Philosophy of Architecture
Inspired by Louis I. Kahn’s seminal lecture “On Philosophical Horizons” this course will try to extract the philosophical content from architecture. Acknowledging our locus of enunciation (our discursive place: an architecture school) the course will explore taken-for-granted notions of our discipline inquiring into their complex and often contradictory meanings. The course will follow a topical schedule beginning with a critical discussion of the term architecture itself and the contemporary debates surrounding it, to later engage familiar notions such as Space, Function, Use, Plan, Section, Façade, etc. It will gradually arrive at more complex notions such as Horizon, World, and to the interrelated notions of the Human Body and its situational character, admittedly what drives much of the pedagogy of this school. Each topic will be covered on a weekly basis, with selected readings from modern and contemporary authors.
Guidelines for the paper:
In choosing the topic make sure that it is related to the course. As the course has been dedicated to
concepts, words, notions or elements, that pertain to the discipline of architecture, make
sure to either elaborate on one of the topics explored in class or choose a different one
but always related to architecture. Don’t try to make a “history” of a given notion, concept
or element, since that will probably require a longer paper or even book. Instead you
should focus on the theoretical and philosophical questions at issue, yet always trying to
relate the chosen topic to some specific architectural example, whether built or unbuilt.
It is a research paper. It should be at least 12 pages. It should be in Chicago Style.