Term: Winter 2023
Section: 2
Class Number: 603
Credits: 3
Required: No
Elective: Yes

/ ARCH 603

The Gift of Architecture

This course focuses on gifted architecture and the impact of the gift-giving dynamics on the design, construction, and continued uses of buildings. After an overview of conceptual literature on gift giving, participants will study a range of examples of architectural gifts, from late 19th century public libraries and community centers, through the 20th century colonial and postcolonial developmentalism, post-war European welfare states, state-socialist gift diplomacies, Islamic gift-giving, and fossil philanthropy today. Through these case studies we will reassess and test the relevance for architectural knowledge of such arguments of gift theory as the obligation to reciprocate, inalienability of the gift, specific temporality of gift-giving, and the supposed opposition between gifts and commodities. We will discuss how the generosity and violence specific for gift-giving impacted the layouts, programs, materialities, construction, and afterlives of buildings across the world. We will examine the ways in which the gift-giving dynamics continues to impact the practices of appropriation of these buildings by inhabitants and users across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. In so doing, this course will offer a more differentiated genealogy of global urbanization and its architecture.


Tue 2:00-5:00pm  2222 A&AB


Łukasz Stanek