Experiencing World Architecture

Discipline: Semester at Sea Seminars
Instructor: Meunier
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1300
End: 1415
Field Work: Day 1 - Rio de Janeiro - Friday, 7 November | Brazil
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

Over fifty years ago Steen Eiler Rasmussen argued that architecture needs to be experienced through all the senses, not only that of sight. This voyage offers an extraordinary opportunity for the students to visit and experience, directly and personally, a very wide range of great, and ordinary, buildings and places. They will be able not only to see, touch, smell, listen to, maybe taste, and most importantly move through, interior and exterior spaces and places from a multiplicity of historic times and cultures. They will be able to imagine more readily the rituals of both formal and informal life that these spaces and places were built to frame and celebrate.  The goal of this course will be to provide a structure of understanding that will inform these experiences. That structure of understanding will include both an introductory chronology of architectural history and a discussion of the perennial issues that all built environments must engage, such as climate, structure, acoustics, illumination, anthropometrics, order, etc. Buildings and places worth the time and effort of the engagement of the students will be identified in each visited city. Again, students will be tested on their understanding of the content of the course but also on the quality of observation and perception displayed in the Field Reports they will produce after each city visit.

Field Work

Country: Brazil
Day: 1 - Rio de Janeiro - Friday, 7 November

The purpose of this Field Lab is to have the students fully experience, with all their senses and their understanding some of the work of Brazil’s most talented designers. During the trip there will be a commentary on the designers and their work. At the destinations students will be required to sketch and take photographs that illustrate their understanding and critical assessment of the significant components of the works. After the field visits students will submit individual written and illustrated reports. Academic Objectives: 1. Familiarity with the work of some of Brazil’s most noted designers 2. Critical assessment of the work using the criteria developed in the course. 3. Heightened sensibility of architecture and landscape architecture through all the senses.