IDEAS AND APPROACHES IN DESIGN
2018/2019, Semester 1
School of Design and Environment (Architecture)
Modular Credits: 4
What is an architect? What is architecture? These questions are essential to constantly redefine our role as architects and examine architecture in response to ever-changing cultural and societal needs. This course aims to broaden students’ initial interests and cultivate their curiosity about architecture. It therefore covers a variety of subjects to open their minds and help them let go of any prejudices and preconceptions about architects and architecture. It also seeks to develop very basic capacities in critical thinking, and enable students to conceptualise subjective inquiries and formulate constructive questions in preparation for the course of their architectural education in university.
- To be able to explore our own answers to “What is an architect?” and “What is architecture?” through exposure to a wide variety of ideas and approaches to architecture from the past to the present.
- To be able to empathise with people and understand issues around the world.
- To be able to communicate, discuss, and argue critically and constructively with regard to a wide range of issues within and beyond the discipline.
- To be able to synthesise History and Theory and Design; the readings and writings in AR2224 will complement the design exercises in AR1101, and vice versa.
- To be able to explore our own existence based on our intuition and curiosity.
- To be passionate and have the right attitude to become a proactive learner and an architect.
- To be able to foresee a university education and beyond, and be ready for the changes in culture, society, industry, and technology.
Open-mindedness. An appreciation of and relaxed attitude to people (students, tutors, and university, as we are all just doing our best). The ability to enjoy the moment. Concurrent enrollment in AR1101 Design 1.
AR2224 is co-curricular with AR1101. AR2224 provides an introduction to and background of the issues dealt with in AR1101. AR2224 is therefore an enrichment session for the weekly assignments in AR1101, and lecturers and guest lecturers will share deep insights for the weekly studio assignment. There are a series of lectures and guest lectures, suggested readings, and in-depth writings and reflections on the studio design assignments. During the sessions, leading experts in the fields of design and research in architecture and beyond will be present. Your questions and discussions are always welcome and encouraged at any time during the lectures, so please just raise your voice!
The three major topics below will be explored in conjunction with the weekly design assignments in AR1101.
1) Ethics, Well-being, and Community
This topic covers issues relating to ethical conduct and the implications of design. There will be an emphasis on developing empathy for people, with regard to both their mental and physical health. The idea and importance of community and inclusive design will also be introduced.
2) Culture, Tradition, and Identity
This topic covers the culture and heritage of the architecture of Southeast Asia. The introduction and background information will be given for the field trips in recess week. The issue of heritage conservation in Singapore will also be covered.
3) Environment, Sustainability, and Tropical Climate
This topic covers the environmental concerns about the usage of resources and materials in design, the ways to reconcile nature and technology, and the various approaches to the climatic challenges in architecture.
- WK1 (13 August): “Introduction to Architecture” with Tomohisa Miyauchi, and "Introduction to the NUS Library Resources" by Winnifred Wong
- WK1 (15–17 August): Special Program: “Designing Resilience in Asia” with Dr. Junko Tamura & Oscar Carracedo Garcia-Villalba
Ethics, Well-being, and Community
- WK2 (20 August): “Ethics in Environmental Design” with Tomohisa Miyauchi
- WK3 (27 August): “Elements of Architecture” with Masaaki Iwamoto, Kyushu University, Japan
- WK4 (3 September): “12 Senses and Experience-field” with Walter Siegfried Hahn
- WK5 (10 September): “Participatory Community Design” with Mizah Rahman
Culture, Tradition, and Identity
- WK6 (17 September): “A Sense of Scale: Documenting and Representing Architecture and Southeast Asian Cities” with Dr. Imran Bin Tajudeen
- Recess Week (23 September – 1 October)
- WK7 (1 October): Reading Week (No session)
- WK8 (8 October): "Singapore Urban Heritage" with Yan Chang LEE (Urban Redevelopment Authority, URA)
Lecture for the Special Workshop at STPI
- WK9 (15 October): "STPI Workshop", lecture by a visiting artist at STPI, TBD
Resource, Sustainability, and Tropical Climate
- WK10 (22 October): “Exploring the Possibility of Material” with Dr. Aurel von Richthofen, ETH, TBD
- WK11 (29 October): “Structure in Architecture Practice” with Dr. Hossein Rezai-Jorabi, TBD
- WK12 (5 November): “Climatic Box: Light and Nature” with Dr. Abel E. Tablada de la Torre
The list below constitutes the introductory and background information for discussions and writings in AR2224. You may not read everything but are encouraged to expand your reading beyond this list. Please conduct your own research and pursue your particular interests. The list has the specific page numbers because of the copyright limitations to online and library sharing on IVLE, but students are encouraged to go to a library to look for the whole book.
