Course syllabus


ARK600 History, theory and method 3 lp3 VT20 (3 hp)

Course is offered by the department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Contact details

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Examiner | Jonas Lundberg |

For a link to the Box folder where all the course material is stored:

Course purpose

The course furthers the students' knowledge in the history, theory or critical studies of architecture and urban design. It explores specific theoretical trajectories that shape current issues in the field. It trains the students' ability to use source texts as a basis for formulating a position, argument and/ or research query.  

New forms of media and representation have a direct impact on the evolution of the design and production of architecture, its history or theory, nevertheless architectural practice and academia are relatively slow in embracing emerging technologies compared to other fields. We explore the development of new media technology and representation techniques in order to investigate how these new opportunities may influence the architecture of the near future. We are using what Mario Carpo refers to as the 2nd Digital Turn of Architecture as a departing point in the formulation of an individual 2000 word paper on history, theory, method as well as a manifesto of how emergent media and representation may effect the architecture of the present, near and distant future.

Specific Course Aims

This edition of the course aims at expanding the scope of current approaches to digital media, representation and the design of urban spaces within architecture.

Furthermore, the aim is to develop the historical, theoretical and methodological underpinnings of the role and use of emergent media and representation in contemporary practice.

Specific Objectives
This edition of the course objective is to enhance the student’s ability to discuss, reflect and analyze work related to the subject area of emergent media and representation through readings, seminars and through different types of writing. Furthermore, the objective is for students to formulate an own conceptional framework and manifesto drawing inspiration from the historical and theoretical base that the course provides. The findings are argued and presented in the 2000 word paper and in two short seminar presentations.



Course literature

Conrads, Ulrich (ed) 1970, Programs and Manifestoes on 20th-Century Architecture - Foreword
LeCorbusier. 1920, Towards a New Architecture: Guiding Principles.
Jencks, Charles. 1997. The Volcano and the Tablet
Rossi, Aldo. 1966. The Architecture of the City
Venturi, Robert. 1966. Complexity & Contradiction in Architecture
Rowe, Colin & Koetter, Fred. 1975. Collage City (manifestoe)
Eisenman, Peter. 1976. Post-Functionalism
Vidler, Anthonoy. 1978. The Third Typology
Koolhaas, Rem. 1978. Delirious New York
Tschumi, Bernard. 1981. Manhattan Transcripts
Hadid, Zaha. 1983. The Eight-Nine Degrees
Kipnis, Jeffrey. 1988. Forms of Irrationality


Gross, Matthias. 2010. “Introduction: Brave the Unknown.” In Ignorance and Surprise

Rowe, Colin, and Robert Slutzky. 1971. “Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal

Eisenman, Peter. 1980. “In my father’s house are many mansions.”

Bricken, Meredith. 1991. “Virtual Reality” Learning Environments

Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto, “Intensive and Extensive” and “Geometry and Matter”, in Atlas of Novel Tectonics (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006)

Carpo, Mario. 2017. “The Second Digital Turn” Design Beyond Intelligence

Girón, Javier ”Drawing and Construction Analysis: from Piranesi to Choisy”

Farinella, Cristian, and Greco, Lorena, Proceedings: ”Dynamically Sublime, Vision, and Image in Architecture; The Relationship between 3D Graphics and Physiology” of Vision in the Construction of Rendering Images”


Leatherbarrow, David. 2001.”Architecture Is Its Own Discipline”

Peter Testa, “Autonomous Translations,” in Fabrication and Fabrication (Los Angeles: SCI-Arc Press, 2014)

Cramer, Florian. 2015. “What is ‘Post-digital’?” In Postdigital Aesthetics: Art, Computation and Design, edited by David M.

Stan Allen, “From Object to Field” Architectural Design; Architecture After Geometry p24-31

Kipnis, Jeffrey, and Maymind, Alexander (2013), A Question of Qualities: Essays in
Architecture, MIT Press

Carpo, Mario. 2014. “Breaking the Curve.” Artforum, February 2014: 168-173.

Course design

The course runs in parallel with design studios / project courses and meets 4-5 times before the end of the semester. The course description and its context are introduced in an introductory lecture. Learning is structured around reading assignments and seminars or lectures. Deliverables are defined at the outset of the course through readings, assignments and presentations as well as through a final paper. Students work individually.

FIRST SESSION                                       26 February 2020

INTERRIM SUBMISSION                       30 April 2020

FINAL FEEDBACK SESSION               13 May 2020

FINAL SUBMISSION                              22 May 2020

The course consists of a series of lectures and seminars that contextualizes and discusses course readings. With the aid of these seminars, and in dialogue with the instructor, students formulate a topic for their final paper. The final paper should be an academic text, complete with references and a bibliography that includes 4 distinct pieces of types of writing  Part 1. Media & Representation History (500 words), Part 2. Media & Representation Theory (500 words), Part 3. Media & Representation Method (500 words) and Part 4. Media & Representation Manifesto(500 words).


Part 1.                      Media & Representation History

The first part is dedicated to a relatively open-ended historical research and overview of the role of media and representation related to the evolution of the contemporary architectural discipline. Students are exposed to emergent media and representation in demos and in-class activities as well as we read seminal architectural manifestoes and articles that have played a critical part in developing a media and representation centric architecture.

Deliverable: 500 word draft of the introductory 1st chapter of the paper outlining how media and representation have contributed to the development of architecture in the past.


Part 2.                     Media & Representation Theory

The second part is dedicated to the development of an individual argument and theory of how emerging media and representation have an impact on the evolution of architecture as a discipline. This type of writing arguing a point and position is important for thesis writing.

Deliverable: A 500 word draft 2nd chapter of the paper articulating a theory of how emerging media and representation is affecting the development of architecture.

Part 3.                     Media & Representation Method

The third part is dedicated to development of how you write about the deployment of media and representation technology and design techniques or what is often referred to as method when you write about research. This type of writing is key for accouting for your process and illustrations when you develop your own thesis work.

Deliverable: A 500 word draft 3rd chaper of the paper articulating in writing the type of media and representation technology and techniques that may fullfill the objectives or part of your theory.


Part 4.                     Media & Representation Manifesto

The fourth part is dedicated to an individual written manifesto on how emergent media and representation can affect your architecture at the 2nd digital turn (Carpo). The focus on the development of an individual media and representation centered definition of architecture and basic theory that can give direction and the epistemological framework to your future thesis work.

Deliverable: A 350-500 word 4th chapter of the paper delivering an architectural manifesto as well as a short relfective piece on the course and how it may have influence your outlook on your coming thesis work.


Changes made since the last occasion

We have removed the reference to Digital Piranesi which has been moved to ARK442

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.

Link to the syllabus on Studieportalen.

Study plan

Examination form

Students are required to participate actively in a minimum of 80% of the course meetings, tutorials and seminars. Each student paper is reviewed and graded after submission at the end of the semester.

The final deadline is 22 May 2020 at 23.59 when the written paper containing PArt 1-4 needs to be submitted to Canvas as a PDF file with following format - "YourLastName-YourFirstName.pdf"

It is a writing assignment when part 1-4 has to be written in the appropriate genre and be formally referenced and documented according to the APA style.

If you miss your deadline there is no guarantee that you result is registered on time. However, you have the right to resubmit your paper again without any reduction of your mark according to Chalmers guidelines. The marking is 3, 4, 5 or resubmit.

Course summary:

Date Details