History of Architecture: Beauty, Bridges, Boxes, and Blobs: “Modern” Architecture From 1450 to the Present

Open, Lecture—Spring

This course aims to give, through slides and readings, a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of modern architectural practice and theory—from its origins in Renaissance notions of ideal beauty, classical authority, and scientific function to its latest iteration in Blobs—based on the theory of the abject, pop inflatable structures, and the science of topology. Along with major movements—Baroque Corporialism, Enlightenment Rationalism, The Sublime, Arts and Crafts, Technological Sublime, Art Nouveau, Bauhaus and Figures, William Morris, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, and Frank Gehry—we will learn to read architecture and read with architects; to contextualize form and its urban, sociopolitical, and epistemological implications; and to see how architecture gives form to context. Group conferences will deal with primary sources. Three papers and an architectural notebook dedicated to class notes, readings, drawings, musings, etc. will be required. This course is the second half of a linked sequence. Mr. Castriota’s course—History of Architecture: From Ziggurats and Pyramids to Cathedrals and Mosques: A History of Architecture in the Near East, the Mediterranean, and Europe—is the first half.