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ARCH 572 – Architectural Theory and Criticism


In 2020, the simultaneous crisis of white supremacy, environmental collapse, and the global pandemic prompted profound changes in how we understand what architecture is and what it does. These events brought to the foreground the role of architecture in the production of wealth, racism, patriarchy, land disposession, labor struggle, and environmental disaster. In this course we will examine how architecture operates to further these processes and how it might contribute to counter them. Witnessing the overwhelming reach of the pandemic, novelist Arundhati Roy argued that the tragedy was long-coming, the result of economic, social, and environmental crisis. Roy invited us to consider our own agency in shaping the aftermath of this event by concluding: “the pandemic is a portal”. This course invites students to take ownership of the discipline they are studying, and to collaborate in producing new definitions of “architecture”: definitions that propel us through this portal and on to better futures.


Lecture: Wed 1:00-3:00pm  (Lecture Instruction Mode: Online)
Discussion sections will be held on Wednesdays in 1-hour blocks from 3:00-5:00pm.

Please do not schedule any courses during that two-hour block on Wednesdays (3:00-5:00pm). Students will be placed in their discussion section at the beginning of the term. 

Plan Your Future
Housing, Community, and Economic Development
Land Use and Environmental Planning
Physical Planning and Design
Transportation Planning
Global and Comparative Planning