History of Architecture 4 (ARCH 355)

Concepts and Forms in North American Architecture, 1922-2008

Thursday: 8:30-10:30 am
Room 212, Macdonald-Harrington Building

Wednesday discussions: 1:30-2:30 / 2:30-3:30 pm
Room 101, Macdonald-Harrington Building

Course Description and Objectives

In this fourth course in the School of Architecture’s Architectural History sequence, we will consider how concepts, ideas, materials, cultural values, forms and intentions have shaped the development of architecture in North America throughout the twentieth century. Following a trajectory of theme- and project-based lectures, we will examine both broad movements and specific case studies, with an aim to elucidating both theoretical frameworks and their physical manifestations in architecture.

A parallel intention of the course is to familiarize students with the wide body of writing that constitutes the discipline of architectural history and its discourses. Readings for both class lectures and discussion sections will be comprised of primary sources, manifestoes, architectural criticism, heritage advocacy, cultural theory, narratives, and architectural history and theory, and will explore such topics as architect-client relations, the use of new materials, and architects’ intentions.

This course interprets architecture in the largest sense: as the maker and purveyor of public and private space; as a product of local and global influences; as historically inflected and self-consciously innovative; as socially constructed and individually shaped; and as the site of material, spiritual, symbolic, and creative experience.