Fall semester only; T 6:30–9:00pm, Anderson Hall, room 230 
 
The Watkin Degree Project Seminar is a special-topics seminar establishing the intellectual/design foundation for the spring Watkin Studio (ARCH 402). Texts, case studies, and design methods will be used to investigate focused subjects of particular contemporary relevance as established by the instructor. Assignments can consist of written papers, analytical projects, elaborations of design techniques, and other forms of investigation. Students are approved for section and topic, taking their preference into account. Students enrolled in each section will continue to work with the same instructor in the spring studio.
 
Through readings and short design exercises, this course will focus on the notion of an operative history in contemporary architectural practice. We will reflect upon the methodologies of six international offices that aim toward a non-signifying presence of historical references in their building projects. In other words, the transfer of the referent to the work lies outside symbolic, iconic, and indexical motivations. As a certain opacity to the devices of that transfer exists in this work, we will develop a theory for each approach and test it through the design of a small house in three drawings. Working toward the spring course “for example, the studio,” each student will write a manifesto that encompasses a critical stance on and a set of techniques for the use of references in their own work. Open to architecture majors only; required for select majors (seniors) and by permission for juniors and above.

 

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