Colloquium 2: Contemporary Critical Discourse

Critical, Curatorial + Conceptual Practices in Architecture

Spring 2013

Mark Wasiuta, instructor

This seminar investigated contemporary critical discourse in architecture, surveying a range of methodologies and approaches that have defined, demarcated or redirected the stakes of the discipline over the last four decades. The seminar interrogated the current status of theory, its recent history, its application and its utility, as well as the anxieties that it has often fostered within and outside architecture. The course read a series of architectural and theoretical texts that offered important conceptual and intellectual tools for addressing architecture’s relation to technology, media, ecology, capital, sexuality, spatial politics and a range of other issues. Students examined how, through new research and methodological approaches, the conceptual parameters of architectural history, theory and criticism and architectural practice have been expanded and recast. The course traced how the introduction of overlooked or understudied architects, projects, social and political questions, have opened up new problematics and hence new critical and theoretical prospects for the discipline.  The ambition of the seminar was twofold, aiming both to expand our familiarity with contemporary debates and to provide a focused forum for ongoing discussion regarding the articulation of new sites and strategies for research, writing and practice.