Authors: Michelle Apotsos
Description: This lecture explores how earth has been conceptualized and integrated into African thought and architectural practice as material, metaphor, environment, and intervention over time. Some of the first known man-made environments on the African continent were carved out of rock features in the landscape, and from this point of origin, cultures across the continent would proceed to develop a variety of distinctive architectural traditions and material practices that were regularly governed by the availability of specific materials in their environment, namely dirt, clay, and other substances derived from the earth. Students will engage with these structures using cross-disciplinary methodologies ranging from art and architectural history to anthropology and environmental studies to critically analyze the physical and conceptual strategies deployed at these sites over time and space with regards to the material and meaning of earth. In particular, they will explore how environmental material like earth came to signify important socio-political, cultural, and spiritual messages in the architectural landscape.
Authors: Shuishan Yu, Hyungmin Pai, Sean McPherson
Description: This course focuses on the architectural traditions and conventions of East Asia, especially those of China, Korea, and Japan, and highlights the cross-cultural aspects of their great cities and monuments. The aim is to reveal that what has often been considered “traditional” in Asia was actually a constantly evolving process driven by dynamic cultural exchanges among different cultures and civilizations of its extensive regions. “Globalization” is not an invention of the contemporary world, but the driving force behind the development of the great architectural traditions linking different cultures in East Asia.
Authors: Mark Jarzombek
Description: The general aim of this module is to help frame the beginning of a survey of architectural history. Lectures are designed to be a little over an hour long, but can be lengthened or shortened or combined as required. The material covers some basic aspects of First Society cultures (Lectures 1-4) and the transition to agriculture, pastoralism and city building (Lectures 6-10).
Authors: Tyler S. Sprague, Vikramaditya Prakash
Description: This course presents a series of 6 introductory lectures describing the characteristics and global history of so-called ‘rock-cut’ architecture, or the subtractive architecture that is embedded within a native geological mass. Such structures are found worldwide, in history and even today. As residences, churches, shrines, meditation spaces, civic structures and tombs – rock-cut architecture occupies a central place in many global civilizations. It even persists into the present day in forms such as subway systems, underground market spaces, and the occasional itinerant work of architecture. Our goal will be to produce a series of introductory lectures that enable teachers of architecture and art history to present this material in a conceptually rich and globally situated manner. One of the key ways in which we will engage the global history of the rock-cut will be through the framework of structures. The space-shaping potential of the freestanding structural form is the hallmark of tectonic architecture – from the beams and columns of Greek temples to the flying buttresses of the Gothic Cathedrals. In ‘rock-cut’ architecture, the structure is deeply integrated with the native earth, with structural properties that derive directly from the geology of the site and place. Construction is focused on material to be removed, not structure to be assembled. The native stone guides the gravity forces around the carved space, not to a ground plane below, but simply deeper into the earth – a resolution of forces that can never be precisely determined. This property will be emphasized to adduce discussions that are both philosophical and practical.
Authors: Ann Huppert; Thaisa Way;
Authors: Peter Probst, Michelle Apotsos, Brinker Ferguson
Description: This course aims to provide an introduction to the growing importance of cultural heritage and historic preservation. Over the past decades, fostered not the least through international organization like UNESCO’s World Heritage Center or the New York based World Monuments Fund, heritage preservation has become a global movement. Following a historical and comparative perspective the course seeks to go beyond the Euro-American understanding of architectural heritage which is still very much the standard in international advisory preservation bodies like ICOMOS and ICCROM and address different perspectives, value systems, and frameworks of memory that play a role in heritage as a global phenomenon. As such, this course is designed as a tool to both study and question historic preservation and architectural conservation. A critical conceptual exploration dominates over technological problems in that aspects of conservation methods are discussed only insofar as they help to understand the effects and dynamics of historic preservation.
Authors: Manu P. Sobti, Kateryna Malaia, and Sahar Sadat Hosseini
Description: What are Peripheries of Contact - Beyond Geographies and Historical Flatland? How can this be conceptually examined? - Overarching concept of Periphery (versus the center) as a way of looking at history - The Periphery akin to a thick ‘cultural zone’ or liminality, versus a line or separation - The Periphery as a zone of contact and exchange, versus separation and difference - The Periphery giving rise to synthesis, hybridity and invention - Centers with Peripheries versus Peripheries as interregnums
Authors: Adnan Morshed
Description: Earth is 70 percent water, but only 2.5 percent of this superabundant liquid is fresh. And, two-thirds of this minuscule amount of fresh water is inaccessible— locked away in ice caps, glaciers, and rocky underground aquifers. Only a tiny fraction of Earth’s potable water is readily available to humans. Even though this hydro-ecological view of the planet is a modern one, it should, nonetheless, paint a broader historical picture of how both access to and management of water were as critical to the Neolithic farming communities in the Levant or the Yellow River valley of northern China, as they are to 21st-century society. The domestication of water was at the epicenter of first-society geopolitics of agriculture, migration, division of human labor, and production of space.
