Buildings, Texts, and Contexts

This six module sequence, offered over three semesters, presents an introduction to the complex, interwoven web of conceptual issues and historical narratives in western architecture from antiquity to the present. Each module presents detailed case studies of buildings, writings, and theoretical concepts in the specific contexts of their formation. In each case study, a major architectural or urban project is presented in depth and discussed in its social, political, and cultural contexts. Special attention is given to the interdependent relationships between architectural concepts and audiences, social institutions, aesthetic theories, and building practices. The first and last modules examine critical and theoretical issues in architecture\’s history (module 1) and contemporary practice (module 6); modules 2-5 cover, in chronological sequence, four of the major historical periods in the history of western architecture. Each module may be taken independently. 4204-M4, Buildings, Texts, and Contexts: Dimensions of Modernism before 1945, focuses on modernism – its codification, representation, and dissemination – and emphasizes its multiple political, social, and cultural dimensions.