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What is architecture? Built form? Object? Space? How do we think about architecture as we move around, within, and through it? What can architecture tell us not only about material, design, and engineering, but also about the individuals, groups, and communities who make it? These inquiries provide the starting points for thinking about what architecture means as concept, space, and practice, and how it affects the ways in which human beings experience the world. As the primary mode through which we organize our lived reality, architecture not only channels human behavior into specific repertoires of action and reaction but also symbolizes beliefs, value systems, and ideas about the self, gender, nation, race/ethnicity, community, life, death, and the transcendent. Such themes, thus, constitute the critical lenses that students will use over the course of the semester to unpack how structural form has and continues to define the human condition in the broadest sense. Drawing from a variety of texts and examples that emphasize the diversity and complexity of architectonic traditions around the world, this course will analyze how individuals have employed architectural strategies to solve the problems of living within diverse contexts and how such spaces not only provide meaning in everyday life but also actively and dynamically order the world as space, object, environment, text, process, and symbol.
Format: lecture; Remote
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
weekly discussion question submissions on GLOW, weekly written responses to class prompts, 1 individual presentation per student, group class projects
First / second years and senior art majors who need a 100-level course to fulfill their major requirements
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course fulfills DPE requirements in two ways. First, it unsettles established presuppositions, biases, and predispositions that have positioned the "West" as "best" in canons of architectural history. Secondly, it explores how architecture - past and present - communicates, supports, and/or resists hierarchies of power and socio-political influence in society by acting as modes of propaganda, tools of imperialism, sites of resistance, and/or spaces of affirmation.