Design Theory:


FIU 3243 5249 F11

Course Description:

The introductory course in Design Theory explores themes in architecture and urbanism after World War II focusing on select movements and figures whose work defines the late modernist and post-modernist discourse. Building on ARC 5744/4783 History of Design from the Nineteenth Century to the Present and the previous History I and II courses, Introduction to Theory analyzes specific movements and projects during the decades after the war culminating in the contemporary condition. Significant changes in the social, political and technological conditions prevailing after the war exerted pressures on architectural ideologies and practices emerging around the world. The major themes addressed include: cultural concerns (architect's renewed interest in regionalism and the vernacular and related concerns in sustainable practice); the role of technology in the rapidly growing post-war, post-Fordist economies of consumption; political ideologies (changing strategies of territorialization in the city, decolonization and the crisis of architecture, identity and representation); and the new philosophies and scientific advancements influencing how architects and urban designers shaped the material environment. 

Content and Organization:

The course has two lectures per week and one discussion section every third lecture on alternating weeks: attendance to both is mandatory. This course includes a writing requirement and directs assignments toward helping students develop the necessary skills to analyze, synthesize and communicate ideas in architecture history and theory. Introduction to Theory is a continuation of the history/theory sequence whose aim is to develop students capacity for reflective thinking to ensure that they are able to do research on focused topics and to formulate concepts in architecture clearly in writing. Please note: readings are the basis for lectures and discussion in section and should be completed before lectures. Assignments include weekly one-page questions and a term research project of a 2,500 word paper (Undergraduates) and an analytical model. Graduate students write a 4,000 word paper with an analytical model. The term project is an exhibition titled “Synthetic Ideologies: The Post-War Architecture Machine” and will be done in teams of two students.