Architecture After 1945

History/Theory

Spring 2013

Felicity D. Scott, instructor

“Architecture After 1945” investigated how architects and key architectural institutions (schools, museums, publications) responded to historical forces at work in the period after World War II. It interrogated how and where we can trace the legacy of this period of architectural experimentation with new programs, sites, materials, information technologies and media within current practice, offering students both historical knowledge and critical tools vital to positioning their own work within the ever-shifting field of contemporary practice. For instance, the class covered both the continuation and transformation of modern architecture after the war—including New Brutalism, Team 10, corporate modernism, regionalism, tropical modernism, Neorealism, late modern formalism and Good Design—as well as the emergence of other practices that challenged the modernist legacy or even set out to proclaim its end. Among the latter were: the turn to systems theory and cybernetics of the 1950s and important trajectories of experimentation with prefabrication, computerization, and scientific method; the experimental and “Pop” architecture of the 1960s, such as Megastructure, Metabolism, and the development of notions of “environment”; engagements with linguistic theory and notions of “meaning,” the neo-modernism of the New York Five, investigations into typology, and the rise of a semantic and historicist postmodernism during the late ‘60s and 1970s; and the post-postmodern turn, from the architecture of deconstruction to the architecture of “event.”