Five terms of study are divided into two phases. Phase I, a three-term academic year (beginning each autumn), introduces key design and research methodologies through a comprehensive delivery of studio, seminar and academic writing modules. Specialised workshops and guests seminars are delivered next to core teaching. Term 3 is dedicated to the development of individual dissertation proposal.
STUDIO 1: PARTS, UNITS AND GROUPS: ANALYSIS OF ARCHITECTURAL PRECEDENTS
In Studio 1, students will be given a series of case studies, historic and contemporary. Then, they will have to define a preliminary research interest that would allow them to select other relevant examples of collective living. A number of related analytical studies and comparative analyses of architectural precedents frame individual student’s preliminary research interests, i.e. the way they would approach the design and research questions of collective living. The aim of this module is to familiarise with the case study method and concepts of fundamental type and formative diagrams and to allow for the development of descriptive and analytical diagrams.
SEMINAR 1: ARCHITECTURAL THEORIES, DESIGN AND DESIGN METHODS
The seminar course is focused on the architectural scale and introduces a number of research and design methodologies, as well as theories or themes critical to the programme, such as type, typology, drawing, and diagram. The seminar explores questions of a systematic understanding of disciplinary knowledge and methodical design in architecture, thereby examining a historiography of a modern reasoning of form. The aim of this module is to familiarise of students with architectural theories and theories of design methods. To provide a critical survey of the historiography and history of ideas framed by typological and typal reasoning, including the clarification of type as a form of reasoning that is traditionally distinguished as relating either to a design method or critical theory.
- Introduction to Archival Research and design research methods
- Forms and Diagrams of Collectivity
- Forms of Urban Knowledge: Navigational / Indexical / Figurative
- Forms of Abstraction: Money / Property / Territory
- Politics of Urban Form
- Mediated and Relational Urbanity
- Contestation of Space and Urban Activism
- Inhabitable Walls: On Architecture, Power, and Territory
- Architecture and Logistics
- Super-, Inter- and Infra-Structures of Cities
ACADEMIC WRITING 1
Complementary to Seminar 1, students are introduced to academic writing. The course is scheduled once a week. On days when no seminars or group sessions take place, individual tutorials are given to discuss any writing in progress (also available to Phase II students). The aim of the module is to familiarise students with academic writing conventions, the importance of writing to formulate a research argument and the understanding of the differences in writing when examining a case study or text source.
STUDIO 2: SCALES: FROM ROOM TO THE CITY
The main focus of this module is multiscalar investigation of the interdisciplinary relation between architecture, urban design, and urban planning. Studio 2 builds on the previously introduced concept of formative diagrams in relation to fundamental types as the basis to analyse models of collective living and forms of sharing, while the idea of type and typology is expanded to the study of the city. Studio 2 also introduces students to the conventions of urban planning, its parameters, processes, and limits. The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the concepts typological conflict and transformation, and introduction to urban design and urban planning methodologies. Understanding of the socio-political, economic, ecological, spatial, and physical parameters or processes informing the development and formation of an urban plan.
SEMINAR 2: PROJECTS OF THE CITY
Seminar 2 is divided into two distinctive parts. The first, explores the development of disciplinary knowledge about architecture and urbanism from the 19th century until today. The second part presents scholarly research in series of important contemporary case studies. This would allow students to formulate their individual research propositions for Thesis – Studio in Term 3. The aim of the module is to provide students with a survey of theories that conceptualise the city, in particular the contemporary city, through its architecture and architectural projects. The seminar discusses theories of the city in relationship to critical architectural practice.
- Survey I: The birth of Modern Town Planning and the epistemic framework of Urbanisation
- Survey II: Housing Builds Cities
- Survey III. Postwar Architecture: Colonial Struggles, Post-colonial nation building and the welfare state
- Survey IV. Cellular Urbanism
- Case Study I. Athens, a project of crisis
- Case Study II. Tehran: Life within Walls
- Case study III. Berlin and Archipelagos of Urban Forms
- Case Study IV. China and the myth of Cities from Zero
- Case Study V. Territory, Settlement, Home: A Project for Rural China (Cyan Jingru Chen)
- Case study VI. Reinvention of Identity in Post-socialist Cities
- Case Study VII. Barcelona, or the city as a Laboratory
ACADEMIC WRITING 2
Complementary to Seminar 2, the academic writing course is scheduled once a week during the term. On days when no seminars or group sessions take place, individual tutorials are available to discuss any writing in progress (also available to Phase II students). The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the writing of literature reviews, to assess current knowledge and to position one’s own writing.
THESIS-STUDIO: REPRESENTATIONS, INVESTIGATIONS AND DIAGRAMS
The Thesis-Studio is a combined design studio and seminar course in which students develop their Dissertation Proposal and start the Dissertation. Underlying the Thesis-Studio is the hypothesis that critical and speculative projects on the city, whether practice and/or theory oriented, manifest an ‘idea of the city’ that can be understood through corresponding typological and social diagrams. Some of these ideas and different historical, theoretical, and epistemological perspectives of the city will be discussed in seminars through critical projects of the recent past: exemplary proposals, representations, theories, and reflections of and on the city. The seminar examines how diverse readings of the city promulgate specific ideas and define aspects of the city that are formative and fundamental. Most of these readings share a medium-specificity and have a clear methodological approach through which a critical urban thesis is related to its processes of conceptualisation and representation. Often speculative—un-built or unbuildable—many critical urban projects have remained in the realm of speculation and imagination, but with an enduring effect on our (disciplinary) understanding and knowledge of the city. Representations, Investigations and Diagrams in that sense are speculative, projective and open-ended in their possibilities, but consistent in their construction. The aim of the module is to familiarise students with the idea of the City and the relationships of spatial and social diagrams. Developing of a clear research inquiry and definition of the theoretical or physical context. Formulation of a Dissertation Proposal.
- Research Methodologies and Writing a Research Proposal
- Architecture Assembled: Exquisite Corpse (Workshop)
- Oblique Drawing
- The Genesis of a Hopeful Monster: Architecture and the City, 1966–2016
- Architecture Narrated: Writing, Drawing, and Making
- Radical Daily Practices
ACADEMIC WRITING 3
Complementary to the Thesis-Studio, the writing workshop is scheduled once a week during the term. On days when no seminars or group sessions take place, individual tutorials are available to discuss any writing in progress (also available to Phase II students). The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the academic abstract writing for a research thesis.