3807762: Theory of the Built Environment

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Semester:WS 14/15
Scheduled in semester:1-2
Semester Hours per Week / Contact Hours:16.0 L / 12.0 h
Self-directed study time:48.0 h

Module coordination/Lecturers


Master's degree programme in Architecture (01.09.2014)


“Theory of the Built Environment” introduces and discusses contemporary architectural theory and critical thinking, providing students with essential knowledge to place their own actions and designs into a historical, theoretical, cultural and social context. Through case studies of anthologies of key theoretical and critical texts on architecture, the course is set and developed in a historical, political and philosophical context. These lectures are devoted to the understanding of theories and critical interpretations as a design tool, encouraging students to be able to think across tendencies, trends and events and position themselves as conscious architects in today’s society. The different themes presented through several texts are understood as tools in the hands of architects. The architectural theories are not pure abstractions, they move between absolute positions and relative relations.

Learning Outcomes

Professional competence

  • Translate contemporary architectural theory into personal context and work
  • Explain competently, discuss and critique own work through oral and written presentations

Methodological competence
  • Identify key elements of problems and choose appropriate methods for their resolution in a considered manner
  • Be able to analyse different architectural decisions in terms of their ultimate intentions

Social competence
  • Discuss and articulate ideas and information fluently
  • Demonstrate the ability to work with other students for assignments and readings
  • Communicate and share complex ideas and intentions

Personal competence
  • Assess own work and put it into a historical, theoretical and philosophical context
  • Understand how own work relates to general architectural debate
  • Analyse, compare and relate each project as final result of a complex and rich process
  • Recognize the continuities and discontinuities between Ideas and their constructions
  • Acquire the ability to discuss architectural decisions aside from personal taste and in relation to the relevant issues those decisions ultimately address


Lectures Method

Lecture: discourse, writing

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the Master of Science in Architecture Degree Program


Frampton K.: Modern Architecture. A critical History, 1980
Leach N.: Rethinking architecture, 1997
Michael Hays K.: Architecture Theory since 1968, 1998
Conrads U.: Programs and Manifestoes of Architecture of the 20. Century, 2001
Jencks C.: Theories and Manifestoes of contemporary architecture, 2008

Exam Modalities



  • PAR MA 14_Theory of the Built Environment (WS 14/15, in Bewertung)