World Cities in Place, Time and Culture (Section 1)

Discipline: Architectural History
Instructor: Meunier
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1050
End: 1205
Field Work: Day 1 - Gdansk - Friday, 5 September | Poland
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: Poland
Day: 1 - Gdansk - Friday, 5 September

The Purpose of this Field Lab will be to have the students experience a city with a rich and historically important history. This will be an accompanied walking tour with commentary from the Instructor. 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 as they relate to the academic objectives. After the field visits students will submit individual written and illustrated reports. Academic Objectives: 1. To learn to see the city as a place with a rich and complex history 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 be thoughtful about the commitment both to restore and/or rebuild the historic core of the city while also adapting it to the changing needs of modern life