University of Technology Sydney

11216 Architectural History and Theory: Modernity and Modernism

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2023 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Architecture
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:

Undergraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Description

The subject begins where the first history subject left off, in 1750, with the advent of the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, ushered in the era of scientific thinking and positivism, ways of approaching the world through systematic evaluation and consideration. It is also the beginning of the modern period, a time in which religious belief is on the decline, while democracy and capitalism are on the rise, industrial production is replacing handcraft, and populations begin the great shift from rural areas to the cities. That is, the mid-18th century represents the start of what is still called 'modernity'. Thus, while focused on the 20th century, the subject begins with the second half of the 18th century because this is the historical moment which most historians believe marks the beginnings of modernity in every human endeavour.

The subject therefore studies the relationship between the changes in the world and in world-view and diverse practices of modernism in art and architecture, along with theories of modernity as they bear upon and are challenged by these practices. The subject develops students' abilities to read and understand key aspects of architectural design through case study analysis. The subject combines a broad sweep of political, social, and economic changes that influenced new ideas in architectural design with discussion of conceptual and thematic ideas. As the famous Austrian architect Otto Wagner said, "the sole starting point of our artistic endeavours should be modern life." (Otto Wagner, Modern Architecture (1896) reprint (1988) 60.) In order to understand why architecture looks the way it does, we need to investigate the ideas that inspired architects; these ideas come from every possible realm of human thought, from fine art to science to philosophy to mysticism. Cases are used to illustrate how those ideas affected specific projects. Assigned readings complement the lectures to give students an overview of how architectural ideas and aesthetics developed across time but neither the readings, nor the lectures, in and of themselves, cover all of the material. The two are designed to complement each other.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. demonstrate an understanding of key events, contexts, issues and practices in architectural history
2. demonstrate an understanding of how architecture has changed in time and place and the social, political and cultural mechanisms which brought that about
3. demonstrate an understanding of the diverse artistic and organisational roles which architects have played in the creation of built environments
4. demonstrate an understanding of the methodologies involved in studying architectural history as a scholarly discipline
5. demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of architectural history to decisions made in designing architecture.
6. demonstrate an understanding of the basic components of the language of architecture and how those components have been used in the recent past but also in the present.
7. demonstrate an understanding of some of the basic vocabulary used in to describe architecture and landscape architecture

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes to the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Work cooperatively and professionally as part of a team (C.1)
  • Communicate ideas professionally and effectively through a variety of mediums: oral, written, visual, physical and digital (C.2)
  • Independently analyse, synthesise and formulate complex ideas, arguments and rationales and use initiative to explore alternatives (R.3)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject allows students to:

Reflect on and engage in self-critique and critical thinking

Demonstrate initiative, collaborative ability, and collegiality

Increase his or her awareness of the significance of history and theory for the understanding of development and change in architecture

Help provide students with some of the disciplinary knowledge necessary to becoming literate in the fields of architecture and landscape architecture

Develop the ability to communicate ideas effectively in a variety of ways including oral, written, visual, physical and digital;

Foster an attitude to learning that leads to enthusiastic lifelong pursuit of knowledge and skills.

The term CAPRI is used for the five Design, Architecture and Building faculty graduate attribute categories where:

C = communication and groupwork

A = attitudes and values

P = practical and professional

R = research and critique

I = innovation and creativity.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs) are linked to these categories using codes (e.g. C-1, A-3, P-4, etc.).

Teaching and learning strategies

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Weekly online: 3-hours combined lecture and tutorial

Weekly at home: 2- 3 hours of reading and/or other assessment work including online Review Quizzes

The subject will be delivered through a combination of illustrated lectures, independent work both online and analogue, assigned readings, discussions, tutorials, and online review. In general, the subject is based around reading, research, drawing, and analysis using computer software tools to develop your ability to read and analyse building composition, form, and space. The tutorials are offered to assist with the understanding of the assigned readings, the historical context, and the analysis of building composition, form, and space. The tutorials are your opportunity to discuss the concepts presented in the lectures and readings and to test your ideas for the assessment tasks. Student participation and understanding in tutorials and lectures will rely on a degree of individual reading and research.

The subject will run over about 3 hours in an alternating format: live illustrated lecture, tutorial discussion, live illustrated lecture, tutorial discussion, and then a wrap up. The pattern may be varied to accommodate topical events as they occur. Tutorials will usually be discussions of the assigned readings in small groups or large ones. Attendance will be taken in tutorials but the information you need to know to succeed will be 60% delivered in the lectures and 40% through readings and tutorials.

