Contemporary Architectural Theory_Course Description#

Prepared by Jeffrey Chan

Date: January 19, 2014 Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore AR 5221: Contemporary Architectural Theories by Jeffrey Chan, A/P Bobby Wong & Tomohisa Miyauchi !...I shall call an apparatus literally anything that has in some way the capacity to capture, orient, determine, intercept, model, control, or secure the gestures, behaviors, opinions, or discourses of living beings." # # # # # [Giorgio Agamben, What is an Apparatus? (2009), p.14]

Course Description: What is !theory" in architecture? Using Banerjee"s distinction between the field, practice and profession (Banerjee 2011), historically theory in the field of architecture, which is concerned with knowledge creation, critical reflection, history and criticism, is distinct from theory for the practice and the profession of architecture, which is chiefly concerned with technical expertise, service delivery and the preservation of public safety/well-being. But in the contemporary moment in architecture, the field, practice and profession are no longer so clearly distinguished. New practices such as SHoP Architects work between the boundaries of practice, profession and field (Hyde 2012)--delivering new services through the creation of new professional relations and consequentially, generating new knowledge. Similarly, architecture schools today are turning into centers of intensive research--producing new knowledge that is anticipating new professional practices. In the same way, sociotechnical codes and professional institutions--the regulatory field (Imrie & Street 2011)--constrain but also create new avenues for knowledge production and design practices in architecture (Moore & Wilson 2014). While these fluxes between the field, practice and profession exist within the contemporary moment for architecture, there are few venues in architecture to critically study, inspect and discuss these fluxes. The design studio is well-suited for the development of design skills, while seminars on professional practices are well-suited to inform on the various dimensions of professional expertise. Neither however, is suited for the critical study of various interconnections and constraints created and mutually imposed by the field, practice and profession in architecture. One anticipated venue, however, is this course in contemporary theory. In this course, theory is a way for describing these fluxes between field, practice and profession. Theory is therefore performative; and it can attain the status of an apparatus: an entity that can allow us to finally capture, orient, determine, intercept, model, control and (hopefully) secure the contemporary gestures, behaviors, opinions, or discourses of designers, architects and planners. Course Format: Weekly 45min-1hr lecture for the entire class to be followed by 1.5hr of in-depth discussions on weekly topical issues.


(i) cogency and clarity of presentation (total of 10/30). You are especially encouraged to seek further research on the topic and to organize. especially integrating new research beyond class materials (total of 10/30). (iii) to encourage critical thinking. and to raise new questions and puzzles for this particular topic relevant to architecture for our common discussion. Each group must at least rely on one of the key readings used for that week. constructive debates and intellectual comfort with uncertainty and open questions in the discipline of architecture. to activate your initial theoretical response for future work in the dissertation and thesis phase of your education by way of critical questioning. Each group will present once during the course. Each group is to choose one of the weekly topics and perform a group research on this particular topic. explanation. Course Grade Distribution and Evaluation Deliverables Group Presentation and Discussion Reading Response Final Research Paper TOTAL Assignments: . clarification and formulation of new approaches or visions.Group In-class presentation and discussion (30%) Percentage 30% 10% 60% 100% Students are to form groups of no more than 5 members. (ii) comprehensive mastery of the topic. and ability to answer questions raised by the instructor and the audience (total of 10/ 30).Contemporary Architectural Theory_Course Description# Prepared by Jeffrey Chan Location: LR422 Aims of the Course: The threefold aim of this course is: (i) to provide a survey to the contemporary landscape of issues and problems relevant to architecture. (ii) through this survey. Presentations are evaluated based on. 2 . (iii) capacity to raise original questions and/or new puzzles for our common discussion.

