Perceptions of Architecture
(Required history/theory lecture)
Perceiving architecture involves the interpretation of optical imagery into a conception of space, which is subject to a perpetual reading of abstract meanings related to the city, nature, technology and culture. This is to say that the “perception of architecture” is more complex than simply seeing built form or the drawings used to represent building production; it involves a critical examination of human experience through prevailing modes of architectural convention. Together these conditions constitute a responsive body of knowledge that operates as the context for the perceiving subject, and as a constant basis for interpretive analysis and verbal discussion. By concentrating on modern buildings of high sensory and intellectual impact, studied along with a sequence of critical texts written by a range of architects, historians, philosophers and socio-cultural theorists, this class will explore the development of the discipline of architecture during the twentieth century and beyond.
City, Landscape, and Ecology
(Post-1750 history/theory lecture)
City, Landscape, Ecology is a thematically driven course that examines issues and polemics related to urbanization, land settlement and ecology over the past two centuries. The course is made up of discussion sessions and lectures. The purpose is to better understand the role urban, territorial and ecological organization plays in the construction of social practices, human subjectivities, and technologies of power.
Urban Praxis: A History of Social Theory in Architecture
This course is organized as a survey of topics in social philosophy and urban development, offering a broad-stroke depiction of the theoretical landscape within urban thinking and city making. The course begins with a premise that there is no urban action without politics, no practice without opinion, and no design without agenda. Thus, while individual topics can receive little more than a week’s attention within the semester, each will be discussed via analytical comparison between the writing of social thinkers and the propositions of architects and urban designers.