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Instead he represents an approach to teaching architecture and architectural theory that has held sway in the American academy for at least a generation. Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Harvard University, Professor of Architectural History; Director of Graduate Studies, Harvard University, G. Ware Travelstead Professor of the History of Architecture and Technology; Technology Director of Research, Harvard University, Instructor in Architecture, Harvard University. This results in the dreaded “sage-on-stage” lecture format that often appears in online courses as a de facto strategy—which is fine in some scenarios, even despite what we know about its limitations for student learning, though perhaps not the most appropriate way to conduct a survey course on architecture that wants to stimulate thought rather than simply transmitting a version of history. It demarcates a cognitive space where, in Paul Guyer’s words, “architecture is thought of as expressing and communicating abstract ideas, not just aiming for beauty and utility.”10 For Hays, this is the space where architectural autonomy supposedly emerges, where architecture thinks and speaks its own language as a mode of knowledge. Instead, a key issue relates to how they are to be used as educational tools.” Rhoads, MOOCs, High Technology, and Higher Learning, 98. The “paper palaces” of these architectural treatises not only codified architectural practice but also disseminated architectural theory to a wider community than the Albertian elite, including those who did not speak the classical languages. Nevertheless, since the performative dimension of online education is essential to the course’s success—and is in fact revealing of some of its basic presuppositions—performance can and should be respectfully addressed. A soundtrack of cellos and violins, bowed in counter-rhythm, along with a faint, glitchy-sounding backbeat swell until the proverbial lights of the classroom turn off. But does “The Architectural Imagination” really represent a more “public-minded sensibility” than the days of autonomy, as Hawthorne implies? Traditionally, the ekphrastic exercise involved in surveys has made use of an extensive pedagogical apparatus, including casts, photographic slides, and miniature models, which, like dramatic props, are meant to relocate the student from the classroom to the building site. Teaching style is also highly personal. That the course at times functions in a way akin to a Grand Tour, which never intended to democratize architectural education, points to a final question that the architectural MOOC poses. Its purpose is twofold: to articulate new perspectives on the challenges facing designers, and to demonstrate the pertinence of issues to a broader range of international discussions. Carolyn Tiernan, “Sparking the Architectural Imagination: HarvardX Learners Share Their Work,” edX Blog, June 28, 2017, link. We go inside to consider the interior’s equipment and furnishings; its textures, colors, and atmospheres; its light and acoustics; its relationships with the body and the senses; and its potential to organize and influence human behavior, […] Watching “The Architectural Imagination” with Marshall McLuhan’s famous dictum that the content of a medium is always another medium, it is clear that the structure of this online course—like most others—is still nostalgically conceptualized through the structure of an offline course.13 For example, consider the course’s title sequence and the introductions to each module, which might seem trivial upon first viewing. Perspective drawing and architectural typology are explored and you will be introduced to some of the challenges in writing architectural history. Two examples of the architectural imagination—perspective drawing and architectural typology—are explored through video presentations and hands-on exercises. Vivid analyses of exemplary buildings, and hands-on exercises in drawing and modeling, will bring you closer to the work of architects and historians. Of these students, 56 percent are female, and the largest portion, 23 percent of them, are logging on from Brazil, despite the fact that the course is in English and does not yet have subtitles (followed by 13 percent from the United States and 5 percent from Mexico). “This isn’t Lord Kenneth Clark telling you the high points of Western culture,” insisted Kostof, referring to the landmark BBC series Civilization that first aired in 1969. The course, led by K. Michael Hays, features lectures by Erika Naginski and Antoine Picon, all of whom are on Harvard… As an introduction to architectural theory and history, “The Architectural Imagination” remains structured by the insights and concerns of Continental philosophy and Frankfurt School Critical theory. ↩, As it turns out, contemporary evidence supports Ware’s basic strategy of using distance learning to supplement rather than replace in-person education. Indeed, that statement is precisely what separated a generation of young architectural theorists like Hays from “the received models of modernist functionalism and the positivist analyses that had re-emerged in the guises of behaviorism, sociology, and operations research in the 1960s.”12 Students would benefit from knowing a bit more about the history of theory and the interventions that it made, not as a matter of disclosure but as a means of helping them draw the cognitive map necessary for situating the course within a much broader realm of architectural discourse. Architecture engages a culture’s deepest social values and expresses them in material, aesthetic form. A: If you have any problem about Harvard Business Review, please contact with Harvard Business Review by email [email protected] or by phone (800) 988-0886 or (617) 783-7500. This course is archived, which means you can review course content but it is no longer active. 120, no. ↩, For the most current publicly available data on the growth of MOOCs, see “By the Numbers: MOOCs in 2016,” a report based on data collected by Class Central, link. Naginski—sitting down, script in hand—reads lectures that are exceptionally clear in explaining Wittkower’s method of analysis. What is the Harvard Architectural Imagination course? The preponderance of Brazilian students surely says something about the globalization of architectural culture and the unequal distribution of interest in architectural theory, though my intention is not to start that discussion right now.14 Instead, given their virtual presence, how should that affect the way educators introduce architectural theory and history to the next generation of students? As concerned scholars and educational technologists continue to debate the institutional and economic implications of online education, members of each disciplinary community need to try to understand how online courses in their particular fields work, how the online platform affects the nature of course content in their discipline, and whether the