This Unit does not focus on the history of architecture. Mini lectures and close readings of selected buildings seek to explore basic materials, structural developments and terms in use across time and cultures.
To sharpen observation skills students sketch a building in their own environment. A second assignment at the end of the Unit requires students to analyze the facades of three notable 17th century buildings.
The comparison of symbolic systems across time and cultures, practiced in Unit One, is also applied here to architecture. The process yields interesting results! Examples of ‘cultural borrowing’ abound. Comparative analysis allows students to uncover similarities and differences across time and cultures, to frame questions and to probe historical contexts, revealing many surprises.