Constructs + Contexts: Histories + Theories of Architecture + Urbanism

New York/Paris

Spring 2013

Lara Belkind, instructor

This course introduced foundational concepts and sought to create a dialogue between contemporary practice and themes of investigation within the history of architecture and urbanism, from antiquity to the present. Employing wide-view thematic lenses such as authority, pluralism, language, media, landscape, ecology, technology, utopia and fantasy, we explored key moments in a global history of buildings, cities and texts. Although rooted in the Western tradition, our discussions drew upon case examples from a range of continents and cultures. Our approach incorporated an analysis of evolving theoretical concepts of formal production and aesthetics, situating built environment constructs within their social and political contexts. Course readings provided an orientation in fundamental ideas while writing assignments emphasized the development of original arguments and criticism.