studio because of its historical and ongoing position as a rebel city, which had belligerently addressed official powers, urban challenges, and is home to active communities and political engagement.


A 4-days excursion will take us on-site (date TBD).


This studio is based on a conception of urban design as a multidimensional trans-scalar discipline. Not only political, economic, social, cultural, and geo-tectonic forces affect and shape the built environment at the global scale, at the territorial and landscape scale, at the neighborhood and urban scale, down to the architectural and material scale- and to the body, but space and its arrangements have a reciprocating effect on these forces, humans, and non-humans acting upon them. We will design within these gradations, positing that each constituent scale is distinct and can be considered on its own, yet the piece as a whole is only complete with each scale, resulting in the sum of all the small scales producing a large-scale total.[2] We will also think around temporal scales to challenge "impatient capital" as it dictates architectural, urban, and landscape projects for immediacy, exploring seemingly contradictory notions of ephemeral and impermanent, durable, and longevity as frameworks for operation.

  1. Pedro Fiori Arantes, The Rent of Form: Architecture and Labor in the Digital Age, ed. Adriana Kauffmann et al. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019), 152

  2. Donna Haraway, "Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective," Feminist Studies 14, no. 3 (1988)

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:

  • Critique a specific project brief and a specific context and respond with a meaningful data-driven design concept.
  • Translate a data-driven design concept into meaningful architectural and/or urban propositions at appropriate scales and levels of granularity.
  • Produce coherent architectural representations and models at sufficient levels of detail.
  • Formulate the morphogenetic narrative and create convincing arguments for the design propositions.
  • Develop Develop convincing final diagrams, drawings, renderings, simulations, physical and digital models.

Teaching methods


Choreographed by episodes that set the tone both graphically and politically- (i.e. templates, graphic standards, references), exploring actors and forces, resistant schemes and spatial programs, researching the site and entering in dialogue with local actors and topics, to ultimately draft and draw our field of action, the studio articulates the design project as the product of cultural, social, economic, and political mechanisms imagining a promising and emancipated future. Episodes 1 & 2 are based on a take-give logic, where examples are handed over and students provide others to expand the conversation and everyone's knowledge. Episodes are paced across the semester with a counter-crescendo, first rapid and later slowing down to let the project emerge.

Expected student activities

Goals/ Learning Outcomes

The studio's goal is to articulate questions about design's role in inventing futures liberated from the debilitating inert structures we find ourselves entrenched in, facing social and climate crises, to start articulating an understanding of practices that are truly at the service of people. We will attempt to deploy the skills and organizing abilities of designers to think about new constructions of emancipated practices. We shall develop abilities to think critically about the status quo while developing ways of engaging with the built and the unbuilt environment, pushing forward forms of spatial practice. For that, we will develop literacy in policy, economy, technology, intersectional activism, care, preservation, etc. borrowing from other disciplines, and learning to doubt, while staying hopeful as we help planning disciplines to pivot toward becoming better practices of stewardship.

Assessment methods


The grading will be based on the consistent engagement and learning/unlearning curve of the students with each episode in the Studio. The grades will be proportionately distributed over the episodes listed as follows. The studio relies on self-assesment questionnaire to help the grading.

  • Episode 01: 15 %
  • Episode 02: 15 %
  • Episode 03: 20 %
  • Episode 04: 50 %




Office hours Yes
Assistants Yes


Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)



