By focusing on textural sources, the course will explore the primary concepts of architectural theory developed from antiquity to the rise of the modern movement in the late 19th century. Harmony, symmetry, proportion, order, composition, and beauty will be analyzed through the close reading of Vitruvius, Abbot Suger, Alberti, Serlio, Palladio, Blondel, Perrault, Wren, Shaftesbury, Laugier, Winkelmann, Quatremere de Quincy, Semper, and Viollet-le-Duc. While geographically the theoreticians discussed in the course were all based in Europe, the implications of their concepts for architectural design and urban planning will be reviewed from the global perspective. The course will point at the role of architectural theory in imagining the ideal society based on harmonic cosmology and for the early experiments in social engineering.
Dr. Igor Demchenko