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Course Detail

Term Fall 2017
Class ARCH 509
Class Title Becoming Digital
Description This experimental seminar is a companion course to the yearlong Becoming Digital project, which includes workshops, lectures, a conference, an exhibition, and a publication. The overall topic centers on a change in the cultural perception of digital technology from something rare and novel to something ubiquitous and familiar—from something singular and monolithic (“The Digital”) to something more nuanced, multiplicitous, and varied. This course, in particular, will allow students to dive deeply into these issues and into the historical and theoretical background of digital culture (both generally and within architecture) and to work on aesthetic and formal sensibilities emerging from a critical examination of computation as a background condition of our reality. Students enrolled in the seminar will spend class time with the instructor in three phases: reading discussions and presentations in a typical seminar format, intensive design sessions during weekend workshops (led by invited guests), and desk critiques in a mini design studio format. Enrolled students will be automatically registered for three workshops, each led by a prominent practice interrogating the digital in their own work: MILLIØNS (John May and Zeina Koreitem), LAMAS (Vivian Lee and James Macgillvray), and Curtis Roth. The seminar will prepare students to work with these invited guests, providing context and background for the designers and their body of work. The experimental spirit of the seminar infiltrates all aspects of the course from the content being discussed to the design projects undertaken to the structure of the course itself. This spirit is meant to engage students in the most contemporary of architectural conversations, to raise the level of discourse in the school around these topics throughout the year, and for thesis level students, to complement their thesis seminar work towards the development of a thesis proposal. The course is limited to 12 students.

Note: Students are required to be available for the three weekend workshops (Sept 29-Oct 2; Nov 3-Nov 6; Nov 17-Nov 20). Scheduling conflicts during these three weekends disqualify students from enrolling in the course.
Prereq none entered yet
Crosslist none
Required No
Elective Yes
Selective No
Meets Fridays 9:00am-12:00pm West Review

Credits 3
Faculty Ellie Abrons
Syllabus Arch509-Abrons-F17-BecomingDitital.pdf