DSD MSc 2 - Architecture Theory Thesis
- Course Code: AR2AT030
- ECTS: 6
- Course Type: Theory Thesis
- Course coordinator: D Hauptmann
We believe that it is important for any student with a Master degree in Architecture to understand the theoretical history of a culture, a society in which their own contribution to architecture, both as a practice and a discourse, will inevitably be situated. How is it possible to claim to produce work that holds significance without holding a position towards that work within a broader socio-cultural milieu?
Students producing an Architecture Theory Essay must have a specific interest in delving into the history of the thought models and intellectual conditions that underpin the emergence of concepts and ideas within a field of cultural production. In terms of architecture, this filed can include such things as, art, science, technology and philosophy, as well as politics, economics and geography.
- The DSD offers two general areas of research: Geo-politics, economics and society: forces and forms of power impacting the built environment.
- Matter and Image in Architecture: means and techniques of production.
The DSD will hold a series of lectures on the above topics as well as provide seminars on ‘Thesis writing' to provide students with a foundation which will help to ensure they have both the necessary knowledge and skills to complete the thesis in one semester.
There are two paths into the Architecture Theory Thesis course:
- Students with specific interest in one of the above topics can submit a proposal and a brief comment on their motivation to the DSD so that we can determine the viability of the proposal.
- Students following certain MSc2 design studios will be offered the possibility to enroll in the Theory Thesis in lieu of the History Thesis. These studios will communicate this in their respective study guide descriptions.
DSD MSc 2 - Philosophy of the Image and Architecture
- Course Code: AR2AT040
- ECTS: 3
- Course Type: Lecture Serie.
- Course coordinator: P Healy.
The Philosophy of Image and Architecture lectures will addresses issues upon which questions of drawing, media and image production within Architecture, Urbanism, Art and Film are based.
The material for discussion in these lectures will provide for theoretical and philosophical reflection on 'image' and the relation of architecture to media involved with image production and its implication for present and future practice
The first part of the seminar will present the phenomenology of seeing for archaic art and practise.
The question of how the Ancients viewed art works and evaluated them, the significance of such discussion in the practise of architecture, and the relation of this to philosophical discussion will also be presented
Thus Plato's various reflections on the image, and the model, the ideal, will be a crucial topic, and the argument for mimesis that ensued, both in Plato's work, and in Aristotle
For late antique evidence we will examine the consequences of philosophical research, mostly Stoical, for the practise of art, architecture, and reflections on image making
For medieval evidence we will look at the conception of religious art, and current research; a reading of Panofsky's work Gothic Art and Scholasticism will supplement this.
For the Renaissance period we will look exclusively at Vasari.
The lectures will scrutinise the nature of image, text and reproduction for architectural practise, and its subsequent development in the Baroque, down to the end of the 18th century.
For the 19th and 20th century, the relation between image, photography, cinema and architecture will be discussed using Walter Benjamin's late research's on Paris as Capital of the 20th century, in his analysis of technology and seeing for the development of modern architecture.
Students will be required to submit an extended essay as part of the course requirements.
DSD MSc2 - New Urban Questions or Minor Infractions
Course Code: AR3AT060
Course Type: Lecture Series
Course Coordinator: Heidi Sohn
In this weekly lecture series we will explore the new urban questions that spring from and surround contemporary debates on architecture, urbanism, and the spatial disciplines, critically questioning the contemporary situation of urban environments as the locust of diverse epistemologies of space. Each week expert guest speakers and researchers will present specific case studies, theorizing them, and relating them to the pressing 'new urban questions' of our contemporary world: what are the challenges brought about by these new developments? How can we read, understand, and critique these new urban environments of the 21st century?
Since the publication of David Harvey's The Condition of Postmodernity of 1990, many of the processes identified by Harvey and others have manifested themselves upon our contemporary human world: from the over-urbanization of the world's population, rapidly changing geopolitical configurations and shifting relations between State and civil society, the poignant environmental questions that plague us incessantly, to the encroachment of the media in our daily lives, the last decades of the 20th century appear to have functioned as a catalyst to capitalism in its advanced stages, rather than as a vehicle for emancipation, socio-economic improvement or general positive change.
The transition from modernity into postmodernity has been everything but straightforward, or unproblematic. One thing has become clear: under the logic of flexible accumulation, endorsed by the slogan of modernization, progress, and globalization, capitalism has managed to mutate once again into what appears to be an all-encompassing economic system that, backed by parallel transformations in all realms of human endeavor, has transformed not only our imaginaries and desires, but also our lifestyles, subjectivities and practices.
The logic of neoliberalism claims to be based on values and ideals that cannot be sustained in reality: instead of balance, it produces deafening homogeneity and uniformity. Instead of 'difference' and variety, it thrusts informality.
Troubled by a natural tendency to conflict and contradiction, neoliberalism and its many practices are (re-)producing extreme conditions of socio-economic polarization, environmental devastation, and more generally, differential conditions that generate degrees of unprecedented uneven development and asymmetries in all domains and scales.
These changes necessarily manifest themselves upon the built environment, producing changed relationships within localities, cities and entire regions, posing new urban questions for the 21st century.
What are the new urban conditions brought about by the liberalization of the global economy? Where has 'the public' gone? Can we still speak of public spaces in the conventional sense under conditions of extreme commercialism and the dissolution of the political? What are the implications for the city? What is occurring in regions in which the transition into neoliberalism has occurred in partial occlusion, or invisibility? How are architects and urban designers reacting to these changes?
As entire cities rise from scratch in what was previously desert, and the peripheries of urban giants in the Third World consolidate into hyperslums, the role of architects and urbanist is called into question.
Are we responding to the new urban problems and questions from a critical perspective, or are we perpetuating with our practice the 'Minor Infractions' that will shape the contradictive cities of the 21st century?