Obligatory, Semester 7, ECTS: 4
Adjunct Instructor: YIORGOS RIMENIDES
The course aims at mapping the contemporary architectural practices-statements and the relative meaning strategies underlying them. In other terms, it invests on an interpretation of the 'grand' theoretical narratives (theories and theorisations) of the architectural condition and phenomena of the last decades. In parallel, the course welcomes the shaping of a collective, structured as well as open, critical stance at the multiplicity, the contradictions and the epistemological preconditions of the architectural discourse since the rise of the postmodern and the crisis of modernist ideology. Key texts and projects are being discussed, coupled with ideas and practices originating in philosophy, science, politics and art as an attempt to eventually apprehend the fundamental structures and concepts of architectural thinking.
The courses is organised in two parts.
The first part situates the fundamental concepts, distinctions and hypotheses of the course (knowledge-ethics-power, history-theory-criticism, epistemology of architecture, work-text et.al.) and initiates a commentary on the emergent radical abolishment of architectural autonomy. Architecture's new identity is hybrid and comprises of new discursive elements originating from 'stable' scientific disciplines such as biology, mathematics as well as human sciences, be that anthropology, literature, psychoanalysis or political theory. Thus, architectural trends and movements, methods and aesthetics, such as those grouped within parametricism, postomodernism, deconstruction et.al. are approached as examples of this new process of hybridisation.
Together with that, contemporary architectural modalities are studied by means of the influence exercised on them by paradigmatic architectural events, st(ar)chitects, global architectural academia and the tsunami of design and lifestyle publlications (print or digital), exhibitions etc. The second part of the course studies in more detail the character of the above publication, circulation and distribution network and its strengthening effect on the wider perception and operation of architectural theories and ideologies, concepts, tools and methods coupled with the relative ways of producing and consuming space.
As a whole, the course defines an attempt to locate the epistemological and socio-cultural regime of architectural thinking. In that sense, it focuses on endlessly recurring architectural questions such as the construction of meaning in architecture, originality and authorship, tradition and the past, typology and styles, the architect's social role and political engagement, the ethics of drawing, visuality and the body, machine and network, architectural ideals and operativity.
The course unfolds along a series of lectures, video projections and discussion seminars based on texts by Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Manuel De Landa, Pierre Bourdieu, Rem Koolhaas, Anthony Vidler, Umberto Eco, Henri Lefebvre, Edward Said, Paolo Virno, Wilhelm Flusser, Stan Allen, Peter Eisenman, Roland Barthes, Le Corbusier, Mark Cousins, Robin Evans, Mark Wigley, Beatriz Colomina, Jacques Derrida, Paul Virilio, Alberto Perez-Gomez, Fredric Jameson, Hurgen Harbermas, Charles Jencks, Bernard Tschumi, Manfredo Tafuri, Colin Rowe, Dianne Agrest, Sanford Kwinter, Dimitris Tziovas, Yorgos Simaioforides, Thanassis Moutsopoulos, Aldo Rossi, Andreas Empeirikos, Ulrich Beck, Kostantinos Doxiadis, Ugur Tanyeli, Martin Calinescu, Dick Hebdidge, Terry Eagleton et.al.
Students are expected to hand out a personal paper (of around 2000 words) discussing everyday life choral (spatial) habits and practices, which though -or maybe just because- performed repeatedly and within the context of the everyday, eventually become invisible though not necessarily intangible.
Course material may be found at http://architecturemythologies.blogspot.gr