See “Readings tab” for the library E-Reserve where you can download the readings in PDF format. Some books are not available on IVLE, due to the copyright regulation. For the books that are not on IVLE, you can search the Internet for the text, which may be available online.
If you need any help locating a book in the NUS library, you may approach Ms Winnifred Wong at Central Library, or contact her at email@example.com
The Book List:
Think about where we are and what architecture is:
- Noah Harari, Yuval (2015). Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Chapter 5.
- Vitruvius [Marcus Vitruvius Pollio] (1st century BC). On Architecture, pp. 113, 64–69.
- More, Thomas (1516). Utopia. https://archive.org/details/utopiamor00more
- Le Corbusier (1923). Toward an Architecture.
- Fry, Maxwell & Drew, Jane (1964). Tropical architecture in the dry and humid zones. Available at https://play.google.com/store/books
- Heidegger, Martin (1971). “Building, Dwelling, Thinking” in Poetry, Language, Thought, translated by Albert Hofstadter, pp. 45–61.
- Rykwert, Joseph (1981). On Adam's House in Paradise: The Idea of the Primitive Hut in Architectural History, pp. 183–192. MIT Press.
- Rudofsky, Bernard (1987). Architecture Without Architects, pp. 1–21.
- Waterson, Roxana (1990). The Living House: An Anthropology of Architecture in South- East Asia, pp. 1–26.
Think about who we are and who an architect is:
- Guattari, Felix (1989). The Three Ecologies, pp. 19–45. NY: Continuum.
- Bauman Lyons Architects (1995). How to be a Happy Architect, pp. 76–95. London: Black Dog Publishing.
- Cesal, Eric J. (2010). Down Detour Road: An Architect in Search of Practice, pp. 1–42, 60– 78. Cambridge: MIT Press.
- Piketty, Thomas (2013). Capital in the Twenty-First Century, pp. 237–270. US: Harvard University Press.
- Sandel, Michael J. (2013). What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, pp. 1–15, 46–55, 93–99, 184–189, 200–203. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
- Tan Chade-Meng (2014). Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace). Chapter 7.
Think about what we, architecture, and an architect can do:
- Parsons, Glenn (2016). The Philosophy of Design. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press
- Wilson, Edward O. (1984). Biophilia, pp. 119–139. Harvard University Press.
- Benyus, Janine M. (1997). “How Will We Conduct Business? Closing the Loops in Commerce: Running a Business Like a Redwood Forest” (Chapter 7) in Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.
- McDonough, William (2002). “Why Being ‘Less Bad’ Is No Good” (Chapter 2) in Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, pp. 45–67.
- Moore, Steven A. (2007). “Technology, Place, and Nonmodern Regionalism” in Architectural Regionalism, pp. 432–442. Princeton Architectural Press.
- Ulluwishewa, Rohana (2014). Spirituality and Sustainable Development, pp. 145–165. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- MacKay-Lyons, Brian (2014). Local Architecture: Building Place, Craft, and Community, pp. 13–47. NY: Princeton.
The book recommendations from our History Theory (HTC) professors are below. Feel free to approach these profs and ask questions about the books!
