World Cities in Place, Time and Culture (Section 2)

Discipline: Architectural History
Instructor: Meunier
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1050
End: 1205
Field Work: Day 1 - Lisbon - Wednesday, 1 October | Portugal
Prerequisites: none Download Syllabus

This is the course that is most intimately related to the itinerary of the voyage when many cities will be visited and the students will need their experiences to be placed in an intellectual context, both before and after the actual visit. That intellectual context will consist of a discussion of the history of cities, the significance of their sites and topography, and of the influence on the form of the cities of the beliefs and values that inform the culture of their inhabitants or their founders. Colonial cities are typically planned, with an explicit geometric order, while cities that grew over time around ports, market places, or sacred sites, have forms that relate more directly to topography, historic routes and pathways, or land ownership patterns. Each city will prove to illustrate its origins and the overlay of subsequent cultural shifts. Changes in the technologies of transportation and communication will be seen to have had major influences as have political, economic, and theological evolutions. The richness of urban experience has its roots in the overlay of multiple historic patterns when value to the current inhabitants and visitors is to be found in each. Palimpsest theory will be introduced. Students will not only 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.

Field Work

Country: Portugal
Day: 1 - Lisbon - Wednesday, 1 October

The purpose of this Field Lab is to experience the many layers of history embedded in the urban fabric of this amazing capital city of Lisbon, one of the oldest in Western Europe. We will travel by coach on the longer trips but walk to many of the sites. During the trip there will be a commentary. At lunch we plan to meet with a professor at the Technical University of Lisbon. 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. To learn to see the city as a multi layered phenomenon.
  2. To understand that a great city is enriched by structures, places, and neighborhoods left to us from other times and other cultures.
  3. To appreciate Lisbon as a de facto capital city with a long and glorious built history, interrupted by a major earthquake and subsequent rebuilding that continues into the present.