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Jon Lang, Greatest Professor in Urban Design

I met this man few months ago when I just started MUDD course in University of New South Wales Sydney. it was memorable moment. He gave us quiz and I couldn’t answer any of them. Then I laughed over loud to this old man. and he said, I don’t like people laughing at me and then he smile and said, “but I like people who try to answer the question.” Every time I laughed and this man got even angrier at me, but at the end he is always smiling.

what he taught is about how to create place for the people with his extensive knowledge of ways of thinking for not getting lost in your thinking. You have to know where your mind set  is in extensive information about urban design theories, city growth, and issues of concern that is coloring  everyday life.”You must know what you are doing” that’s what he said. Many student felt he is grumpy professor but everybody knows he is such a lovely man. He is still the admirable professor that every student will respect him.

In his world, there is no me, “never say I design. say the design proposed, because when we’re designing we are making proposal for people which based on several scenarios” he says. This view which I think is nonsense before joining MUDD because architecture plays with originality of idea which has genius loci on its context. But in several way empiricist thinking has a rational that is true to achieve certain quality of affordance.

He put the way to bring originality in rationalism and the way to look at the past in empiricism. And he is an empiricist which this world I haven’t experienced before. I learnt to deepen the strategy which is original and brings it into a way that people could understand. Like Mies van de Rohe says, “less is more”. make it simple and beautiful but like what Robert Venturi says, “less is bore”. Rational and empiricist are the two way of looking paradigm. which like we have to know which one good  is and we ought to know which one the bad is. this two way is like a contradictions like how people seeing things. He taught us about the contents of lot of beautiful cities in the world aesthetically, which part of the world is failed and which one succeeded, what the good city is. he taught us a method on looking the way around us with theoretical framework.

In his view, he has pure objective on assessing works based on each criteria. He has deep knowledge about urban design in American experience and case studies around the world. his works includes :

Urban Design: A typology of Procedures and Products. Illustrated with over 50 Case Studies, Creating Architectural Theory: The Role of the Behavioural Sciences in Environmental Design, American Experience, Designing for Human Behaviour: Architecture and the Behavioural Science , A Concise History of Modern Architecture in India, Designing for Human Behaviour.

I think today, when he retired from MUDD. I put a tribute to him, a great scholar. It wasn’t a big loss for MUDD, but Jon’s thinking will make new blossoms for his legacy. I am honoured to be taught by this person, a truly dedicative person. Thank you Jon Lang, salute!

Oleh Realrich Sjarief

Founder of RAW Architecture

8 replies on “Jon Lang, Greatest Professor in Urban Design”

Dear Professor
I’m Nastarn Abdoli 22 years old from Iran. I have already graduated in Bs of Urbanism from Uromie University and passed the master degree examination of urban design in my country by rank of 56 between more than 1000 participants. I am one the talented Iranian medical students in my university according to my professors’ opinion as well. However, I prefer to continue my education in Master degree in a developed country to experience a new professional life and use the academic experience in my passion.
On the other hand, because of financial issues I need to apply for a full fee scholarship as well. But the first step for both (admission as MS student and scholarship) is having a supervisor. As my BS project was about the sense of place, I have decided to find a potential adviser who accepts to be my adviser and guide me in this way. It would be great if you accept to be my adviser and let me to be one your hard worker MS students. I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

I am teaching Urban design in Iran.
I need some information about biography of Joony Lang in Urban Design Thories course.
I am lookin forward to hearin from you.

hi Karim, good to hear from you,
this is his email : jonl@unsw.edu.au; jon.lang ; he would love to hear your queries bout him. He is writing his new book in urban design theories about functionalism theory. Let’s see his book coming pretty soon.

I’m sorry I don’t meet him anymore because I’m teaching in UPH, Indonesia now. I used to be his student, feel free to contact him directly

I am a student from Iran. I am looking for photos of Urban Design book Chapter 9 .for example Bellevue, Theatre district and Philadelphia .If possible, I wanted to help me.
If possible, I wanted to help.
Thank you

hi i,am student from iran .i have question about definition of urban space.
When we say that public space is open space, public and social interactions performed within it.
What we mean is the open space?
In this case we will have a limited number of urban space.
for example:
The spaces such as mosques or markets, That are common in their social interactions Can not be placed in this group Because these spaces are not open.

I will be Happy if you tell me about it
Thank you so much

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