ON SITE: Architecture In A Mobile Classroom
ON SITE is a new, experimental course in which students learn the history of modern architecture and design by visiting, observing, assessing, and "measuring" buildings in our midst. Images projected on screens will play a supporting role. Leaving them behind, we travel to local and regional exemplars of global architectural ideas. Course lectures on site bring larger cultural contexts (including history, politics, culture, precedents, and the history of building technology) to bear on space and form. iPads will provide limited relevant information from drawings, publications, and important comparanda. Without classroom walls, students learn about the built environment from within and without, from the spaces that we occupy, as we occupy them. They will engage and reflect critically on aesthetic, technical, and social factors observed and researched at the University of Michigan campus, in and around Ann Arbor, in Detroit, and on two regional field trips to Columbus, Indiana, and Midland, Michigan. Throughout the semester, students will draw from and construct a web archive of existing documents and new research findings, publicly accessible as a digital exhibition of interpenetrating global and local architecture. This digital repository will constitute a new kind of architectural text, one that uses local buildings as portals to global architectural knowledge. Remarkably, locating the teaching of design and architectural history on building sites represents a radical departure from current pedagogy.
This course is funded by a Transforming Learning for a New Century grant, that funds all travel costs associated with the class.
HISTART Concentration Distributions: 4. Modern and Contemporary, D. Europe and the US.