Topics in Architectural History II, 1900 - present


ARCH 505




Hybrid lecture-seminar course on a focused topic covering one thematic aspect of the history of architecture during the time period of 1900–present. Through in-depth study of a particular thematic topic, students will engage with the latest research and approaches to understanding the history of architecture as embedded within cultural, political, and economic contexts. Students will produce individual research papers. The topic of this course will be unique from other architectural history courses offered in the previous two years.

Summer 2022

ARCH 505J: Domesticity and Power II 

Tijana Vujosevic

An exploration of the development of housing and ideas about the home in the 20th century.

Open to all SALA students. 

Winter 2021/22

Term 2

ARCH 505K: Designing for Persons with Disabilities 

Christina Gray

Student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign testing bilateral horizontal reach in dormitory, circa 1960 (University of Illinois Archives).

This course will look at the twentieth century history of design for persons with disabilities. We will examine a selection of historical approaches toward a variety of design types ranging from the scale of prosthetics to the scale of the landscape, from formal institutions to the informal ways urban surroundings reflect mental anxieties, and from spaces designed for recovery to buildings that have themselves become sick. This course aims to open up a more expansive understanding of the role of the user in design. Rather than being limited to a narrow definition of what constitutes a disabled user, this course aims to examine how ideas around universal design complicate the subjecthood of a much broader range of users.

We will begin by situating various theories of disability and design within their larger historical contexts. In doing this, we will consider how the relationship between bodies and space has developed in architectural discourse during the twentieth century. From this theoretical foundation we will then examine a series of different building types that each contributed to this broader history of accessibility and disability, including asylums, sanatoriums, hospitals, recovery centres and seniors’ centres. After focusing on these various building types, we will then examine how anxious psychological responses to pathologies and user differences have permeated architectural discourse broadly speaking. We will conclude by examining various historical permutations of the concept of universal design. Throughout this course, the many ways non-normative bodies and minds have been framed and circumscribed by design will be contextualized, analyzed and questioned.

Open to the following student groups: All SALA students