Elements: Rotterdam Study Abroad Seminar

The seminar will reconstruct the role of elemental thinking in the history and theory of architecture. With a particular focus on the writings of Henry Wotton, Gottfried Semper and Bruno Latour, architectural components like the balcony, ceiling, corridor, door, envelope (facade), elevator, escalator, floor, light, lobby, ramp, roof, stair, and window will be discussed in their cultural, regional, historical, technical and political contexts. Experts on specific elements will be invited to present at the seminar, and will be interviewed independently by students. The aim of the seminar can be paraphrased with the words of Gertrude Stein: A window is not a window is not a window any more.

To prepare themselves to this seminar over the summer, students should read (or reread) the following texts and books:
Latour, Bruno (1992): „Where Are the Missing Masses? The Sociology of a Few Mundane Artifacts“ (http://www.scribd.com/doc/48355101/Latour-B-Where-are-the-Missing-Masses)
Latour, Bruno (2004): „From Realpolitik to Dingpolitik. An Introduction to Making Things Public“ (http://www.bruno-latour.fr/sites/default/files/96-DINGPOLITIK-GB.pdf)
Semper, Gottfried: „The Four Elements“ (1851), in Gottfried Semper: The Four Elements of Architecture and Other Writings, Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press (1989).
Henry Wotton (1624): „The Elements of Architecture“ .