Buildings, Texts, and Contexts

This module is concerned with the pluralism of modernity in the first half of the 20th century; with the many different conceptions of both the modern condition and the role of architecture in shaping the spaces of modern life and society.Like the earlier modules, this one is organized in terms of a series of case studies of a buildings, unbuilt projects, and urban assemblages, which will be broadly contextualized in terms of larger problematics and themes which are critical to understanding modern architecture and the debates which constituted the discourses of the \”Modern Movement\” in the early decades of the 20th century. Some of the principal themes of modernity that will be explored include: the metropolis and garden city, technologies and methods of production, the evolution of new spatial conceptions especially \”space-time\”, impact of mass media (film and photography in particular) on architecture. We will also consider relationships between political ideology and the architectural avant-gardes during this period of enormous technological, social and economic change. Among the architects whose work we will study are: Peter Behrens, Adolf Loos, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Erich Mendelsohn, Konstantin Melnikov, Moisei Ginsburg, Raymond Hood. We will also discuss CIAM, the Weissenhof Siedlung, Red Vienna, Russian Constructivism, and the International Style exhibition at MoMA.Requirements: two lectures per week plus one discussion section per week; readings, prepared discussion, and analytic notes for section meetings; one take-home final examination. Basis of grade: assignments and performance in section.