ARC 598LEC– From Haptic to Atmospheric: Experiencing the Material City

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Course Details

Course No.: 11334

Department: Architecture

Semester: 2017 Spring

Location: TBD – TBD

Meeting Day(s): Tuesday

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

Faculty: Guitart

The MC GRG ID Seminar gives students the opportunity to explore the material condition of architecture from the physical and the intellectual standpoint. The seminar explores material practices that develop solutions applied to the constructive and the emotional in architecture. The seminar enhances an experiential approach to space through its material qualities, and is based on intense reading and discussion sessions, as well as short writing submissions. A wide spectrum of concepts and approaches shall be covered, but the seminar will frame the evolution of the experience of building material from the haptic to the atmospheric, an approach that has been intensified in the architectural production of recent decades. These sessions will be thoroughly reflected in a detailed notebook that will be considered for final submission.


In addition, students will work on a material and photographic exploration of the city of Buffalo, producing an extensive compilatory cartography reflecting the rich experience of our city’s material map. Each student will take 30 photographs in one assigned area of the city, producing specific maps. The photographs shall genuinely reflect both the mundane and the exceptional, thus emphasizing the character of the place. The photographs will follow a classification that will be a result of the discussion. A brief analytical essay will precede each group of photographs, addressing time, uniqueness, permanence, temporality, hardness or softness, among others. The resulting document shall unveil another perspective on the way we perceive our built environment through material properties. The photography cartography will be completed with a   collection of material samples found in   the exploration to generate complementary vision and discussion of our immediate material environment.