Critical Studies of Architecture
Critical studies of architecture investigate the histories, theories and discourses of architecture. In this context, architecture is considered as a profession, a discipline and a form of cultural expression (in terms of projects, fictions and built environments, for example). Important issues affect architectonic meaning and representation, the influence of different ideologies and power structures on architecture and, conversely, how architecture itself may reproduce ideological systems and power structures. Research methods are interdisciplinary and relate to a wider humanist field such as critical cultural studies, as well as artistic methods of investigation.
Research carried out at KTH is internationally recognised for its experimental design driven approach and its prominent position in feminist architectural criticism, which the group has recently established in research and teaching under the name FATALE. Particular research expertise concerns the following topics: Forms of writing about architecture and landscape. In what ways are places and space described in texts? How are spatial imaginations built via literature and architectural criticism in different ages? Architectural interpretation, enactment and production through queer feminist and performativity theory. Participatory and dialogical approaches to site mapping and place production.
The subject has crucial significance in developing the critical understanding of architects as a cultural phenomenon in a broad sense of the term. Through a historic perspective and a critical distancing to the contemporary events that produce the architecture we meet every day, the research actively contributes to social debate and offers real tools for architects and planners to critically evaluate their current practices. Courses taught within the subject are Architecture and Gender (45 hp), Architecture and Design Research (15 hp), and the Critical Studies Design Studio comprising four design projects per year within the M.Arch. professional program.
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