This seminar will examine different types of narrative writing and fiction as a means of relating contemporary architecture to larger arenas of cultural criticism. The course will provide a framework for discussions about such topics as representation, abstraction, “realness” and “fakeness”, autonomy and the rise of new models of inter-disciplinary thinking and practice. The aim throughout will be to promote thoughtful debate and prepare students to creatively relate critical positions in architecture to a range of themes inclusive of, but not limited to, architecture.
The course will consist of weekly presentations of built and speculative work discussed according to the critical frameworks around which it was formed and is typically affiliated. In addition to lectures and weekly reading discussions, students will explore different types of writing, photography and other narrative forms, as a means of responding to the course material.
Focus will be placed upon the narration of architectural themes, in words and images, and the appropriation of critical forms from disciplines other than those customarily associated with architecture. In different ways we will question what “criticism” is and consider what relevance it may have for architecture. Additionally, we will examine how some genres of work come to be associated with certain critical trends and forms of representation and speculate how new forms of critical writing may possibly inform alternative readings of existing work and suggest new approaches to design.
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