Taubman College

Course List

Term Winter 2012
Class ARCH 603
Class Title Tools of the Trade
Description Instruments and instrumentality are mutually constructive entities. While each can stand on its own, the ‘other’ is always implicated. From the very moment when one grasps an instrument in one’s hand, a metonymic relationship is constructed. Georges Canguilhem delineates between eighteenth-century utilitarianism in which man was defined as toolmaker, and the instrumentality of the nineteenth-century
social sciences which were based on “… one implicit postulate: that the nature of man is to be a tool, that his vocation is to be set in his place and to be set to work.” Revelations such as these demonstrate the degree to which instruments play a critical role in actively shaping the history of ideas.
Tools of the Trade will simultaneously operate at the level of macro-history and micro-history. The macro-history will explore the disciplinary discovery of linear perspective as the advent of modernity and will trace the gradual enculturation of the techniques of perspective from the Renaissance, through various aesthetic, historic, and technological manifestations, to the contemporary usage of ‘perspective’ as an individual point of view. This intellectual history is predicated upon the metonymic relationship between the tool of linear perspective and the instrumentalized worldview of modern individualism. The micro-historical work for the seminar will be comprised of the examination of a broad spectrum of
instruments that have either directly or indirectly exerted instrumental influence on our discipline. Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault often describe theory as a “toolbox” – the tools being the concepts fabricated by philosophy and made available to other disciplines. Tools of the Trade seeks both to extend
this logic and examine theories that are native to architectural instruments, while at the same time inverting this logic and considering architecture’s appropriation and absorption of both the instruments and instrumentalities of other disciplines.
Prereq none entered yet
Crosslist none
Required No
Elective Yes
Selective Yes
Meets Fridays 9:00am-12:00pm 2227 A&AB
Credits 3
Faculty Amy Kulper
Syllabus not available