but further go on to raise and develop new theoretical insights on the topic. (i) cogency and clarity of argumentations and writing.Reading Response (10%) The reading response is a critical reflection--your own synthesized interpretation. This reading response must be submitted before your presentation that day. (iii) ability to raise new questions and theoretical issues on the topic. depth of analysis and the application of theoretical discussions covered in class. Late papers will not be accepted.Final research paper (60%) Each student is expected to submit a final research paper consisting of 15 pages (no more than 3500 words inclusive of bibliography) discussing a subject related to this course with special emphasis on definitiveness of subject. by 5pm. (3) Locate a concept or concepts that interest you in the course. the student is expected to correctly cite key research materials used in this paper. or the projector.Contemporary Architectural Theory_Course Description# Prepared by Jeffrey Chan A common grade will be given to the entire group for the presentation. (Please see below) . A summary of the reading will be graded with the minimum passing grade (5/10). Recommended strategies for this final research paper include: (1) Using your own studio project as the main vehicle to elicit and then explicate a set of theoretical issues discussed in the course. Because of this. Each student in these individuals groups must however submit his or her own reading response based on at least one of the readings for that particular topic. (c) proper citations. 3 . and proceed by analyzing this concept in relation to empirical examples or case precedents in architecture and urban design. position and insight--on the topic. An excellent presentation will not only explicate what is important and core to the topic. (2) Relying on several empirical cases as the main vehicle to elicit and then explicate a set of theoretical issues discussed in the course. it should be primarily your own reading of the topic. You may use the whiteboard. or the maximum of 2 pages. Reading responses are evaluated based on. or any means you deem interesting or engaging for all of us. (ii) clarity of one"s own position in relation to the critiqued position. Each reading response should be no more than 500 words. These are only suggestions. Monday. you are free to decide on the direction of this final research paper. (b) coherent and critical arguments. . 2014. though the reading response can share some of your group"s insights on the topic. The final research paper is due. Importantly. The critical points to bear in mind when writing this paper are: (a) clear research questions and topic. 28 April.

____________________________________________________________________________ 4 . or arguing against them in a constructive manner for the purpose of fostering mutual learning. and make his or her own voice heard in a clear and concise manner at all times. (2) There are sometimes optional readings for certain weeks. (4) Unexplained and persistent absenteeism from class will not be tolerated. (3) Late assignments will not be accepted except for reasons of (1) validated medical leave (2) valid emergencies. By !optional". such readings have been offered to students who enjoy challenges and therefore demand a broader intellectual horizon to the topics at hand.Class participation Each student is expected to participate actively in the on-going discussions in the class.Other Factors for Evaluations (1) Students must come to each class having read the readings assigned each week with intelligent questions that can help everyone to go deeper into thinking about the topics at hand. or clarifying them. the student will have to think about the on-going dialogues in the class. Unprepared ignorance will not be tolerated in the class. Furthermore. Perfect attendance is a necessary but not sufficient criterion for active participation.Contemporary Architectural Theory_Course Description# Prepared by Jeffrey Chan . the student is expected to argue on behalf of his or her classmate by either building on the other"s ideas. .

Lecture by Jeffrey Chan No Group Presentations. pp. (2009). D. H. State. Journal of Architectural Education.40-45. Minneapolis. {Excerpts: Chapter 4: Capital Goes to Market. Architectural Design. Vol. Monday 27 January: Global Capital. (2011).5. pp.62. MN: University of Minnesota Press. Architectural Record. (1) Speaks. Brenner & S.185-195. The Sociology of Architecture: Constructing Identities.79. 5 . UK: Profile Books. World: Selected Essays. Space: Social Product and Use Value. Optional: (1) Baird. (2010). June 2005. P. and Chapter 6: The Geography of It All} (2) Jones. Meeting the New Boss: After the Death of Theory. The Enigma of Capitalism and the Crises of Capitalism. EIden (eds). Space. Monday 13 January: Lecture Free Week for Year 4 ____________________________________________________________________________ Week 2. pp. UK: Liverpool University Press. No. Spaces of Neoliberalism and Iconic Architecture Lecture by Jeffrey Chan Discussion of Week 2 Readings First Group presentations of Week 3 Readings (1) Harvey. ____________________________________________________________________________ Week 3.Contemporary Architectural Theory_Course Description# Prepared by Jeffrey Chan READINGS LIST AND SCHEDULE BY WEEK Updated: 19 January.3. No. (2009).1. After Theory.72-75. (2) Hight. 2014 Week 1. {Excerpts: Chapter 6: Iconic Architecture and Regeneration: The Form is the Function} Optional: (1) Lefebvre. M. Monday 20 January: Introduction Introductory short lecture: !What is theory?" and introduction to the course. Thoughts on the Current State of Criticism in Architecture. pp. C. (2005). In N. (2009). G. Vol.

