Architecture and Modernity: Building the 19th and 20th Centuries
TTh 1:00-2:30pm
3 Credit Lecture

This course surveys the history of architecture in relation to modernism and modernity. On the one hand, we look at modernity as a condition of European and American culture from early in the 19th c; on the other, we examine modernism as a distinct response to progressive modernization in a range of arenas, all related to the built environment. From 19th c. beginnings in new building types and social institutions, until the end of the 20th c., we will consider how architects, engineers, planners, and developers have responded to the challenges placed upon them by the changes of industrialization and post-Enlightenment thought. The course will trace the genesis and development of foundational themes of architectural modernism in relation to concurrent developments in other fields such as the fine arts, photography, film, philosophy, and science. Important developments in the history of architecture--structural rationalism, historicism, formalism, (utopian) socialism, and neo-Kantian essentialism, to name a few--will be considered in relation to corollary or contradictory developments such as the increasing influence of the nation state. The course will move in chronological sequence, beginning with radical changes to architecture and artistic culture in the 19th c. It will include a series of comparative case studies narrowly focused on specific objects and texts placed within their geographical and historical context. We will make use of a series of recent exhibitions and publications that bring architecture into relationship with other arts in the modern period. The class is a lecture course with opportunity for class discussion on a regular basis.

Estimated cost of materials: $50 or more, but less than $100. D. 4