4.645
Selected Topics in Architecture — 1750 to the Present

Prerequisites: 
4.210 or permission of instructor
Required of: 
MArch students
Preference Given to: 
MArch students

General study of modern architecture as responses to important technological, cultural, environmental, aesthetic and theoretical challenges after the European Enlightenment. Begins with the construction of architectural history itself as an aid to conceive of cultural heritage and architectural practice, through the creation of the Grand Tour, the museum as the basis for an architectural education. Ends with the current-day concerns regarding globalization seen through the contemporary “crisis” of the environment. The course will subsequently reprise the history of architecture and its recourse to various ideologies, its provenance within administrative and legal structures, the changing conditions of the practice in response to economic conditions and structures of production, and their role in shaping and understanding social and aesthetic processes at large. Topics cover a wide range of debates on colour, drawing, ornament, structure, construction, material, inhabitation, gender, class, race, nationalism, etc. in architecture. In setting up these constraints, the course will also focus on aspects of architectural theory, historiography, and design in their complicity and resistance with texts of power, specifically with regard to the immense transformations wrought in different cultural contexts by colonial, industrial and post-industrial expansions. Explores modern architectural history and buildings through thematic exposition rather than as simple chronological succession of ideas.