Ciritical Introductions to Urbanism and the City. Monday 3 February: Urban Cinematics Lecture by Tomohisa Miyauchi Second Group presentations of Week 4 Readings (1) Mennel. Mark. Architecture and the Critique of Ideology. Monday 17 February: Readings on Deleuze Lecture by Bobby Wong 6 . Locating the Moving Image: New Approaches to Film and Place (The Spatial Humanities). policy. Criticism. (4) Penz. 83-102 (2) Shiel. 2008. Screening the City. L.21-47. pp. Julia. ____________________________________________________________________________ Week 4. (3) Hallam. FranCois. Barbara. F. The City and the Moving Image: Urban Projections. In J. Architecture. 2013. Optional: (1) Jameson. (1991). Ideology. City: analysis of urban trends. May 1991. Cities and Cinema. Verso. Graham. The Architecture of the Screen. 2013. Routledge. Cinematic Urbanism: A History of the Modern from Reel to Real. Nezar. no. Ockman (ed. Demographies of the Anonymous. Urban Cinematics: Understanding Urban Phenomena through the Moving Image. pp. action. (1985). Princeton. 2003. ____________________________________________________________________________ Week 5. Anyone.). culture. ____________________________________________________________________________ Week 6. vol. Monday 10 February: Architecture and Late Capitalism Lecture by Bobby Wong Third Group presentations of Week 5 Readings (1) Jameson. Richard. 2011. Iconic Architecture and Capitalist Globalization. 2006.1.Contemporary Architectural Theory_Course Description# Prepared by Jeffrey Chan (2) Sklair. (2006). 7196 Optional: (1) Koeck.51-87.10. theory. 2010. NJ: Princeton Architectural Press. 262-297 (3) AlSayyad. 208-221 (2) Cairns. F.

The Deleuze Connections. 17-56 (2) Gutman. 186-187.changarch. Architecture: The Story of Practice. 199-202. Mass: MIT Press. Robert. 2012. 220-221.Contemporary Architectural Theory_Course Description# Prepared by Jeffrey Chan Fourth Group presentations of Week 6 Readings (1) Rajchman. J. 151-178 (3) Wasserman BL.fdat. 193-195. Cambridge. 227-230 Optional: (1) Cuff Fifth Group presentations of Week 7 Readings (1) Bauman Lyons Architects. 1995. Optional: (1) Rajchman. How to be a Happy Architect. (2000). Black Dog Publishing. W. Ethics and the Practice of Architecture. Cambridge. MA: MIT Press (Excerpt: Chapter 2). The Deleuze Connections. London. ____________________________________________________________________________ RECESS:! ! ! 22 February 2014 . 2010. (2000). Sullivan P. 2000. Law for Architects: What You Need to Know. New York: W.$ ____________________________________________________________________________ Week 8. Donovan Soon www. Norton & Co. Monday 10 March: Architectural Ethics and Spatial Justice 7 . 208-210.2 March 2014 ____________________________________________________________________________ Week 7. Cambridge. Menaker &amp. Architecture From the Outside In: Selected Essays by Robert Gutman. MA: MIT Press (Excerpt: Chapter 1). Herrmann LLP. Monday 3 March: Entrepreneurship in Architecture Moderation by Tomohisa Miyauchi Guest speakers: Chang Yong Ter http://www. Palermo G. 76-95 (2) Herrmann RF. J. New York: Wiley.

