part eleven

TWA Terminal, JFK Airport, New York (Eero Saarinen, 1962)



Continuing our consideration of architecture and time, we look to particular expressions for modernity and historicism. Ever since the Renaissance (and to some extent before it), architects intentionally drew from past sources to express a common meaning understood to be embedded in an architectural style. Conversely, starting in the late nineteenth century and to a greater extreme in the twentieth and twenty-first, many architects have intentionally sought unprecedented newness.

From a Christian perspective,

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)

technological determinism

A key belief in modernism is to strive for newness of expression, oftentimes (in fact, usually) tied to technological change: either real or perceived. (Please note: "change" and "progress" are not the same thing and the latter should not be assumed in the former.) While understanding that architects have often sought expressive potential in technology of one kind or another, it's another thing all together to assume that technology itself has some kind of agency or determining power over its use and expression. Belief in this idea is called technological determinism and, due to its prevalence in the Modernist movement, thought, and writing (and continued residue in practice today), it's worth a focus.

Watch this video on technological determinism:

Participate in this discussion board.

  • By Thursday at 11 PM:
  • By Saturday at 11 PM:
  • By Monday at 11 AM:

for Monday (11 AM)

the promise and pitfall of modern communication

The spread and change of architectural ideas throughout history has been dependent on the systems of communication that carried those ideas--and the intentionality with which they were carried. Roman generals carried the principles of city planning with them as they conquered an empire that stretched thousands of miles from the Capitol; medieval journeymen recorded structural and decorative details of great public buildings in their sketchbooks that carried Gothic idioms across geographic boundaries; movable type and woodcuts allowed the new innovation of book publication to carry greater numbers of words and images farther across Europe and by the eighteenth century, around the world with even greater publication techniques. National mail service, photography, and the internet likewise increased the speed of ideas by leaps and bounds. While we may look at the last few decades as an "information revolution," really it's just the most recent and fastest chapter of a very long story.

For a few impressions of technological exchange via new communications, review the following:

  • Thomas U. Walter on modern architecture
  • Frank Lloyd Wright/Hugo, this will kill that
  • Internet and placelessness
  • Globalism, sameness



for Tuesday: on campus

red yellow blue


  • Goldberger
  • Define a time; Gothics, classical; tech issues and determinism

Presentation & Reflection

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for Tuesday: online

red yellow blue


  • Goldberger
  • Define a time; Gothics, classical; tech issues and determinism

Presentation & Reflection

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  • text