This course presents a thematically organized survey of contemporary architectural theory that focuses on the relationship between seminal theoretical texts and critical developments in contemporary architectural theory and practice. The course is intended to be a forum for discussion of selected topics in contemporary culture, and to provide students with an advanced knowledge base in contemporary architectural theory to ground more specialized architectural electives while acting as a support for thesis and other forms of advanced architectural research.
This course is organized first of all around the lineages of social/materialist theory, and only subsequently according to theories specific to the discipline of architecture. The idea is to provide students with a map of the relationships between the major strands of cultural theory that act as the foundation on which architectural theory stands. The breadth of this ‘map’ means it is necessarily thin. An attempt is made to introduce students to the work of multiple authors through only one of their texts. Even this broad sweep is inevitably incomplete and partial. There are many dimensions of theory that inform architectural theory which cannot be addressed in a twelve-week course.