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ARCH 509 – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repeat


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repeat...Or, How Do Buildings Survive?

Is it possible to study the history of architectural preservation without using the word “preserve”? This seminar embarks on a semester-long investigation into the discourses surrounding architecture’s survival. In order to bypass, or obliterate, any preconceived notions of what it means to preserve a building, we will turn instead to a set of terms collectively dubbed the “re-glossary” by historian-theorist Mari Lending, words like recycle, re-produce, re-stage, re-mix, re-frame, re-purpose, re-activate, re-turn, re-make, re-indoctrinate, re-vitalize, etc. The work of the seminar will take two forms. Each week we will move chronologically through a series of case studies to discuss historicallysituated practices of architectural resilience, from medieval buildings composed out of spolia, to latex building skins applied and peeled in the 1970s. At the same time, each student will choose a term from the “re-glossary” and submit this term to intensive analysis. The seminar schedule includes a series of workshops leading to the design of a collective format for the individual re-glossary entries. By the end of the semester, if everything goes according to plan, seminar participants will be equipped and emboldened to propose their own creative interventions in the diverse ecology of architecture's survival. 


Mon 3:30-6:30pm 2213 A&AB


Steven Lauritano


Course Brief