ARCH 3645/6645

The Education of the Architect

  • Course Number: ARCH 3645/6645
  • Instructors: 
  • Credits: 3
  • Semester: Fall

Architecture is one of the oldest disciplines, and yet the question of what is comprised by its body of knowledge has always been a matter of some controversy.This is reflected in the diverse ways architects have been trained throughout history, and in the ongoing debates on the nature of architectural education. Is architecture an art or a science; is the architect a craftsman, technician, artist, or intellectual? Is architectural practice a profession, a business, or a public service?

Correspondingly, what should one learn in order to become an architect? And what are the best ways to impart the requisite knowledge and skill in an academic setting? These are tricky questions that cannot be definitively resolved in absolute terms. And yet they are necessarily answered - consciously or unconsciously and in more or less coordinated ways - in every school of architecture. From decisions on which types of design methods are prioritized, to what areas of content a required curriculum and each course syllabus includes, a school reveals its values, priorities, and ultimately its vision of what the ideal future architect should know and do.

One of the major difficulties in satisfactorily defining our discipline’s scope and character with any real precision is the almost infi- nitely broad reach of architectural concerns. Indeed, if in its broadest sense architecture is the means by which humanity shapes and negotiates its relationship with the world and how individual societies proclaim what is valued, then it is hard to imagine anything that does not relate to architecture. It is likely that architecture’s plurality - its relevance to so many different areas of human activity and experience - is perhaps the very thing that drew many of you to architectural study in the first place.The near infinite possibili- ties and topics can be irresistible and also - as I’m sure you’ve begun to realize - overwhelming at times.

This seminar will provide an open forum for discussing a range of topics of interest to students. It is a chance to better understand and benefit from your own educational experiences and to more knowledgably and intentionally craft your future lives as architec- tural practitioners and educators. While approaches to the teaching of technical knowledge will be considered, design process, studio pedagogy, and the integration of architectural history and theory will be the primary focus of this course.

 

Will not be taught in fall 2018.

 

Old Course Number: AHST 6801

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