Authors: Ayala Levin, Ginger Nolan, Diana Martinez, Jonathan Massey, Meredith TenHoor
Description: “Scale” may appear at first glance to be a purely heuristic device of pedagogy, deployed to cut across certain geographic and cultural boundaries which might otherwise pose obstacles to tracing a global architectural history. However, the intention of this course, “Scales of Modernity,” is to demonstrate that considerations of scale were crucial to twentieth-century efforts to address discourses of nationalism and globalism within the practice of architecture. This is because the concepts of nation and globe were scalar problems: How did the particular person, tribe, village, city, nation relate to other persons, tribes, et cetera, on the terrestrial scale? The disjointedness of scales was captured pithily by Marshall McLuhan’s “global village”, a term that was intended, however, to suggest not disjunction but a perpetual world peace enabled by diversity-within-unity. In architecture, this approach was mirrored in Doxiadis’ Ekistics, a system of scalar analysis from the Anthropos, the individual, to Ecumenopolis, a city envisioned at a planetary scale. In various ways, the majority of projects included within “Scales of Modernity” strove towards some sort of diversity-within-unity, endeavoring to accommodate the particularities associated with the scale of the individual, or of a particular social class, or local milieu within the organizational schemes and aesthetic styles of what was increasingly recognized as “modern” architecture.
Authors: Robert Cowherd, Patrick Haughey
Description: “Sites and Systems of Global Colonialism” is a survey course that introduces students to building cultures, landscapes and urbanisms in an already globally connected world from the colonial era through 1900. The course examines multiple overlapping systems by which the practices of human cultures have come to be interconnected around the world over time. It is a history of the world through architectural evidence, and a history of architecture through a global perspective. The “Sites and Systems” approach is informed by systems theory perspectives arising from within the social sciences, especially sociology. It builds on and problematizes the international political-economy methods of World Systems Research and Braudelian approaches by examining specific selected cases grounded in actual cultural-spatial-material conditions. The complex and vital lenses of architectural analysis applied to sites, cities, and material systems, at scales ranging from tectonic details to global infrastructures of exchange, inform and contest our understandings of distributed networks.
Authors: Peter Christensen; Itohan Osayimwese; Mrinalini Rajagopalan; Shundana Yusaf;
Description: This course has been created for professors of architectural history in institutions of higher education. You can use the course as is, with modifications and total transformation We have added the names of the faculty and scholars who have created this material as part of the information for instructors, but users are most welcome to replace them with their names without fear of infringing on copyright. This is an open source teaching material.
Authors: Daniel A. Barber, Jiat Hwee Chang, Iain Jackson, Rachel Lee, Albert Narath, Ola Uduku,
Description: This GAHTC module focuses on the global history of climate as a consideration in architectural ideas and practices. It is intended to operate either as a ‘stand-alone’ subject in relevant courses, or as part of a broader history of global architecture or of architecture and the environment. Through a series of six lectures, the module describes how climatic concerns have developed as an input to architectural design processes in many different global regions. The historical record of architectural-climatic engagement also brings up relations to new forms of governance, to the role of science in architectural developments, and to issues of architectural representation and communication. As such, through the rubric of climate, a broad interdisciplinary perspective is brought to bear on the global development of architecture.
Authors: Michelangelo Sabatino, Tom Avermaete
Description: This course proposes to analyze the global turn as it relates to the industrial revolution and the regimes of circulation of goods and commodities, knowledge, experts, techniques, people, and labor that it introduced and supported. We contend that these regimes posed new challenges to the discourse and practices of modern architecture that yielded substantial innovations during the mid nineteenth century that changed and consolidated in the second half of the twentieth century to the present. Each of the six modules focuses on a particular regime of circulation and thus provides the epistemology framework with which to engage with phenomena and buildings that are grouped thematically and chronologically.
Authors: Carla Keyvanian, Glaire Anderson, Christina Maranci, Suzanne Marchand, Nasser Rabbat,
Description: The cultural and artistic traditions that developed around the shores of the Mediterranean have traditionally been studied as autonomous developments. When exchanges or borrowing were acknowledged, they usually focused on the influence that European motifs had on the Eastern Mediterranean, starting in the eighteenth century. The aim of this project is to focus on preceding centuries, illuminating the rich web of cultural, artistic and especially architectural exchanges that crisscrossed the Mediterranean before modernity. The current of such borrowings, adaptations and reinterpretations crossed the Mediterranean, frequently flowing westward rather than eastward. The anecdotal evidence that has been offered for the direction of that flow, which crossed religious as well as national and geographic boundaries, has encountered ideological resistance. Our aim is to focus on the architectural evidence to lay a first systematic and unequivocal basis for the argument that borrowings and cross-pollination gave rise to multiple but related architectural languages across a region roughly extending from the Caspian Sea to the European shore of the Atlantic. While we will rely on visual evidence to remedy the scarcity of textual documentation for such early periods we do not aim to offer formal or typological comparisons. Rather, we intend to ground our discussion historically, formulating hypothesis concerning the physical routes, nodes, workshops and forms of transmission along which ideas, including architectural ones—schemes, motifs, structural systems—traveled, were adopted and adapted.