pedagogical tactics that the participating faculty and MOOC producers employ are effective or not. Then we address technology as a component of architecture. The second and fourth modules of the course then consider perspective and typology as techniques used for expressing the architectural imagination. Naginski’s lecture creates a productive tension with those given by Hays in the first module, a tension that poses the following question: Does the architectural imagination take place in the head of the architecture, on paper, or somewhere in between? In Ware’s vision, which was informed by the tight scheduling of institutional life at the modern American research university, where there never was and never has been enough credit hours in a day to fully prepare a student for the complexities of a changing profession like architecture, students would learn the basics of practice through the mail so that they could focus on becoming fine artists when they arrived on campus. On labor issues related to online education, see Robert A. Rhoads, MOOCs, High Technology, and Higher Learning (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015). Perspective drawing and architectural typology are explored and you will be introduced to some of the challenges in writing architectural history. About Harvard Business Review Rate Harvard Business Review Offers Brings its readers original research and first hand perspectives from leading business thinkers around the world.Its mission is to improve the practice of management and its impact in a changing world. “In some ways, it’s just what exceeds necessity that is architecture.” Anyone who knows Hays’s work, including his essays and editorial selections for Architecture Theory Since 1968, will be familiar with this jumping-off point. This persistent interest in supplementing face-to-face education, whether under the guise of democratizing architectural education or commoditizing it, suggests that claims about the inherent materiality, spatiality, or technicality of architectural practice have never been able to rebuff creative attempts at translating these attributes through a variety of media to reach new, larger student communities. Long Live Online Higher Education,” the Chronicle of Higher Education, August 26, 2016. ↩, These four historical examples are discussed in the following references: Paper Palaces: The Rise of the Renaissance Architectural Treatise, ed. On pedagogical tactics for MOOCs, I recommend Michelle D. Miller, Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016). In February of 2017, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) and edX, a provider of massive open online courses (MOOCs) based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, released “ The Architectural Imagination ,” a free, self-paced introduction to architectural theory and history. Hays’s emphasis on the imagination in idealist philosophy is also something of a red herring, since as the course proceeds the lectures increasingly focus on representation as their theoretical keyword while leaving the imagination behind. This separation of theory from theorist, an effect of publication, has a way of attenuating the need for body awareness that video recordings demand. But if digitally re-creating an environment of heterogeneous thinking is the problem, then the solution is not always technological. These four examples differ culturally, technologically, and pedagogically, but they each presented architecture, in their own separate ways, as a discipline amenable to distance learning.3. The postage system for Ware was therefore a means of supplementing, not replacing, a studio-based education.5, Mark Wigley, former dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, once characterized Ware’s vision in terms of “perforating” the architecture school, a radical attempt to make it act “as a dense laboratory for the deterritorialization of architectural knowledge” through the vectors of graduates and publications.6 Ware and his late-nineteenth-century academic colleagues thought about this vision in terms of “extending” architecture, as in the Progressive Era campaign to bring town and gown closer together through extension schools and to study urban problems like sanitation, housing, and public education in order to reform them. In the second module, Erika Naginski discusses perspective through a reading of Rudolf Wittkower’s Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism, a classic text first published in 1949 (when the depoliticization of the so-called Modern Movement, and its remaking as the idea of an “International Style,” was well under way).11 If Hays performs architectural theory as a virtuoso act of philosophical improvisation in the first module, Naginski’s module on perspective successfully conveys the idea that architectural theory is a product of close reading. 2 (2015): 157–178. The first part of the course introduces the idea of the architectural imagination. Architectural theory comes with gaps and omissions, often overlooking the realities of social and historical context. Students who enroll in “The Architectural Imagination” are being introduced to topics and methods in isolation from the variety of ideas, and the often stimulating energy, that circulate throughout a brick-and-mortar architecture school. 1, no. Here I have decided to share some of my assignments during my online certified course "Architectural Imagination" from Harvard. For legitimate pedagogical reasons, someone or something needs to grab the online student’s attention and inspire him or her to maintain focus. This difference isn’t belabored, but it is significant. It asked the question of whether there is architectural knowledge as such, an understanding of architecture removed from the externalities that so often drive our discussions of the built environment.9. We won’t come up with a relevant answer unless architecture’s MOOC experiment continues. Technological advances changed what could be built, and even what could even be thought of as architecture. Its production involves all of the technical, aesthetic, political, and economic issues at play within a given society. “Architecture is not just about the need for shelter or the need for a functional building,” Hays claims in his opening to the course. Kevin Block is a doctoral student in the Rhetoric Department at the University of California, Berkeley. Review the prompt and the following images of Brunelleschi's church of … Fix him to his chair and make his presentation feel somewhat stilted catalog numbers appear... About architecture ’ s not simply that the xMOOC model is problematic material, aesthetic, political, and what! Idea of the course introduces the idea of the architectural imagination “ public-minded sensibility ” than the of! Magazine is a different matter altogether is full of interesting risks and contradictions instead he represents an approach to the architectural imagination harvard review. 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