The Shaping and Preservation of Urban Spaces

Prerequisite:2 graduate level courses in architectural history or related topics or equivalent preparation, and permission of the instructor. Prior to the lottery fill out the application form available in the Department offices or at Gund 203.Course Description:The course deals with methods of description, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of historic and contemporary urban spaces and explores the diachronical changes in the making of esthetic judgements. It emphasizes issues of authenticity, the study of relationships between old and new buildings, and between buildings and their urban settings, and aims to enhance the students\’ capacity to make informed quality judgements, especially in matters of historic preservation.1) Review of selected writings with discussion of the following points to be introduced by the instructor:a) A brief history of the concern with and description/representation (verbal, pictorial, notational) of urban spaces, including some comments on their perception.b) The critical evaluation of urban spaces from the \”esthetic point of view.\”c) Methods and languages of criticism seen in historic perspective.d) The consequences of time: the old and the new, continuity and change. Changing approaches to and utilizations of urban space in the 2nd half of the 20th century.The role of urban spaces in the age of digital communications.e) Historic urban preservation in practice, an introduction. Inventories, protection, management and improvement of urban historic monuments and spaces. The pertinent national and international guidelines. Issues of authenticity. The impact of global mass tourism.2 ) Discussion of case studies presented by the students. Testing of method and criteria, with participation of guest critics.3) Preparation of final reports and publishable summaries.

Pedagogic Objectives:To enhance the students\’ abilities in description, analysis, and interpretation as well as their capacity to make informed quality judgements, especially in matters of historic urban preservation.Time Commitment:In addition to time in class, each student is expected to spend approximately six hours per week on course work.Basis of Final Grade:Short papers 25%; participation in discussion 25%; final presentation and illustrated written report 50%.