- Intentions in Architecture (1966) by Christian Norberg-Schulz (recommended by Assoc. Prof. Johaness Widodo)
- Invisible Cities (1974) by Italo Calvino (recommended by Assist. Prof. Simone Shu-Yeng Chung)
- All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity (1982) by Marshall Berman (recommended by Assist. Prof. Lee Kah Wee)
- A Genealogy of Tropical Architecture (2016) by Jiat-Hwee Chang (recommended by Assoc. Prof. Jiat-Hwee Chang and Winnifred Wong)
Below here is also a wonderful visual resource material you can refer to for your discussion
Two (2) Theory/Design Papers: Each 1,000 words minimum
The Theory/Design Paper is a critical reflection on the list of readings with regard to your weekly design projects in AR1101. Therefore, the paper should be your own synthesised interpretation of, position on, and insight into the major topics in relation to the readings and the weekly design assignments. The readings can be from the list above as well as the list from AR1101. Students are also welcome to explore books outside the list. The paper is a critical response to and reflection on your readings, demonstrating how you have incorporated and synthesised your thinking when you were working on the weekly design assignments. The paper can be about just one of the weekly assignments, or about your various experiences over the weeks related to the major topic, such as your observations during the field trip.
The first paper needs to be on the first topic: 1) Ethics, Well-being, and Community. The second paper should be on 2) Culture, Tradition, and Identity. However, the topics may be expanded as long as you can demonstrate your critical thinking with reference to your design activities, and further expand your view of the discipline of architecture.
Four (4) Guest lecture attendance and reports: Each
Attend four guest lectures of your choice during the semester, and write a free-length, free-format report; each report is weighted at 5%. If you ask questions during the lecture, you automatically gain the maximum of 5% for the report. So please describe the Q&A session and what you have learned from it in the report.
The first report needs to be about the Design Resilience in Asia Conference. Please make sure to follow the programme and attend the conference. 15-17 August at NUS. For detail of the programme.
Final Paper: What is architecture? What is an architect?
The final paper is an overall reflection on the semester. The aim of the paper is to discuss and explore the responses to the questions “What is architecture?” and “What is an architect?” The paper is, therefore, a challenge to come up with definitions and statements of what architecture and an architect are. The paper may also cover the topics on 1) Ethics, Well-being, and Community, 2) Culture, Tradition, and Identity, and 3) Environment, Sustainability, and Tropical Climate.
Again, the paper should be your own synthesised interpretation of, position on, and insight into the major topics in relation to the readings and the weekly design assignments. The paper is a critical response to and reflection on your readings, demonstrating how you have incorporated and synthesised your thinking when you were working on the weekly design assignments. Throughout your discussion, a successful paper will try to address the questions “What is architecture?” and “What is an architect?”.
The final paper has no length restrictions.
You must include an
annotated list of books/book chapters
that you read/consulted for the final assignment. The annotated list should be written according to the Chicago Manual of Style (Author-Date).
The minimum no. of readings is five (5), and it must contain at least two (2) books/readings
in the reading lists of AR1101 and AR2224.
First Theory/Design paper (10%) due on 17 September
Second Theory/Design paper (20%) due on 22 October
4 Guest lecture attendance and reports (20%, 5% each), due on 12 November (TBC)
Final Paper (50%) due on 12 November (TBC)
Important: For exchange students and students who are exempt from taking AR1101
AR2224 has been primarily designed as a co-curricular course for AR1101 students. Therefore, please understand that some of the content may be more suitable for AR1101 students. Please register for this course with your consent on this point.
However, the deliverables for exchange and AR1101-exempt students will be the same, as will the topics of the three papers. The final project requirements are also the same. Instead of incorporating the AR1101 design assignment into your discussion in your papers, please incorporate and refer to any ongoing studio assignments from other years, previous university or polytechnic projects, any work on a particular design of interior, architecture, landscape, urban site, masterplan etc., or any design-related projects (e.g. travel to other countries, internships in offices etc.).
Workload Components : A-B-C-D-E
A: no. of lecture hours per week
B: no. of tutorial hours per week
C: no. of lab hours per week
D: no. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: no. of hours for preparatory work by a student per week