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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Undergraduate Course: Architectural Theory (ARCH10002)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the relationship between theory and architecture. Exploring various forms of architectural theory - such as essays, lectures, books, case studies, films and other media - you will develop skills to read, reflect upon, critique and discuss architectural theory, and means to apply theoretical knowledge to real world situations.

This will involve close reading of texts from within and outside of the discipline of architecture. We will also analyse a range of case studies to better understand how theory can challenge assumptions and offer new ways of thinking about key problems.

The course will enable you to explore the relationship between architecture and other cultural practices. It will also provide you with an expanded interpretive framework for understanding architectural production.
Course description Through reading, writing and group discussions, we will explore different ways of thinking about architecture in a range of geographic, social, political, historical and material contexts.

The 11 weekly modules involve thematic explorations of architectural discourse and practice, and sample different strands of architectural and critical theory, including theories of the environment, critical disability theory, modernism, postmodernism, new materialism, decoloniality, critical race theory, information theory and more. You will develop critical reading and writing skills that aid the comprehension of texts and theories.

Each module includes a 1 hour lecture and a 1 hour small-group tutorial. There will be three items of essential reading for each weekly module. These should be reviewed before the start of the module, and read closely before the small-group tutorials.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Architectural Design: In Place (ARCH08007) AND Architectural Design: Any Place (ARCH08006) AND Technology and Environment 2A: Building Environment (ARCH08028) AND Technology and Environment 2B: Building Fabric (ARCH08027)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesThis course is only open to students on an approved exchange with ESALA.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  121
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 11, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course has 2 assessment components.
Journal (2,400 words) 50% of term grade due in week 11
Essay (2,000 words) 50% of term grade due in examination period

For 6 of the 11 reading modules in the course you will respond to the weeks theme and assigned readings in a Journal. Each of the six 400-word entries should record your reflections and unique interpretations of key theories, arguments, evidence and methods. The completed Journal, including 6 written entries, totaling around 2,400 words, assessed against LO1 (33%), LO2 (33%) and LO3 (33%).

The Essay (2,000 words) builds on the skills developed in the creation of the Journal and provides an opportunity to explore a particular issue in greater depth. The Essay includes both analytical and descriptive writing and presents a clear argument, engagement with the course materials, and a questioning approach. The Essay is due during the examination period (after the Journal), assessed against all LOs LO1 (33%), LO2 (33%) and LO3 (33%).

Note that students on the BA Architecture programme are permitted a maximum of two assessment attempts to pass this course. For those on the MA Hons programme there are no resits, as this is an honours level course.
Feedback Formative Feedback
Written formative feedback will be provided during Week 6 on the draft Journal submission.
The weekly small-group tutorials will provide additional opportunities to develop ideas and receive verbal formative feedback.

Summative Feedback
Written summative feedback will be offered against all LOs and provided with the final course marks.

Feedback will be returned as per University regulations.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary design theories and the ways in which they can inform specific approaches to, and practices of, architectural design.
  2. Analyse through careful argument how architectural production fits within wider philosophical, historical, social, environmental, ethical, political and economic discourses.
  3. Communicate research issues in architectural theory, to critically reflect upon them and to organise and present those reflections in the format of scholarly writing.
Reading List
Cheng, Irene. Structural Racialism in Modern Architectural Theory. In Race and Modern Architecture: A Critical History from the Enlightenment to the Present, 134-152. Irene Cheng, Charles L. Davis II and Mabel O. Wilson, eds. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020.

Cocker, Emma. Tactics for Not Knowing: Preparing for the Unexpected. In On
Not Knowing: How Artists Think, edited by R. Fortnum and E. Fisher, 126-135. London: Black Dog Publishing, 2013.

Hendren, Sara. What Can a Body Do? How We Meet the Built World. New York: Riverhead Books, 2020.

Lefebvre, Henri. Writings on Cities. Oxford: Blackwell, 1996.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsTheory,philosophy,architecture,culture and society
Course organiserMs Hafsa Olcay
Course secretaryMrs Abbie Humphreys
Tel: (01316) 502306
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