Architectural Studies

2021-22

101 The Language of Architecture

(Offered as ARCH 101 and ARHA 101) This introductory course focuses on the tools used to communicate and discuss ideas in architectural practice and theory. We study both the practical, from sketching to parallel drawing, to the theoretical, from historical to critical perspectives. Connecting both, we cover the formal analysis elements necessary to “read” and critique built works. Class activities include field trips, guest presentations, sketching and drawing, small design exercises, discussion of readings, and short written responses. Through these activities, at the end of the semester the student will understand in general terms what the dealings and challenges of architecture as a discipline are.

Limited to 20 students. Professor Arboleda.

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022, Fall 2024

105 Space and Design: Introduction to Studio Architecture

(Offered as ARCH 105 and ARHA 105) This hands-on design studio will foster innovation as it guides students through the development of conceptual architecture. Through a series of projects that build on each other, students will develop their own design language and experiment with architecture at several scales - from an interior screen that plays with light, shadow and color, to a dynamic built structure and its integration into a site. We will work through both hand-drafted and computer drawings, as well as physical model-making to understand plan, section, and elevations as well as diagramming and concept models. Guest critics will attend three reviews during the semester, and students will present their work to design professionals and professors.

No prior architecture experience is necessary, but a willingness to experiment and a desire to learn through making are essential.

Admissions with consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Visiting Lecturer Chase.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

120 Plant Cultures: Chemical Perspectives on Slavery and the Land. 

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in January 2021

131 History and Theory of Architecture

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

135 Renaissance to Revolution: Early Modern European Art and Architecture

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2023

152 Visual Culture of the Islamic World

Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2023

153 World Monuments

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Spring 2020

154 Art and Architecture of South Asia

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2022

157 The Postcolonial City

Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2023, Spring 2025

159 Modernity and the Avant-Gardes, 1890–1945

Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2021, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

160 Deconstructing Modernity: 1945–2000

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

202 Architectural Anthropology

(Offered as ARCH 202 and ARHA 202) This seminar explores the emerging interdisciplinary field that combines the theory and practice of architecture and anthropology. We compare and contrast these two disciplines’ canonical methods, their ethical stances, and their primary subject matters (i.e., buildings and people). With that, we reflect upon the challenges of ethnoarchitecture as a new discipline, emphasizing the challenges of carrying out architectural research and/or construction work among people from cultural backgrounds different than the architect’s own. In general, this course invites critical thinking about the theory and practice of architecture, especially when it confronts issues of difference, including ethno-cultural and social class differences.

Recommended prior coursework: The course is open to everyone; previous instruction in architectural studies, area or ethnic studies, or social studies can be beneficial but is not mandatory.

Limited to 20 students. Spring Semester. Professor Arboleda.

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023

205 Sustainable Design: Principles, Practice, Critique

(Offered as ARCH 205 and ARHA 205) This theory seminar aims to provide students with a strong basis for a deep engagement with the practice of sustainability in architectural design. The studied material covers both canonical literature on green design and social science-based critical theory. We start by exploring the key tenets of the sustainable design discourse, and how these tenets materialize in practice. Then, we examine sustainable design in relation to issues such as inequality and marginality. As we do this, we locate sustainability within the larger environmental movement, studying in detail some of the main approaches and standards of sustainable design, the attempts to improve this practice over time, and the specific challenges confronting these attempts. In addition to reading discussions, we study our subject through student presentations and written responses, a field trip, and two graphic design exercises.

Recommended prior coursework: The course is open to everyone, but students would benefit from having a previous engagement with a course in architectural design, architectural history and/or theory, introduction to architectural studies, or environmental studies.

Limited to 20 students. Fall Semester. Professor Arboleda.

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

207 Racism and the City

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020, Fall 2021

209 Space and Design: Intermediate Studio Architecture

(Offered as ARCH 209 and ARHA 209) This course will be a design investigation of sustainable architecture. Students will research cutting edge innovations in green technology and present their findings through graphic boards and verbal presentations. They will then design their own systems for water collection, air filtration, energy capture, site strategies, and solar power. A design language will be developed through a series of rigorous design exercises and creative innovation, and will culminate in a building project. Students will further develop sketching, drafting and model-making skills both by hand and with the computer. Guest critics will attend three reviews during the semester, and students will present their work to design professionals and professors.

Requisite: ARCH 105 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students.

Spring semester. Visiting Lecturer Chase.

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022

211 Introduction to Urban Sociology: Invention of the Urban Space

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022

232 Cartographic Cultures: Making Maps, Building Worlds

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2023, Spring 2025

240 Women in Architecture

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021

241 The Age of Michelangelo: Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2023

245 Politics and Preservation: Rebuilding the Past Worldwide

2023-24: Not offered

249 Digital Art History

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

250 Humanitarian Design in Theory and Practice

(Offered as ARCH 250 and ARHA 250) This course explores the challenges and possibilities of humanitarian design, a growing area of interest in architectural practice. The course includes a field trip to Ecuador, to take place over Spring Break. This field component is deeply integrated into the course contents. During the first part of the semester, students become familiar with relevant theoretical and practice-based approaches to disaster reconstruction. With that, they gain an understanding of the complexities of this area, and a good grasp of the tasks and issues to be dealt with in the field. Upon returning from Ecuador, the rest of the semester is devoted to debriefing, producing and analyzing documentation, and drawing general lessons for the theory and practice of humanitarian design. The main case study is that of post-disaster reconstruction following Ecuador’s 2016 Pedernales Earthquake, which killed over 600 people and injured over 16,000. We will study the outcome of diverse reconstruction efforts and approaches four years after the earthquake. In order to compare and contrast approaches, our fieldwork will focus on two settings, an urban and a rural one, both located in the coastal Manabí province.

Limited to 12 Amherst College students. Admission with consent of the instructor. This course is open to Amherst College students only.  There will be an application process before pre-registration. Those students selected will have their travel expenses covered.
Omitted 2021-22. Professor Arboleda. 

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

253 The Modern Metropolis

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

257 The Colonial City: Architecture, Empire, Resistance

Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

258 Art, Things, Spaces, and Places

Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Spring 2022

259 Utopia: Visionary Architecture, Art and Theory

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

261 The Architecture of Race

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021

269 Baroque Art

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Fall 2013, Fall 2016, Spring 2022

360 Performance

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2017, Fall 2020, Spring 2023

363 Traumatic Events

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Fall 2018

365 Making Memorials

Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2016, Fall 2021

368 SPACE

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2018, Spring 2022, Fall 2024

369 TIME

(Offered as ARCH 369 and EUST 369) This research seminar will explore conceptions of time as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, philosophy, neuroscience, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual/sonic materials will be drawn from the fields of European literature, philosophy and critical theory; from architectural, art, music, neuroscience and film theory and history; from performance studies and performance theory; and from theories of technology and the natural and built environment. We will sustain a focus on issues of perception, cognition, duration, movement, attention, imagination, memory, and narrative throughout. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is central to this seminar. Conducted in English.

Preference given to ARCH and EUST majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment.

Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2023

390, 490 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

Fall and spring semesters. The Department.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

498, 499, 499D Senior Departmental Honors.

A full course. Spring semester. The Department.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2025

Non-Language Departmental Courses

220 Reinventing Tokyo: The Art, Literature, and Politics of Japan's Modern Capital

2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2022

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