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Analysis of Contemporary Architecture

This survey course explores pivotal events and buildings of the late 19th and 20th centuries that have shaped today's understanding and approach to contemporary architecture. The course aims to provide a general framework in which to understand modern and contemporary architectural design and to build a visual vocabulary to help communicate more effectively about design in society. Methodological emphasis varies from week to week, from thematic analysis (light in architecture, modern engineering) to the study of the works of schools and movements (the Werkbund, Futurism, Constructivism, the Bauhaus) or of individual architects (such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Adolf Loos, Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn). The course also includes site visits used to help evaluate a building's significance or lack thereof. In addition to weekly reading responses, the students are encouraged to pursue the analysis of a specific building, either through drawing, modeling, or writing a research paper.