Architecture and social change
As this is a 4000 level seminar, you have a fair degree of latitude in terms of choosing your topic. The only stipulation is that your topic should have a direct relationship to one of the course themes, which are as follows:
Forced Change, which focuses on the more authoritarian uses of design and architecture to force social and cultural change.
Engineered Change, which looks at how the paradigms of modernity and mass production have influenced architecture and design and their concomitant effect on society as a whole.
Visionary Change: Here we look at the more utopian visions of designers and architects as they attempt to apply their knowledge to create a better world.
Purchased Change: what is the relationship between consumer culture and architecture and design? In what ways is architecture and design complicit with some of the more negative elements of consumer culture? Can architects and designers offer alternatives?
Desperate change: the environment is in crisis, as we know. What can designers and architects to help turn things around? Can there be such a thing as sustainable design and can our buildings “teach” us new ways to live and relate to the world around us?
Hyper Change: here we look at the more radical applications of cutting edge technology, especially digital technology, as applied to architecture and design. Such technologies have allowed for new materials and entirely new paradigms for envisioning and realizing objects and structures. Will this allow us to enter a brave new world?
Your paper can deal with your topic in a variety of manners. You could take a historical approach in the sense that you deal with a historical figure such as Albert Speer or a particular group, such as the Bauhaus, and explore it in a critical and informed manner. You could profile the work of a particular contemporary architect, such as Zaha Hadid and examine her work in light of architectural and cultural theory (there are many prominent Canadian designers/architects who live in the GTA so you could also profile a local architect/designer). You could also tackle a larger area, such as green design, and work through some leading trends and issues. The main thing to keep in mind is that your paper should not be a “report,” in the sense of just relaying information or facts. You must probe your topic, take a critical stance and support your ideas with historical and theoretical material. In other words, you must have a point to prove and a specific, well-developed thesis. As a guide, take a look at any of the readings that are assigned for this course. They are, generally speaking, all examples of the kind of work that I am looking for.
13 – 16 pages, without images. So 3250 – 4000 words
The sources should match those in your annotated bibliography, so you should have at least 12 sources, ranging from academic books, journal articles, trade sources (such as Azure Magazine articles), relevant Web pages, news paper articles, etc.. You may also incorporate interviews, if you have someone local that you can approach. Please be sure to document all your sources and to indicate when you have paraphrased or quoted something. While one or two of your sources can come from the reading list, the majority must come from outside the course. This is a research paper, so part of the point is to do actual research.
Architecture and social change Final Paper What should it be about? As this is a 4000 level seminar, you have a fair degree of […]