Pedagogical Goals

Although learning objectives differ markedly between introductory courses for students in the pre-professional program and seminars for M.Arch. candidates, and format of instruction is defined by such settings as the lecture hall, seminar room, design studio and foreign city, all of my classes share certain pedagogical goals.

As an architectural historian I am responsive to the ideals of the discipline of architectural history to study buildings constructed around the world and through time. As a former architect (and thus, a veteran architecture student) and professor in a professional program, I strive to make clear the way that history's lessons can inform contemporary practice; all of my classes are designed to complement the objectives of the professional program (with several of them fulfilling NAAB Performance Criteria; see individual syllabi for details). As succinctly stated by an influential teacher of mine: architects and architectural historians ask the same questions; the only difference is the tense of the verb. Because we do not live and work in a context divorced from culture and tradition, history is never far away, no matter the educational setting.

Naturally, courses in the architectural history curriculum deliver the most overt lessons in the subject. In addition to covering specific cultures and monuments defined by course descriptions, each has an objective to understanding the methodology of architectural history. Such understanding is part of the critical skills related to looking at and thinking about architecture and its related arts that architecture students should develop, and that architects should use regularly.

Finally, my courses are conceived to serve the mission of the university, integrating with other courses in the major area and the liberal arts and sciences. Because architecture has been long considered a mode of communication, and because communication is essential to the success of any significant endeavor (including architecture) my courses place a great emphasis on writing and speaking skills. (Yes, Virginia: spelling counts, too.)


The product of a certificate program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison was an ePortfolio. It comprises the individual lessons of the class and overarching, reflective summations. The ePortfolio is accessible by following this link.