Transformations in Spatial Thought: 1970-2000

The ideas of three theorist-historians dominated architectural thought through the postwar mid-century: those of Colin Rowe, Aldo Rossi, and Manfredo Tafuri. At some point in the late mid-seventies the familiar intellectual landscape gave way to fundamental challenges from new perspectives on social action, cultural theory, philosophy, linguistics, science, and theories of history and material life. The parochialisms of simple \’building,\’ \’experience,\’ \’historical succession,\’ \’formalism,\’ etc. gave way to broader ways of framing architectural problems within adjacent social and intellectual movements. This course has two goals: to look at the foundational ideas that changed the old landscape and gave us entirely new ways and frameworks for asking design questions and to examine where we are today and how we got from the transformations that were once driven by such urgency in the 1970s and \’80s to the present \”positions\”. This course will have several of the writers/designers/thinkers as visitors to both structure the survey of ideas and positions and to speculate on how the period of the initial \’breaks\’ from traditional thought have led to the positions that are developing today.