Course syllabus

Course-PM

ARK595 History, theory and method 2 lp3 VT20 (3 hp): Resistant Architecture: 1968 and beyond

Course is offered by the department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Contact details

Isabelle Doucet

Isabelle.doucet@chalmers.se

Course purpose

May 1968 was a pivotal moment in the critical self-reflection of the profession and discipline of architecture. Spurred by countercultures, women’s liberation, the civil rights movement and various grassroots uprisings, the 1960s and 1970s saw young architects and their students questioning longstanding conventions and privileges of architecture. The elitist figure of the architect as artist-hero made place for a more socially responsible, politically active, and environmentally conscious architect. Architects would also set out to advocate for vulnerable communities, support urban activists in their struggle against the destruction of the historic urban fabric, and explore forms of ecological, cooperative and collective living. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, resistant architectures took various shapes: ecological houses, ephemeral and nomadic architectures, inflatable structures, manifestos, and direct political action. This course will introduce students to various historical instances of resistant architecture and invite students to ask how architecture can develop radical imaginations towards a more socially and ecologically sustainable world, also today.

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Course design

The course will combine lectures with reading seminars and essay writing, exposing students to a careful selection of international cases and literatures on activism, countercultures, and resistance in architecture. Students will also be asked to identify and study examples of radical architecture, whereby the course hopes to highlight also the work by often-under-studied women architects of the generation of 1968. For this purpose, students will, for example, be encouraged to research some of the key journals of the period, including, in Sweden, Arkitektur and Form, and, internationally, Architectural Design.

The course is based on lectures, seminars, reading, research, and writing (see more details in the course schedule). Each student will write and submit a short paper using some of the presented or recommended readings and individual reflections based on a small analytical task (e.g. studying periodicals). Course responsible and teacher of the course is Isabelle Doucet.

The course examination is based on active participation in lectures and seminars, and the submission of a written paper based on individual readings and analysis.

Learning objectives and syllabus

Learning objectives:

Knowledge and understanding
Demonstrate an understanding of a particular theoretical trajectory in architecture and urban design.

Abilities and skills

Understand and analyse arguments laid out in theoretical texts.
Use theoretical texts as basis for formulating a position or query.
Appropriately use citation, references and bibliography.

Ability of assessment and attitude
Promote the value (and joy!) of history, theory, and method in architecture.
Critically relate their own writing and arguments in the course to larger issues or questions in architecture and urban design, as outlined in the brief.

Study plan

Examination form

The course examination is based on active participation in lectures and seminars, and the submission of a written paper (max 2500 words) based on individual readings and analysis.

Active participation in lectures and seminars

Students are expected to take active part in discussions in class (in small groups and in the class as a whole) based on prepared readings 

Course work: research essay

Students will write and submit a short paper using some of the presented or recommended readings and individual reflections through the individual research conducted for this course. For their individual research, students will draw from a close, selected, reading of the Swedish periodical Form or Architektur, Architectural Design, or other relevant sources as discussed with the examiner. Students will be asked to analyse the different forms of resistance found in these journals and sources.

 

 

Course summary:

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