This course seeks to confront historical knowledge with speculation about the intentions of architectural designs and the nature of their realization. Drawing as much on the modern interest in cognitive processes as on selective reconstruction of historic moments, the course expects students to contribute to the debate between Peter Eisenman and Kurt Forster, read a limited series of texts, and focus their attention on the buildings that command center stage. The challenge resides in the effort to understand the beginnings of new ideas during the Renaissance, to grow aware of their evolution and consequences, without distorting their historical nature. The course continues in the spring term by taking a broad look at the twentieth century and then organizes itself around a few key phases in the formation of architectural consciousness, moving through the postwar debates to current dilemmas. The two terms are closely choreographed, but the courses can be taken separately. Students are expected to prepare for each session by studying the posted readings, the principal buildings and images that will be discussed, and preparing questions to be raised during the session. Students each submit a succinct account of their thinking on a building that is key to an understanding of Renaissance architecture. Limited enrollment.

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3256b
Spring 2021
Renaissance and Modern II
Kurt Forster, Peter Eisenman