053187 - THEORY IN CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN
The course aims to form the student's critical awareness of the main topics addressed by contemporary architectural research, with particular attention to the deepening of theoretical and critical contributions, methodologies, and techniques of architectural project.
As a synthesis of multiple knowledge, the practice of the project cannot disregard the complexity of theoretical and technical references that, from time to time, generate design paths in which knowledge and shared practices mix with original authorial contributions.
The architectural project is then investigated by analyzing the choices made, the explicit and implicit premises, influences and effects, placing the architect's work, both practical and theoretical, within the network of references, memories and experiments that inspire and support the results. Starting from the tradition of disciplinary knowledge, the course will address themes and forms of the theory of architecture, comparing the most significant contemporary theoretical positions, deepening concepts, paradigms and tools.
Risultati di apprendimento attesi
The learning outcomes are:
- wider knowledge and understanding of ongoing architectural theoretical discussion and its implications to the different areas of contemporary architectural design;
- ability to analyze and interpret the contemporary architecture project concerning the new architectural design paradigms;
- ability to communicate the issues of theoretical and conceptual analyses of contemporary architectural design clearly and with independent judgment.
Towards a theory of emerging practice
This course will focus largely on the theory and practice of contemporary architecture in the last decades and intends to construct a new understanding of architectural and urban design as an intervention upon, and along the lines of, the historical continuity of architectural debate and production.
The compositional rules of last century's establishment are now replaced by new ethical principles, such as; the continuity of history, sustainable awareness of the built environment, the centrality of the individual and the integration of design, art, engineering and urban planning. Technological and disciplinary innovation generates a pluralism of languages that makes each design path unique.
Nowadays, architecture and built environment are clearly experiencing exceptional paradigmatic shifts and are being confronted almost continuously with new changes. The course will attempt to explore and discuss these new phenomena and complexity of this reality before us as the only possible path for architectural design and to give them new theoretical context and formal conception.
The plurality of positions that correspond to this complexity will be approached through the main structure of this course, which includes a large spectrum of topics traditionally encountered in this field of research.
Therefore, the course program will centre on critical study of the work of reference authors, their modes of writing, their conceptual assumptions and design methodologies, and on an exploration of some of the most significant ongoing phenomena that have scattered, diffused or forged new debates about architecture, cities and territories. We will attempt to introduce new design paradigms and to open new project perspectives potentially focusing on new geographies, ecology, sustainability, the environment, governance or science.
Design is based on knowledge linked to action and will never be the result of applying a set formulae, but rather it emerges from a close dialectical relationship between thought and action. Thus, active participation in discussions, a focus on inquiry, research originality and autonomy, and in particular group work will be both highly appreciated and encouraged.
The course is organised around a number of weekly lectures, seminars and a series of events and debates.
Lectures would provide the core of the course and will pose some of the actual questions in contemporary architectural theory aiming to understand the history of the discipline and the ways in which social, political and cultural aspirations become effective arguments in particular accounts of architectural and urban legacy. They aim to investigate design processes and technologies of architectural and urban analysis in the context of recent cultural and geopolitical changes.
Ultimately it seems that everything has to be sustainable these days. The trend of tagging almost everything in our everyday life as “sustainable” risks rendering the term almost completely meaningless. But sustainability is an age-old aspiration, a concept deeply rooted in our social and cultural history. Though in danger of abuse and overuse today, in fact, we can give a new sense and meaning to projects of our common sustainable future through an exploration of the reality and origins of sustainability through theoretical research and design.
The course will explicitly combine theoretical and design reflections such as lectures, assignments and seminars. Lectures will explore continuities and discontinuities of contemporary architectural theoretical discourse through the last decades through an analysis of writings, drawings and built architecture. Student research projects will explore how architecture and the city could be rethought, reconsidered and reshaped under new theoretical circumstances.
This research aims to discuss new and rising theories of architecture and urban design related to emerging architectural and urban theoretical discourses. By confronting these new developments in architectural practice with innovative conceptual frameworks, this research “through design” aims to critically reflect new architectural theories—theories capable of reinforcing current architectural practices and discourses on architecture and the built environment in general.
Thus, student research work will follow the specific theme that will be a common subject of collective discussion during the course. The aim and result of this course will be to construct a complex atlas of contemporary theoretical “positions” through an exploration of architectural and urban design practice composed of texts and "forms": lexicons and lemmas, drawings and "models". This atlas will act as a common knowledge "pool” and a platform for further discussion and design, above all, beyond the class.
Seminars will be related to the research topic and will be focused on the mutual relationship between architectural theory and architectural production. Specific objects of the investigation will be individual works and architectural and urban projects, visions and theoretical elaborations, utopian representations and the theoretical contributions of heterogeneous writings and online architectural publications that have marked the recent design culture of the last decades.
A series of lectures and seminars with distinguished scholars and practitioners will bring to the course a diversity of perspectives and skills and will build a platform for critical enquiry into history and an engagement with contemporary architectural knowledge and the cultures of the city.
General bibliographical references will be suggested at the beginning of the course while a specific bibliography will be provided during the course in relation to the lectures, seminars and research.
