Fall 2011 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Terranova, Charissa
Discipline and Number
AHST 3320 Section 001
MW Time 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Course Title
Modern Architecture

Description of Course:

"Our guiding principle was that design is neither an intellectual nor a material affair, but simply an integral part of the stuff of life, necessary for everyone in a civilized society." -Walter Gropius

"Less is more." -Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

"Form follows function." -Louis Sullivan

For high modernists such as Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier, the functionalist design of architecture was not simply a matter of making things that worked. It was a philosophical approach to being in the world. From their collective perspective, the innovative design of windows, doors, and light fixtures indeed cut a path to better living, but it was also a means to revolutionary thinking. Good design put the future in their hands: construct the walls and floors of houses and offices in a progressive way and utopia follows – or so they thought.

Come learn about the intellectual roots of modern design – from the big-box warehouses of discount retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target to the house in which you grew up. This class will cover the history of modern architecture, which began in England in 1851 and continues into the present. Themes include: the arts and crafts movement; industrialization and the city; the skyscraper; functionalist houses and cars; mass housing; international modernism; the critique and revival of modernism.

Required Texts:

1.) Ken Frampton, Modern Architecture: A Critical History

2.) William J. R. Curtis, Modern Architecture since 1900

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

1.) Attendance, reading, and avid engagement with the professor and peers.

2.) Three 500-word papers based on site visits to the Kalita Humphreys Theater designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Interfaith Chapel at the Cathedral of Hope designed by Philip Johnson and built by Gary Cunningham Architects, and the Rachofsky House designed by Richard Meier.

3.) A mid-term and final exam with slide identification and short answer questions.

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