Taubman College

Course List

Term Fall 2011
Class ARCH 603
Class Title Disciplinarity
Description Anyone following contemporary debates in architecture knows that there are as many definitions of architecture’s disciplinarity as there are people who attempt to define it. In the current spate of publications on this topic, Mark Jarzombek declares architecture to be a failed discipline; Jane Rendell claims that architecture is a ‘subject’ subsuming several disciplines; Mark Wigley ruminates upon the prosthetic nature of the discipline to the sciences; Bob Somol and Sarah Whiting attempt to recover a Foucaultian disciplinarity in which norms, principles and traditions are supplanted by performative practice; Akos Moravansky dismisses projective practice as the wrong tool for the job at hand; Keller Easterling seeks “the trapdoor into another habit of mind” by eschewing narrow categories of thought for more inclusive ones; Sylvia Lavin uses the analogy of the ‘kiss’ between an installation and the architecture that houses it as a model of architectural inter-disciplinarity as media interaction; and Hal Foster and Michael Speaks face off on the relative merits of design intelligence and critical distance. How can a student of architecture ever gain a foothold in this complex and confusing debate?

At stake in the debates over disciplinarity is the question: how can we identify architecture’s categories of knowledge, and how did the categorization of knowledge become a priority? Discipline, Disciplining, Disciplined (DDD) will historically situate the circumstances of architecture’s emerging disciplinarity, and thematize it through three seemingly disparate but operatively identical lenses: the aesthetic, the historic, and the technological. Although the debates cited above appear unruly at first blush, fundamentally they aggregate around the relative merits of defining disciplinary categories of knowledge either too narrowly or too broadly, focusing either on architecture’s autonomy or its extra-disciplinary appropriations. In addition to architecture’s various categories of knowledge, DDD will consider the influence of disciplinarity on our practices, considering how various classifications of architectural knowledge affect its techniques, standards, and formats of dissemination. From its Foucaultian framing to its current incarnations, DDD will unpack the construction of architecture’s disciplinarity, and shed some much-needed light on what it means for architects to be disciplinary.

Prereq none entered yet
Crosslist none
Required No
Elective Yes
Selective Yes
Meets Mondays 9:00am-12:00pm 2204 A&AB
Credits 3
Faculty Amy Kulper
Syllabus not available