ARC 521SEM– Nature's of Nature: From the Picturesque to Ecovention in Art and Architecture

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Course Details

Course No.: 22585

Department: Architecture

Semester: 2017 Spring

Location: Hayes Hall – 402

Meeting Day(s): Tuesday

Meeting Time: 11:00AM - 1:40PM

Faculty: Garofalo

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

Henry David Thoreau


With a focus on strategies and concepts that drive artistic and architectural production, the Intellectual Domain course for the Ecological Practices Graduate Research Group will question how we perceive, define, represent, construct and reconstruct our world in relation to an evolving concept of nature and our relationship to it. We will explore how ideas about the nature/culture dyad, and cultural and natural systems and the relationships between them, have been defined in philosophy, history, and theory. In other words, we will study the ideas that change not only how we see the world but how we act in it. Establishing a socio-cultural context for the group, the course will focus on the intellectual trajectory of concepts of ecology, environment, and nature and their manifestation in art, architecture, and landscape architecture. In doing so, we will address the role of creative agents and cultural constructs in revealing the world or romancing nature, despoiling the earth or envisioning alternative futures with both delight and criticality. Ultimately, this intensive reading and writing seminar aims to understand the potential influence of aesthetics in a time of climate change.