CA: Semiotext(e).moma. New York: Taylor and Francis. 4460 (3) The Young Architects Program. (Excerpt: Chapter 4: Politics) ____________________________________________________________________________ Week 9.The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA Archifest Singapore. Monday 24 March: Curating Architecture Lecture by Tomohisa Miyauchi Eighth Group presentations of Week 10 Readings (1) Chaplin S. D. Stara A. A. Cambridge. Vol no. Curating in the 21st Century. 28-55 8 . 2009. The Porcelain Workshop: for a new grammar of politics.$ Optional: (1) Smith T. The Global Architect: Firms. p. MA: MIT Press. Monday 17 March: Biopolitics and the Commons Lecture by Bobby Wong Seventh Group presentations of Week 9 Readings Group Discussion Report 5 Due in Class (1) (1) Negri. Walsall: The New Art Gallerey Walsall. {Excerpt: Chapter 10: Imperfect Ethics} Optional: (1) Cuthbert.13-28} ____________________________________________________________________________ Week 10.$http://www. The Form of Cities: Political Economy and Urban Design. {Excerpts: Chapter 1. New York. 2012. J. 117-128 (2) Wade. (2008). Fame and Urban Form. Gavin. NY: Routledge. Thinking Contemporary Curating. Los Angeles. (2009).Contemporary Architectural Theory_Course Description# Prepared by Jeffrey Chan Lecture by Jeffrey Chan Sixth Group presentations of Week 8 Readings (1) McNeill. New York.R. 2000. (2006). Architecture Depends. UK: Blackwell. A. (2009). 1. Curating Architecture and the City. {Excerpts: Chapter 7: The Ethics of Architectural Practice} (2) Till. NY: Independent Curators International.

Architects in Competition: International Architectural Competitions of the Last 200 Years. The Architecture of Competitions. Introduction: The Fear Factor. Monday 7 April: Winning an Architectural Competition Moderation by Tomohisa Miyauchi Tenth (Final) Group presentations of Week 12 Readings Guest Speaker: TBA (1) BaumanLyons Architects. pp. USA: Ashgate. ____________________________________________________________________________ Week 11. 2008. Sorkin (ed). The Architecture of Transgression: Towards a Destabilising Architecture. In M. Lange JM. 2013. 2010. NY: Routledge. 2012.Contemporary Architectural Theory_Course Description# Prepared by Jeffrey Chan (2) Marincola P. Cynthia. J.3-12} ____________________________________________________________________________ Week 12. Risk and the Global City: Towards Urban Resilience. 2001. Z. 20-37 (2) Haan. Terrorism. Black Dog Publishing. Curating now: imaginative practice/public responsibility. {Chapter 4: Out of Touch Together} (2) Sorkin. 1988. Architectural Design. 26-63 9 . Monday 31 March: Architecture of Fear and The Militarization of Everyday Spaces Lecture by Jeffrey Chan Ninth Group presentations of Week 11 Readings (1) Bauman. (2007). Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative. Sara R. 180-207 Optional: (1) Phase eins. {Chapter 1: Introduction: Terrorism. Oct. UK: Polity. M. Log 20. (2009). Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty. Optional: (1) Coaffee. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. 14-15.vii-xvii. (2008). (5) Davidson. pp.83:14-19 (4) Lange A. How to be a Happy Architect. Risk and the Global City. 23-46 (3) Mosley J. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Exhibitions Institute. Indefensible Space: The Architecture of the National Insecurity State. 2009. DOM publishers. Hilde De. 2000. Writing about Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities.

2010. MONDAY. Jonas E.Contemporary Architectural Theory_Course Description# Prepared by Jeffrey Chan (2) Andersson. BY 5PM in the Department"s Office. (3) Rönn.25 APRIL 2014: NO CLASS ____________________________________________________________________________ FINAL PAPER DUE 28 APRIL 2014. Monday 14 April: Conclusion and Summary Joint discussion and summary by Jeffrey Chan. Magnus. A/P Bobby Wong and Tomohisa Miyauchi ____________________________________________________________________________ READING WEEK 19 APRIL 2014 .Histories and Practice. 2013. Architectural Competitions . 10 . The Architectural Competition: Research Inquiries and Experiences. A box will be placed there for your papers. ____________________________________________________________________________ Week 13.

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