Please note: the material is designed for blended learning using online material, readings, videos, live lectures via Zoom (or Teams) and live discussion sessions via Zoom (or Teams). Material in each format complements the material in other formats: in order to fully understand the subject, you must complete online assignments, readings, videos, worksheets and quizzes, and attend all the lectures and tutorials. Please see below for an explanation of how the material should be used and how the subject will run. The UTS 80% attendance rule will be strictly enforced.

Content (topics)

Themes presented in the subject may include: industrialization; impacts of technology; the modern concept of space; debates about style and ornament; ideas and practices of avant-gardism; utopianism and revolution; new social formations; abstraction; hygiene; geo-politics and cross-cultural exchange, particularly the reception of modernism, and new architectural responses to these themes as well as to changes in the way people live.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Subject Diary and Tutorial Group Work

Intent:

Assessment Task 1: a) Subject Diary (30%) b) Tutorial Group Work (20%)

This assessment is a combination of work done to answer questions on the assigned readings and tutorial group work. The first assessment is worth 50% of the semester's marks – 30% for answering questions on the weekly readings and lectures in your weekly Subject Diary and 20% for Tutorial Group Work.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 4 and 6

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

C.1 and R.3

Type: Reflection
Groupwork: Group, individually assessed
Weight: 50%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Comprehension of assigned readings. 25 1 R.3
Submission of thoughtful questions about the readings on a weekly basis. 25 2 C.1
Comprehension of architectural concepts from the lecture and assigned readings as demonstrated in analytical problems done in group work. 25 4 R.3
An understanding of the theoretical issues influencing modernity and modernism and their impact on architecture. 25 6 R.3
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Model

Intent:

For this assessment, you will construct a scale physical model of an iconic modern building that opens up to show the interior space. The work will be marked on accuracy of representation and skill of model-making. This is designed to help you understand the space of iconic projects.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

3, 5 and 7

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

C.2 and R.3

Type: Case study
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 15%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
An understanding of the major concepts that informed architectural, landscape and urban design between 1750 and 1950. 50 5 R.3
An understanding of the aesthetics of design in this period. 25 3 R.3
A command of the vocabulary of design. 25 7 C.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Final exam

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3 and 4

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

.3, .4, C.2 and R.3

Type: Examination
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 35%
Criteria:

An understanding of the major concepts that informed architectural, landscape and urban design between 1750 and 1950.

An understanding of the aesthetics of design in this period.

An command of the vocabulary of design.

Minimum requirements

Minimum 80% attendance required at lectures and tutorials.

Required texts

Richard Ingersoll and Spiro Kostoff, World Architecture: A Cross-cultural History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).

William Curtis, Modern Architecture Since 1900 (London: Phaidon, 1996)

Ulrich Conrads, Programs and Manifestoes on 20th-century Architecture (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001)

Caroline Constant, The Modern Architectural Landscape (Minneapolis: U. Minnesota, 2012)

Recommended texts

Banham, Reyner. Theory and Design in the First Machine Age, Architectural Press, 1960.

Giedeon, Sigfried. Space, Time and Architecture. Harvard University Press, 1941.

Smith, Bernard. Modernism's History. Yale University Press. 1998.

Umbach, Maiken and Bernd Hueppauf. Eds. Vernacular Modernism. Stanford University Press. 2005.

References

Blundell Jones, Peter. Modern Architecture through Case Studies. Oxford: Architectural Press, 2002.
Calinescu, Matei. Five Faces of Modernity. Durham: Duke University Press, 1987.
Fishman, Robert. Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century. Massachusetts: MIT, 1982.
Frampton, Kenneth. Modern Architecture: a Critical History. London: Thames and Hudson, 1992.
Jencks, Charles. Le Corbusier and the Tragic View of Architecture. London: Penguin, 1973.
Jencks, Charles. Modern Movements in Architecture. New York: Anchor Books, 1973
Heynen, Hilde. Architecture and Modernity: A Critique. Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press, 1999.
Hildebrand, Grant. The Wright Space. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1991
Kostof, Spiro. A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.
Leach, Neil, ed. Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory. London: Routledge, 1997.
Ockman, Joan, ed. Architecture Culture 1943-1968: A Documentary Anthology. New York: Rizolli, 1993.
Tafuri, Manfredo and Francesco Dal Co. Modern Architecture. New York: Harry Abrams, 1979.
Williams Goldhagen, Sarah and Réjean Legault, ed. Anxious Modernisms: Experimentation in Postwar Architectural Culture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000.

Other resources

There is a series of films and videos listed in the subject outline that complement the material covered in the lectures.