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

Undergraduate Course: Architecture on Fire (UG) (ARCH10045)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryFire shapes our environment by accident, and by design. Fire is a physical tool used to modify landscapes, forge materials, and condition environments, as well as a hazard that threatens to damage or destroy cities and wildlands. Fire is also a conceptual tool, an explanatory metaphor we use to understand and explain dynamic processes within both built and natural environments. This course studies a number of texts that reflect on fire as both a physical and a conceptual tool, drawn from architecture, landscape and related discplines.
Course description This course studies the ways that architecture, landscape architecture and urban design have been shaped by fire. It does so through a series of lectures and seminars that study texts prompted by fires in natural or designed environments; by new technologies of construction and environmental conditioning, or by natural and anthropogenic fires occuring in urban and landscape contexts. Some texts are drawn directly from the history and theory of architecture and landscape architecture, some from other disciplines, including art history, cultural studies, economics, earth science, engineering, sociology, literature, and philosophy. As such, the course offers a survey of how architects and landscape architects have thought about fire, but also how fire has prompted others to think about those disciplines. By studying these texts the course will reflect on fire as a physical tool for modifying environments, but also as a conceptual tool for understanding environmental processes. Reading between these texts, the course aims to track tensions between our physical and conceptual mastery of fire, and so between scientific and artistic dimensions of environmental design practices.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesOpen to visiting students with undergraduate experience in Architecture, Landscape Architecture or cognate subjects
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of a range of theories, concepts and principles employed by architects, landscape architects, and other thinkers, when addressing questions connected to fire.
  2. Develop a critical and creative work of research on a topic related to the question of fire in built and natural environments.
  3. Produce a coherent, well-written and well-illustrated academic enquiry, following appropriate referencing conventions.
Reading List
Bachelard, Gaston. Psychoanalysis of Fire. Beacon Press, 1977.
Bankoff, Greg, Uwe Lübken, Jordan Sand, and Stephen J. Pyne. Flammable Cities: Urban Conflagration and the Making of the Modern World. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2012.
Bobbette, Adam. 'A Forensics of the Future: Fire Insurance Underwriting, Contingency, and Early 20th Century Materials'. Journal of Architectural Education 67, no. 2 (July 3, 2013): 285-87.
Fernández-Galiano, Luis. Fire and Memory: On Architecture and Energy. MIT Press, 2000.
Pyne, Stephen J. Vestal Fire: An Environmental History, Told Through Fire, of Europe and Europe's Encounter with the World. University of Washington Press, 2000.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The graduate will have knowledge of:
The cultural, social and intellectual histories, theories and technologies that influence the design of buildings and landscape.
How the theories, practices and technologies of the arts influence architectural and landscape architectural design.
Theories of urban design and the planning of communities.

Graduates will have a critical understanding of how knowledge is advanced through research to produce clear, logically argued and original written work relating to architectural culture, theory and design.
KeywordsArchitecture,Landscape Architecture,Urbanism,Fire
Course organiserMr Liam Ross
Tel: (0131 6)51 5781
Course secretaryMiss Remi Jankeviciute
Tel: (0131 6)51 5773
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