History of American Architecture

This course examines several recurring themes in the history of American architecture from the sixteenth century to the present. First, we will be concerned with how notions of environmental determinism continuously shape and reshape American understandings of architectural interventions, especially concerning the urban environment. Second, we will question the relationship between architecture and power, and the ways in which the burgeoning republic, and then the imperial superpower, attempts to reconcile its often contested identity through built form. Third, we will explore the role of technology in shaping architectural designs, practices, and uses in the built landscape. These themes converge on several questions that will steer our investigation of American architecture: Who makes architecture and under what conditions? How are architectural ideas created and disseminated? Who defines the meaning of form? What constitutes an American architecture? 

Spring 2010: Northeastern University.