ARCH402 Contemporary Architectural Theory

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Course Code Course Title Weekly Hours* ECTS Weekly Class Schedule
ARCH402 Contemporary Architectural Theory 2 0 4 Wednesday 13.00 - 14.50
Prerequisite None It is a prerequisite to


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Course Objectives This course will introduce students to the key elements of contemporary architectural theory. Upon completion of the course students will be required to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the main streams of contemporary theory together with how they impact upon architectural practice.
Textbook Kate Nesbitt (ed), Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture, An Anthology of Architectural Theory 1965-1995 , Priceton Architectural Press, 1997
Additional Literature
Learning Outcomes After successful  completion of the course, the student will be able to:
  1. Differentiate between the key contemporary architectural theories and how they might be applied to architectural practice
  2. Critique the application of architectural theory in the works of practicing architects
  3. Chart the development of architectural theories and theoretical thinking
Teaching Methods Teach will comprise of lectures, and class discussions. Set readings will form a key component of the teaching practice
Teaching Method Delivery Teaching Method Delivery Notes
Week 1 Introduction
Week 2 Introduction: What is architectural Theory? Ricardo Bofill: “Why Are Historical Towns More Beautiful Than Modern Cities?”
Week 3 The Project of Modernity Georg Simmel, Metropolis and Mental Life
Week 4 Introduction to Postmodernism Jurgen Habermas, Modern and Postmodern Architecture
Week 5 Postmodernism – Architectural responses to the crisis within modernism Michael Graves, A Case for Figurative Architcture
Week 6 Postmoderism II/ In-class Assessment Roland Barthes, Semiology and the
Week 7 Postmodern Architectural Themes Nan Ellin, Themes of Postmodern Urbanism
Week 8 Architectural semiotics A Plain Man's Guide to the Theory of Signs in Architecture
Week 9 Mid Term Exam
Week 10 Historicism: the problem of tradition/ In-class Assessment Alan Colquhoun, Three Kinds of Historicism
Week 11 Urban theory after modernism Rem Koolhaas, Toward the Contemporary City
Week 12 Phenomenology and the Meaning of Place Kenneth Frampton, On Reading Heidegger
Week 13 Political and Ethical Agendas/ In-class Assessment Karsten Harries, The Ethical Function of Architecture
Week 14 Recap
Week 15 Recap
Assessment Methods and Criteria Evaluation Tool Quantity Weight Alignment with LOs
Final Exam 1 30 1,2,3
Semester Evaluation Compenents
In-term Exam 1 20 1,2,3
In-class Exercises 4 40 1,2,3
Assignment 1 10 1,2,3
***     ECTS Credit Calculation     ***
 Activity Hours Weeks Student Workload Hours Activity Hours Weeks Student Workload Hours
Lecture Hours 2 15 30 In-class Exercises 6 4 24
Home Study 1 15 15 In-term exam study 10 1 10
Final Exam Study 15 1 15 Assignment 6 1 6
        Total Workload Hours = 100
*T= Teaching, P= Practice ECTS Credit = 4
Course Academic Quality Assurance: Semester Student Survey Last Update Date: 15/02/2021
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