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ARTH 420
Architecture and Sustainability in a Global World Fall 2020
Division I Writing Skills
Cross-listed ARTH 420 / GBST 420 / ENVI 420

Class Details

What does it mean to create a sustainable built environment? What do such environments look like? Do they look the same for different people across different times and spaces? This course takes these questions as starting points in exploring the concept of architectural sustainability, defined as “minimizing the negative impact of built form on the surrounding landscape,” and how this concept can be interpreted not only from an environmental point of view, but from cultural, political, and social perspectives as well. Over the course of the class, students will explore different conceptualizations of sustainability and how these conceptualizations take form in built environments in response to the cultural identities, political agendas, social norms, gender roles, and religious values circulating in society at any given moment. In recognizing the relationship between the way things are constructed (technique of assembly, technology, materials, process) and the deeper meanings behind the structural languages deployed, students will come to understand sustainability as a fundamentally context-specific ideal, and its manifestation within the architectural environment as a mode of producing dialogues about the anticipated futures of both cultural and architectural worlds.
The Class: Format: seminar; This course will be taught in a hybrid mode, with both online (lecture) and in-person (discussion) elements.
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 2916
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly reading discussion question posts on GLOW, leading class discussions, and a final project/paper (15-20 pages) with presentation
Prerequisites: none, although a course in art/architectural history or environmental studies would be advantageous
Enrollment Preferences: Art History majors, Environmental Studies majors, History and Studio majors
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ARTH 420 Division I GBST 420 Division II ENVI 420 Division I
WS Notes: This course develops writing proficiency using a series of sequenced assignments that culminate with the formation of a well-articulated, compelling final project. Students will receive extensive feedback on these assignments via a progression-oriented evaluative system that involves both instructor and peer feedback, and will take part in a writing seminar towards gaining the necessary tools for drafting work, formulating ideas, organizing sections, and crafting an abstract.
Attributes: ENVI Humanities, Arts + Social Science Electives

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