Taubman College

Course List

Term Winter 2012
Class ARCH 509
Class Title Creative Destruction : Destructive Creation
Description Even with the global concerns for limited resources, the built environment, like any other product of our society, is an easy target for the notion of “Creative Destruction,” or destruction of the existing as a means and prerequisite for the creation of something better. While certain acts of “Creative Destruction” may be necessary and even desirable, when employed as a habitual and unchallenged spatial instrument, the result of “Creative Destruction” becomes much more “destructive” than “creative.” While architecture’s inevitable physicality makes the material, if momentary, impact of destruction quite evident and even spectacular, often overlooked is the operation’s potent instrumentality in habitualizing the dismissal of the complex socio-political, economic, and cultural issues at hand, and their reduction into a matter of mere formal and typological preferences, i.e., simplified choices between the old and the new, the romantic notion of preservation and that of destruction for progress. The seminar will survey selected historical and contemporary examples of “Creative Destruction” of the built environment, while examining the identifiable conceptual and cultural contexts, assumptions, as well as the themes and motives of the operation. A substantial portion of the seminar will be dedicated to the exploration of the alternative strategies, both the examination of the existing examples and their patterns and the discussion on the new possibilities. Challenging the notion of “destruction for progress" as the default and unquestioned solution for renewal, the seminar aims to suggest the critical and productive potential in sites of discordance, the alternative possibilities of building relevance without un-building all of the past.
Prereq none
Crosslist none
Required No
Elective Yes
Selective No
Meets Tuesday 9:00am-12:00pm Room 2204
Credits 3
Faculty Nahyun Hwang
Syllabus Arch509_NHwang_Winter12.pdf