Modern Architecture and Urban Planning --Syllabus

Topics: Bauhaus, Modernism, Gothic architecture Pages: 8 (2674 words) Published: October 29, 2012
ARTH 372-01 MODERN ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN PLANNING Department of Art and Art History College of William and Mary Fall 2012 M, W: 2:00 – 3:20 in 201 Andrews Prof. Sibel Z. Sayek Office: 109C Andrews Hall Hours: M, W 3:30 – 4:30 (and by appointment) E-mail: Phone: 221-2527 Course site: COURSE DESCRIPTION This course offers an overview of influential ideas and paradigmatic developments in the architecture and urbanism of the modern era from the Enlightenment (c.1750) to the 1960s. Using buildings, sites, projects, models, and exhibitions, as well as theoretical writings and manifestoes, we will examine how architects have responded to, and participated in, the broader social, technological, and aesthetic changes of the time. The focus will be on Europe and North America with references to related developments in the colonial and post-colonial worlds. A central objective of the course is to unpack what “modern” means in the context architectural and urban studies. In the first part of the course, we will address the notion of “modernity,” which encompasses all the major cultural and philosophical transformations rooted in the Enlightenment ideals of progress, scientific rationality and historical consciousness. Next, we will concentrate on the related notion of “modernization,” which covers the phenomenal social, urban and technological transformation of the world, stemming from the 19th century Industrial Revolution. Thirdly, we will examine how these developments informed “modernism,” the radical artistic and architectural currents unfolding at the turn of the century into the 20th whereby all traditional notions of aesthetics, program and production were challenged in an unprecedented way. In discussing these interwoven strands of the “modern,” the course provides a historically informed and critical understanding of modernity and its architectural/ urban expressions—a legacy that still continues to shape much of the built environment today while being continuously transformed by more recent discourses. Textbook readings will introduce some of the basic issues while primary texts (written by architects) and secondary texts will offer a number of critical and historical perspectives. Additional goals of the course include developing (1) an understanding of architecture as a unique medium with its own visual codes, spatial forms, and material structures; (2) an awareness of the larger cultural, political and intellectual contexts within which architectural forms and ideas emerge; and (3) skills as critical readers, listeners, thinkers, and researchers through response papers, exams, and a research paper.


COURSE REQUIREMENTS Regular attendance and class participation (10% of grade) Written responses to the readings on assigned discussion days (10% of grade). Term paper proposal and a final term paper OR model proposal and a model with a brief essay (35% of grade). Mid-term examination (15% of grade) and final examinations (30% of grade).

In order to pass the course you must complete all of the requirements. READINGS & WRITTEN RESPONSES Required texts: The following textbooks are available at the bookstore. Barry Bergdoll, European Architecture 1750-1890, Oxford & NY: Oxford University Press, 2000. Alan Colquhoun, Modern Architecture, Oxford & NY: Oxford University Press, 2002. Ulrichs Conrads, Programs and Manifestoes on 20th-century Architecture, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1975

All other required readings will be posted on the blackboard site ( and should be done prior to class meeting. Both the readings and the lectures will be subject to exams. Before each designated discussion day, you will be asked to post a short response (max. 300 words) to the readings on Bb. These are thought pieces, not formal papers. They are required; they will be assessed with a ‘check plus’ (A), a ‘check’ (B) or ‘check minus’ (C). These grades will be based upon...
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