Seminar: Art History (Focus: Experiencing World Architecture) [CRN 81192]

Discipline: Art
Instructor: Schrenk
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1530
End: 1650
Field Work: Day 1 | September 15, 2018 | Spain
Prerequisites: The standard CSU prerequisite -- one (1) lower division art history course -- has been waived by the instructor. Download Syllabus

This seminar is designed to provide students with analytical tools that can help them achieve deeper understandings of built environments from around the world. The course explores the cultural, social, economic, political, technological, and ideological facets of notable manmade sites, with emphasis on works of architecture we will have the opportunity to visit on the voyage, such as buildings by Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona, Dutch colonial housing around Cape Town, the spectacular temples of Pagan and Kyoto, and the modern skyscrapers of Pudong in Shanghai. Through exploring aspects, such as aesthetics, function, structure, environmental conditions, anthropometrics, and order, students will be able to more fully understand and analyze past and contemporary built environments, in particular how cultural meaning, symbolism, and significance are established through architectural forms.

Field Work

Country: Spain
Day: 1
Date: September 15, 2018

An exploration of Barcelona provides the opportunity to clearly view the layering of architectural developments in an urban environment over time, from ancient Roman walls to the wild art nouveau buildings of Guadí to the more recent works of current architectural powerhouses like Jean Nouvel and Herzog & de Meuron. By visiting works of architecture from a wide range of eras we can begin to hone our senses and other skills to explore more fully and to understand better the various built environments that we will be experiencing throughout the voyage.

Upon completion of the field class, students will complete a three- to four-page journal entry comparing the functions, architectural forms, and physical context of two of the following sites we visited in Barcelona. The entry should be based on both personal observations made at the sites and academic research completed while back onboard the ship. The inclusion of sketches and photographs is strongly encouraged, but as an addition to the required three to four pages of text. All images should include captions and citations, and directly illustrate what you are discussing in your entry.

Learning objectives:

  1. To understand the historic layering of cities and how a city’s past informs and shapes its present conditions.
  2. To experience how the forms of different cultures came together to define the built environments of Barcelona.
  3. To develop skills used in understanding, interpreting, and discussing built environments experienced throughout the voyage and beyond.