This course offers an overview of European architectural theory and history. An introduction into the field of architectural theory cannot be encyclopedic by its very nature, even if mainly limited to Western discourse. This class therefore will avoid a tiresome chronological succession of theories and histories in architecture. We will start each session with a question or a group of related questions, followed by one or several case studies within the field. Such questions are: What is theory in architecture and how is related to other disciplines? Who “invented” architectural theory and why? Who is “doing” theory? Why is architecture and theory a problem related to language? Why gained a text “credibility” in the realm of architectural thinking? Why do some architects write whereas others refuse to do so? Is architectural theory exclusively a matter of writing? Do I need one or more theories to do better design, or to better comprehend architectural reality? Does architectural theory offer rules or at least some methods how to proceed in practice? Does theory help to distinguish “good” from “bad” architecture?

 

The main intention is to take questioning as a serious starting point for a closer investigation into the complex problems of architecture and its theories.

 

The aim of this module is that you:

 

1. gain an insight into the history of architectural theoretical thinking, authors, related fields and neighboring disciplines.

 

2. can comprehend, critically reflect and discuss texts and architectural objects within (and beyond) the domain of architecture.

 

3. can do research, based on relevant sources, topics and develop own arguments, using an appropriate speech and writing style.