Taubman College

Course List

Term Winter 2012
Class ARCH 509
Class Title The Aesthetics of Universal Exposition - of architecture and ideologies
Description Universal Expositions (Expos for short) or World’s Fairs have for the last 160 years been spectacular phenomena that communicated and interpreted historical pasts and present futures. The architecture and the vivid worlds they rendered served to distinguish differences between race, culture, political agendas, and economic wealth. These differences postulated certain ideologies and provided the framework for comparison/competition. The paradigm shift of the nineteenth century to the twentieth, and now the twenty-first, could be traced succinctly in these temporary phenomena. The seminar course is thematically organized to explore these events along with its formal and theoretical transformations. Each week, through readings and discussions, we will examine these following topics: future nowhere – utopian Ideals; wunderkammer and taxonomic tendencies; panoramic visions - scoptic regimes of modernity; alibis for imperial aims; question of audience or staging differences – constructed identities; experimental architectural models; spectacles – phantasmagoria and wonder; bourgeois culture – rise of the middle class and class-consciousness/the culture of consumption; political faceoff – ideological positioning and political will; and the death of utopian vision or how the exposition guaranteed its own demise. Taking advantage of our discipline’s myriad representational techniques, an archive project with individual contributions (based on a chosen topic) will be initiated.
Prereq none entered yet
Crosslist none
Required No
Elective Yes
Selective No
Meets Tuesday 9:00am-12;00pm room 2222
Credits 3
Faculty Tsz Yan Ng
Syllabus Arch509_Ng_Winter12.pdf