Taubman College

Course List

Term Fall 2011
Class ARCH 509
Class Title Other Environmentalisms
Description This seminar will examine the influence of environmental thinking on architectural and urban thought, encompassing a discursive field far larger and more diverse than the one traditionally found under “environmental design.” While “sustainability” is currently associated with the ecological influence on architecture, it is but one of many intersections (historical and contemporary) between the built and the natural worlds. This course will map out many cultural and scientific moments that offered widely-ranging perspectives on the environment that each provoked different responses in architectural theory and production, through which we will gain a critical perspective on the concepts and intentions embodied in particular design practices. To this end, emphasis will be placed on “reading” buildings, urban projects, speculative or built work through a more contoured understanding of the varied “environmentalisms” they sought to address.

The course will follow two parallel trajectories: a series of lectures and a shared research project. Weekly readings will introduce different thematic perspectives--ecology, natural history, cybernetics, atmosphere and others--that will form the basis for lectures, class discussion, and debate. The class will work collectively to parse out key terms, develop strategies for analysis, and establish comparative frameworks in an ongoing effort to describe the breadth of environmental perspectives. Contributing to that shared endeavor, participants in the seminar will pursue deeper expertise on a selected topic through individually researched dossiers, which will develop through in-class presentations and result in a visual and written argument interpreting a particular case study.
Prereq none entered yet
Crosslist none
Required No
Elective Yes
Selective No
Meets Mondays 2:00-5:00pm 2204 A&AB
Credits 3
Faculty Meredith Miller
Syllabus Arch509-009.pdf