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ARCH UN3117 Modern Architecture in the World. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Designed for but not limited to sophomores; enrollment beyond 60 at the discretion of the instructor.

How has architecture been “modern”? This course will introduce students to things, practices, figures, and ideas behind this contentious and contradictory concept, emerging in multiple locations around the world. Students in this course will learn about architecture as it was practiced, taught, thought, and experienced across landscapes of social and cultural difference during the past two centuries. Learning about the past through historical consciousness around architecture and investigating the history of architecture as a discursive field are fundamental to liberal arts thinking generally, and important for students in architecture, the history and theory of architecture, art history, and urban studies.Students in this course will be introduced to:

Architecture as enmeshed with other forms of cultural production

Culturally-specific intellectual and public debates around the architectural and urban

Makers, thinkers, and organizers of the designed or built environment

Geographies, territories, and mobilities associated with architecture as an end or means for material extraction, refinement, trade, labor, and construction

Sites, institutions, media, events, and practices which have come to hold meaning 

Modernity, modernism, and modernization in relation to each other, as social, cultural, and technological drivers holding stakes for past events as well their histories.

In this course, we will ask questions about ideas and practices within disparate socially-and culturally-constructed worlds, and across other asymmetries. For example, can we draw a coherent historical thread through Lisbon in 1755, Bombay in 1854, Moscow in 1917, the moon in 1969, and al-Za’atari refugee camp in 2016? Are such narratives of coherence themselves the trace of the modernist impulse in architectural history? In this course, we will study modern architecture’s references to an art of building as well the metaphors it gives rise to. Embedded in this examination are social and cultural questions of who made and thought modern architecture, and aesthetic and historical questions around the figure of the architect.