part four: morality & legality

"The Modern Poor House," Contrasts, or, A parallel between the noble edifices of the Middle Ages, and corresponding buildings of the present day, shewing the present decay of taste, (Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, 1841)


Morality & Legality

This week we dive further into ethical matters. You'll start with some readings that begin a tradition in architectural theory that consider moral issues as related to building projects, including the activities of people and the actual "character" of buildings. Related, but different, is the legal responsibilities of architects and the lawful manner in which a person is allowed to call herself a professional architect.

learning objectives

At the conclusion of this part of the course, you should be able to:

  • xxxxx (REMEMBER--recall facts and basic concepts) define, duplicate, list, memorize, repeat, state
  • xxxxx (UNDERSTAND--explain ideas and concepts) classify, describe, discuss, explain, identify, locate, recognize, report, select
  • xxxxx (APPLY--use information in new situations) execute, implement, solve, use, demonstrate, interpret, operate, schedule, sketch
  • xxxxx (ANALYZE--draw connections among ideas) differentiate, organize, relate, compare, contrast, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test
  • xxxxx (EVALUATE--justify a stand) appraise, argue, defend, judge, select, support, critique, weigh
  • xxxxxx (CREATE--produce new or original work) design, assemble, conjecture, develop, formulate, investigate

for Thursday (11 PM)

Morality & Architecture

While a sense of ethics would be expected of any profession or vocation, the "morality" associated with architecture--especially due to its public nature--was explicitly promoted starting in the nineteenth century. Especially in the mind of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-52; shown at left), architecture could impact the morality of a population through its very style and planning.

His ideals are related to, but different from, those of the Renaissance architect Alberti, whose interests were more about the symbolic nature of buildings in relationship with one another. His hierarchical view was aimed at ensuring a well-ordered society housed in, and properly represented by, public, private, sacred, and secular buildings.

Pugin's brand of moralism, rooted deeply in his Catholic faith, has an interesting resonance with (and against) others of his century, including Thomas U. Walter (1804-87) and John Ruskin (1819-1900). His themes would be stretched to the breaking point by early European modernists, including Le Corbusier (1887-1965).


  • Watch this presentation on "Morality and Architecture"

To study their ideas, follow the links to writings by:

  • Alberti
  • Pugin

Complete the discussion board assignment according to the following schedule:

  • Group 1 (post by Thursday, 11 PM)
  • Group 2 (post by Saturday, 11 PM)
  • Group 3 (post by Monday, 11 AM)

for Monday (11 AM)

Vernacular Methods

Groups conclude their discussion board work. Return after 11 AM to review the work of the group.

Prepare for tomorrow's quiz on

  • legal requirements for licensure in the US
  • definitions/examples of vocation and profession
  • Christian traditions

for Tuesday: on campus

red yellow blue

Quiz 1


  • Goldberger
  • Morality discussion
  • Assign "disaster buildings"

Presentation & Reflection

for Tuesday: online

red yellow blue

Quiz 1


  • Goldberger
  • Morality discussion
  • Assign "disaster buildings"

Presentation & Reflection

  • History: "art" in architecture: Italian Baroque, Seattle Church, Farnsworth; Decon