  • Abdelmalek Sayad, Jean-Jacques Jordi, Emile Temime. 1989. Migrances, Histoire des migrations à Marseille. Marseille: Edisud.
  • Atelier du Patrimonie. Marseille. 1981. Le Bâti Ancien de Marseille.
  • Angelil, M., Malterre-Barthes, C., Something Fantastic, (2020). Migrant Marseille: Architectures of Social Segregation and Urban Inclusivity. Ruby Press.
  • Angelil, Marc M., Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Joseph Briaud, and Something Fantastic. Immigration Et Ségrégation Spatiale : L'exemple De Marseille. Marseille: Editions Parenthèses, 2022.
  • Bertoncello, Brigitte., and Jérôme Dubois. 2010. Marseille, Euroméditerranée: Accélérateur de Métropole. Marseille: Parenthèses.
  • Bertoncello, B., Dubois, J. et Rodrigues-Malta, R. "Opération Euroméditerranée, Une Affaire d'État." Plateforme d'Observation des Projets et Stratégies Urbaines, 2009.
  • Bertoncello, Brigitte, and Rachel Rodrigues-Malta. 2003. "Marseille versus Euroméditerranée / Marseille versus the Euromediterranean." Annales de Géographie 112 (632): 424-36.
  • Beschon, Marie. 2019. "Euroméditerranée Ou La Ville de Papier: Ethnographie Du Monde Des Aménageurs." These de doctorat, Paris, EHESS.
  • Bonduel, Ludovic. "Gentrification Policies and Urban Protests in Marseille." In, 2020. Rome: LUISS, 2019.
  • Bonillo, Jean-Lucien, and René Borruey. 1988. Atlas (L') des formes urbaines de Marseille; Volume 1: les types.
  • Bonillo, Jean-Lucien, Borruey René, Espinas Jean-Denis, Picon Antoine. Marseille, Ville Et Port. Marseille: Parenthèses, 1992.
  • Bonjour, Karine. Rue D'aubagne : Rècit d'Une Rupture. Marseille: Parenthèses, 2019.
  • Centi, César, and Priscilla De Roo. 2020. "Marseille." Multitudes (Paris, France) n°81 (4): 5.
  • Crane, Sheila. 2011. Mediterranean Crossroads: Marseille and Modern Architecture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Direch-Slimani, Le Houérou. 2002. Les comoriens à Marseille. D'une mémoire à l'autre. Paris: Autrement coll. Français d'ici peuple d'ailleurs.
  • Drocourt, Daniel, and Atelier du patrimoine de la ville de Marseille. 1987. Architectures historiques à Marseille: Éléments de l'Habitat Ancien. Aix-en-Provence: Edisud.
  • Dubois, Jérôme, and Maurice Olive. "Euroméditerranée : Négociations à Tous Les Étages. État, Promoteurs et Propriétaires Dans Une Ville En Crise." Les Annales de la Recherche Urbaine, (2004): 102-111.
  • Durousseau, Thierry. "Notices Monographiques Des 80 Ensembles et Résidences Étudiés." In Marseille, ensembles et résidences de la période 1955/1975, edited by Ministère de la Culture. Marseille: Drac Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur 2020.
  • Firebrace, William. 2010. Marseille Mix. London: AA Publications.
  • Freychet, Julie, Marine Garand, Anansa Gauberti, Florence Martin. "Les Grands Ensembles Dans Le Territoire Métropolitain." In Ville et Territoires. Marseille: École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Marseille, 2014.
  • Godard, Pierre., and André. Donzel. 2014. Éboueurs de Marseille: entre luttes syndicales et pratiques municipales. Paris: Syllepse.
  • Izzo, Jean-Claude. 1995. Total Khéops. Paris: Gallimard Série Noire.
  • Langevin, Philippe., and Jean-Claude. Juan. 2007. Marseille: Une métropole entre Europe et Méditerranée. Paris: La Documentation française.
  • Le Monde Diplomatique. 2006. "Banlieues, Trente Ans d'Histoire et De Révoltes," September 18, 2006.
  • Londres, Albert, d. 1932. 1927. Marseille, porte du Sud. France: Les Éditions de France, c1927.
  • McCoy, Alfred W., Jacques Schmitt, Régina. Langer, and Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. 1999. Marseille Sur Héroïne: les beaux jours de la French Connection, 1945-1975. Paris: l'Esprit frappeur.
  • Peraldi, Michel, Claire Duport, and Michel Samson. Sociologie De Marseille. Paris: La Découverte, 2015.
  • Pinson, Gilles. 2002. "Projets et pouvoirs dans les villes européennes. Une comparaison de Marseille, Venise, Nantes et Turin."
  • Pujol, Philippe. La Fabrique Du Monstre. 10 Ans D'immersion Dans Les Quartiers Nord De Marseille, La Zone La Plus Pauvre D'europe. Paris: Les Arénes, 2015.
  • Roncayolo, Marcel. 2002. Lectures de villes: formes et temps. Marseille: Parenthèses.
  • Roncayolo, Marcel, Verdeil Eric. L'imaginaire de Marseille: Port, Ville, Pôle? Lyon, France: ENS Éditions, 2014.
  • Sézérat, Laurine. 2020. "Contester Malgré Soi, En Soi et Pour Soi: L'habiter Face à La 'Revitalisation' Des Quartiers Centro-Portuaires. Rio de Janeiro et Marseille." Paris 8: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro & the University of Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis.
  • Tirone, L. 1991. "Marseille en 1990, crises et métamorphoses." Méditerranée (Aix-en-Provence, France), no. 2-3: 59-65.

Dans les plans d'études

  • Semestre: Automne
  • Forme de l'examen: Pendant le semestre (session d'hiver)
  • Matière examinée: Théorie et critique du projet MA1 (Malterre-Barthes)
  • Cours: 2 Heure(s) hebdo x 14 semaines
  • Projet: 4 Heure(s) hebdo x 14 semaines
  • Type: obligatoire
  • Semestre: Automne
  • Forme de l'examen: Pendant le semestre (session d'hiver)
  • Matière examinée: Théorie et critique du projet MA1 (Malterre-Barthes)
  • Cours: 2 Heure(s) hebdo x 14 semaines
  • Projet: 4 Heure(s) hebdo x 14 semaines
  • Type: obligatoire
  • Semestre: Automne
  • Forme de l'examen: Pendant le semestre (session d'hiver)
  • Matière examinée: Théorie et critique du projet MA1 (Malterre-Barthes)
  • Cours: 2 Heure(s) hebdo x 14 semaines
  • Projet: 4 Heure(s) hebdo x 14 semaines
  • Type: optionnel

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