Fall 2016 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
HUAS 6312 From Bauhaus to Biohaus: The History of Biology in Modern and Contemporary Art, Architecture, and Design
This class focuses on the history of biology within modern and contemporary art, architecture, and design. It traces biocentrism â€“ a biology-based philosophy of the oneness of art and science â€“ from the late nineteenth century to the present within the greater world of art. It is a realm notably stretched, expanded and refashioned to include the pragmatic activities and thinking of scientists. We will trace the influences of this nature-holism from the nineteenth-century naturalists Ernst Haeckel and Raoul FrancÃ© to the fount of twentieth-century modern design at the German and American Bauhaus in the work of Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and LÃ¡szlo Moholy-Nagy to twenty-first century bioart and synthetic biology in contemporary architecture and design. The class brings to the fore the lesser known pedagogy of biofunctionalism within the Bauhaus, comparing it to New Objectivity Bauhaus functionalism. Readings trace the diasporic spread of this Bauhaus biofunctionalism across the United States in the twentieth century onto an international stage in order to locate its transformed presence in contemporary bioart and bioarchitecture, both of which use living material as a "medium." The course covers architectural modernism, General Systems Theory, cybernetics, mid-century utopian biotopic architecture, genetics within art and design, and contemporary bioart and bioarchitecture.
TBA (Most readings will be available digitally through Docutek, a service offered by the university library.)
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Students must attend all seminars and arrive in class prepared, having read and eager to discuss the assigned reading. Each student will be required to write a 20 to 25-page research paper at the end of the semester on a scintillating topic of his or her choice approved by the professor.