Fall semester only; T 6:30 – 9:00 p.m., Anderson Hall, Room TBD
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.
Since every piece of equipment is more than what meets the eye, the scope of this seminar is to interrogate the bed as the device and as the technical equipment in which so many things are overlapped (health, technology, hygiene, nurture, servitude, repression, intimacy, domesticity). The course historicizes, problematizes, and surveys the spaces occupied by beds in general and by hospital beds specifically. Beds are used as a metaphorical frame for re-reading the history of modern architecture and the role that medicine still plays in everyday life. By analyzing a host of theoretical and historical sources, this seminar explores the articulation of concepts and aesthetic sensibilities that coincide with modernism and the primacy that this movement gave to medical knowledge. From the clinical spaces described by Foucault to new ideas of normalcy and risk that have permeated the premises upon which architectural production resides, medicine has defined new social representations that are the subject of study in this seminar. This seminar sets the theoretical underpinnings for the spring studio, entitled Unmaking the Bed. Open to architecture majors only; required for select majors (seniors) and by permission for other juniors and above.


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