3602234: Theory of Architecture 1

back to overview
Semester:WS 13/14
Type:Lecture / Exercise
Scheduled in semester:1
Semester Hours per Week / Contact Hours:24.0 L / 18.0 h
Self-directed study time:21.0 h

Module coordination/Lecturers


Master's degree programme in Architecture (01.09.2008)


The Manifestos and the Ism .Architecture in the Context of Culture, Politic, Technology, Society, Art
Since the beginning of the 20th century, most of all architectural projects and urban developments start with a programmatic statement by their designers. Before planning and building, architects and city planner define their desires, hopes, ideals and ideologies through Manifestos. Through these they are proclaiming, listing, judging what should be done, what not, and why… What is a Manifesto? Which are the aims of its authors and the results it should reach? Whom is it written for? How permanent are their values?
In no other moment in history, as since the beginning of the 20th century, each architecture is accurately listed and integrated in a system of acknowledgement. In the age of Media, every single building has to be identified and placed into the open definition fields of the Isms, connected and related with other projects, similar for aims, materialization, form... What is an Ism? Why do we use such categories to define architecture? Are they useful instruments to better discover and recognize architectural expressions? How permanent are their qualities?
The winter semester will investigate two ways to define, to read and to design architecture: analyzing their analogies and contrast, their usefulness and contradictions. The aim of the course is to foster the students' understanding that architecture always results from a complex exchange between knowledge, possibilities, personal positions and interpretations, collective meanings, given places and experienced times.

Lecture Goals

The lecture course will investigate the complex relations and influences between words, meanings and architecture. The aim of the course is to foster the students' understanding that architecture always results from a complex exchange between thoughts, possibilities, personal positions and collective meanings. The course will encourage students to actively investigate the specificities of reading and writing on architectural ideas, as a necessary moment for a conscious design practice.

  • Which coherence can be found/accepted between the programmatic texts and the realizations of some main architects?
  • What architectural content can be communicated by written media, and what not? Why?

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course each student should improve his/her personal ability to:

  • Recognize the different moments of the design process
  • Analyze, compare and relate each project as result of an exchange between theories and situations
  • Infer analogies and specificities of different media, places and times
  • Communicate and express complex ideas and intentions comprehensibly in written forms
  • Demonstrate the ability to work alone and with other students for assignments, readings and papers

Lectures Method

Lecture, seminar


Texts and examples provided by the lecturer

Exam Modalities

  • Active presence and participation at the lectures and discussions
  • Texts readings, presentations and discussion
  • A graduate level term final critical paper


The course has to be passed with a sufficient grade (minimum grade of 4.0).
The module grade will be determined from the weighted average of the single course grades.


17.09.201308:30 - 11:45H3
24.09.201308:30 - 11:45H3
01.10.201308:30 - 11:45H3
08.10.201308:30 - 11:45H3
15.10.201308:30 - 11:45H3
22.10.201308:30 - 11:45H3
29.10.201308:30 - 11:45H3


  • PAR_MA Theory of Architecture 1 (WS 13/14, bewertet)