• Elaborate Course: Contemporary Architectural Theory

Elaborate Course: Contemporary Architectural Theory

精品课程当代建筑理论

(Credits: 2; Credit Hours: 36; Laboratory Hours:0)


  1. The nature and objectives of the course

Contemporary Architectural Theory is a compulsory course in the whole professional education, and is to provide basic knowledge for training architects with independent thoughts and creativities. It has three objectives: 1) help students build up basic understandings of the scope of contemporary architectural theories, of their key issues and concepts and of the role they have played in the development of architecture; 2) let students be aware of the contexts where certain theoretical issues have developed, their history, transformation, contributions and constraints; 3) let students understand different ways to approach the similar issues in different cultural contexts, particularly in China.


  1. Training expectations of students’ capabilities

Upon completion of the course lectures and seminars, students are expected to achieve:

  1. Analytical and observational capability: students will obtain certain methods and tools for analysing architectural works and topics, and find their own views in the analyses and observations;

  2. Critical thinking: students will have capacity to understand buildings, to engage architectural discussions and to read architectural representations from different and multiple perspectives;

  3. Reading and writing capacity: students will present their own thoughts in specialised language and by multiple media;

  4. Self-learning capability: students will comprehend, analyse and summarize the knowledge system that have been offered and have the necessary skills to actively search and study references about a given subject matter;

  5. Theorization capacity: students will know how to develop certain arguments from close reading and analysis of questions and issues in reality.


  1. Tentative allocation of teaching hours



Course Contents

Hours (36)

1

Basic 1: Introduction

3

2

Basic 2: Words and Buildings

3

3

Basic 3: Drawings and Images

3

4

Issue 1: Formula: Space/Time = Architecture

3

5

Issue 2: Mechanical Invention

3

6

Issue 3: Hyper-Functionalism

3

7

Issue 4: An Anonymous History

3

8

Comparison 1: The Empire of Figures

3

9

Comparison 2:Spatial Strategies

3

10

Comparison 3: Quantity Control

3

11

Comparison 4::Memory without Location

3

12

Presentations: Outline of Paper

3


  1. Grading policy

Final Grade = Routine Performance (including attendance, presentation and classroom discussion) + Final Paper (3000-5000 words)

Routine Performance: 40

Final Paper: 60


  1. Textbook & references

  1. Alan Colquhoun, Modern Architecture. Oxford: Oxford History of Art, 2002;

  2. Adrian Forty,Words and Buildings: A Vocabulary of Modern Architecture.London: Thames & Hudson, 2000;

  3. SigfriedGiedion, Space, Time and Architecture: The Growth of New Tradition. Harvard University Press, 1974

  4. Michael Hays, ed. Architecture Theory Since 1968. Cambridge, Mass. and London: The MIT Press, 2000

  5. Shiqiao Li Understanding the Chinese CityLondon: Sage Publications, 2014