Modalità di valutazione
Students will pursue a research project in groups following guidelines and respecting deadlines provided at the beginning of the course. The first few weeks will be dedicated to the selection of research subjects that will be discussed and improved throughout regularly scheduled reviews and seminars.
Attending students: the final examination is just oral and will primarily be based on final presentations of the research work followed by discussion.
Deliverables and evaluation:
Theoretical synthesis, 250 words (20%) * In the form of a single term: This "abstract" inquires into the theoretical meaning of a single word used to discuss the selected subject of research. Design analyses (40%) * Drawings, axonometry, models (non-compulsory): This exploration refers to contemporary architectural practices, exploring questions of contemporary theoretical discourses through design. Critical text, 1500 words (40%) *Text and images: This final text, written in the form of an essay, presents and discusses the relationship between different theoretical questions and themes that have arisen from individual research and collective discussions in the class.
Students not attending the course will be asked to write a text of 3,000 words that offers a critical analysis of a contemporary design practice through a selected bibliography. The final examination is just written, without an oral component, and the final evaluation will be based on individual research to be defined at the beginning of the course.
Detailed course timings, research deadlines, a mid-term reviews schedule, grading system and further grading criteria will be presented at the beginning of the course.
C. Greig Crysler, Stephen Cairns, Hilde Heynen, The Sage Handbook of Architectural Theory, Editore: SAGE Publications Ltd, Anno edizione: 2012, ISBN: 9781446282632
Akos Moravanszky, Architectural Theory: A Construction Site/ Footprint, Editore: Jap Sam Books, Anno edizione: 2007, ISSN: 18751490, Fascicolo: 1/1, pg. 47-56
Tom Avermaete, Klaske Havik, Hans Teerds, Architectural Positions: Architecture, Modernity And The Public Sphere, Editore: Sun Publishers, Anno edizione: 2009, ISBN: 9789085065661
Aldo Rossi, The Architecture of the City, Editore: MIT Press, Anno edizione: 1984, ISBN: 9780262680431
Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, Editore: Museum of Modern Art, Anno edizione: 1966, ISBN: 9780870702822
Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan, Editore: The Monacelli Press, Anno edizione: 1997, ISBN: 9781885254009
Adam Caruso, Whatever Happened to Analogue Architecture, Editore: AA Files, Anno edizione: 2009, Fascicolo: Issue 59, pg.74-75
Richard Weston, Materials, Form and Architecture, Editore: Yale Univ Press, Anno edizione: 2003, ISBN: 9780300095791
Daniel Miller(Ed.), Materiality (Politics, History, and Culture), Editore: Duke University Press Books, Anno edizione: 2005, ISBN: 9780822335429
Antoine Picon, Ornament: The Politics of Architecture and Subjectivity, Editore: John Wiley & Sons Inc, Anno edizione: 2015, ISBN: 9781119075592
Mario Carpo, The Second Digital Turn: Design Beyond Intelligence, Editore: MIT Press, Anno edizione: 2017, ISBN: 978-0262534024
Antoine Picon, Smart Cities: A Spatialised Intelligence, Editore: John Wiley & Sons Inc, Anno edizione: 2015, ISBN: 978-1119075592
Peter Droege, The Renewable City: A comprehensive guide to an urban revolution, Editore: John Wiley & Sons Inc, Anno edizione: 2007, ISBN: 9780470019269
Preston Scott Cohen (Editor), Erika Naginski (Editor), The Return of Nature: Sustaining Architecture in the Face of Sustainability, Editore: Routledge, Anno edizione: 2014, ISBN: 978-0415897891
Dana Cuff, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Todd Presner, Maite Zubiaurre, Jonathan Jae-an Crisman, Urban Humanities: New Practices for Reimagining the City, Editore: MIT Press, Anno edizione: 2020, ISBN: 9780262538220
Tom Avermaete, Constructing the Commons: Towards Another Architectural Theory of the City? / Arch +, Editore: ARCH+ Verlag, Anno edizione: 2018, ISSN: 05873452, Fascicolo: no. 232 Note:
pp. 32-43, in An Atlas of Commoning: Places of Collective Production
Stavros Stavrides, Common Space as Treshold Space / Footprint#16, Editore: Delft University of Technology, Anno edizione: 2015, ISSN: 18751490, Fascicolo: no. 16 Note:
pg. 10-20, in: Sohn, Heidi, Stavros Kousoulas, Gerhard Bruyns, Commoning as Differentiated Publicness
Charlotte Hess and Elinor Ostrom, Understanding Knowledge As a Commons: From Theory to Practice, Editore: Cambridge (Mass.): MIT Press, Anno edizione: 2011, ISBN: 9780262083577
Nessun software richiesto
Tipo Forma Didattica
Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua
Disponibilità di materiale didattico/slides in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di libri di testo/bibliografia in lingua inglese
Possibilità di sostenere l'esame in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di supporto didattico in lingua inglese
Good knowledge of architectural and urban history, good interpretation skills, and basic notions of landscape and environmental design, structural elements and representation techniques is highly recommended.