ARC 231: syllabus for fall semester 2015

Course Content and Structure

This course presents a study of architecture’s main theoretical currents in the context of those buildings which manifest them, with an emphasis on the places and periods of “modern” theoretical development: America and Europe during the period starting in the eighteenth century. Building on the more deliberately chronological and comprehensive ARC 231 and 232, it uses the method of Case Study: A detailed analysis of an individual or group, especially as an exemplary model of certain phenomena, and emphasizes the effects of main developments in architecture history and theory on local architecture. In most “cases,” an important “text” is joined with a building or architect to facilitate an examination of the way that ideas—usually expressed in words—become architecture. The case studies approach is a pedagogical model intended to help organize material and facilitate class discussion; it is not meant to suggest that those subjects singled out for the case study treatment are inherently more important or of a higher quality than others, but rather should foster a depth of thinking about architecture that students can apply in the future to investigating the many architects, movements and buildings that are not a part of the ARC 331 outline.


For the discipline of architectural history, it comprehensively studies history as it is revealed through the built world; buildings (and writings about them) are cultural artifacts which reveal human values.