Ways of Seeing - Working with the Visual Materials of Architecture

Seminar (052-0834-21)
Organizer: Chair of Prof. Stalder
Lecturers: M. Critchley, S. Hefti, M. Lähteenmäki, G. Verhaeghe
Time: Friday 15:45-17:40
Location: HIL B 21 (zoom link below)


Course Summary

What do images do? How can you understand drawings, photographs and other visual material in architectural practice? This course will give you a critical toolkit for questioning and understanding the visual material of architecture.

“It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world” – John Berger in "Ways of Seeing". Taking our title and cue from John Berger's groundbreaking tv-series on art made in 1972, the course seeks to engage with visual materials and extend Berger's ambition towards architecture. We will discuss methods and questions from the fields of seeing and the visual. In addition to providing various methods of visual analysis, this seminar will also critically examine the powerful practices of seeing, interpreting, assembling and translating the visual material of architecture. We will look at how meanings change between production and reception, and how images circulate and mediate between media, between individual and collective views, between times, places and cultures.

This seminar will help you reflect upon and revisit the use of visual material within your own architectural work.

Course Sessions and Materials

Seminar schedule and detailed description (click to download) 
ZOOM link info (click to download) 
Assignment instructions (click to download) 
Polybox link (click to access)

26.02 Seminar 1: Introduction
John Berger - Ways of Seeing (click to view)

05.03 Seminar 2: The Spectator
Required Reading:
Colin Rowe, La Tourette (click to download) 

12.03 Seminar 3: Media Studies
Required Reading:
Beatriz Colomina, archive (click to download) 
Beatriz Colomina, interior (click to download) 

19.03 Seminar 4: On Techniques/Devices, Perspective and Montage
Required Reading:
Robin Evans, Piero's Head (click to download) 
Markus Lähteenmaki, Everything in Life Can Be Montaged – You Just Need to Find the Right Way’ (click to download) 

16.04 The Document
Required Reading:
Allan Sekula, Dismantling Modernism, Reinventing Documentary (click to download)
23.04 Walking Practices
Required Reading:
Louis Aragon, The Passage de l'Opera (click to download) 
Guy Debord, Theory of the Dérive (click to download) 
Robert Smithson, A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic New Jersey (click to download) 
Jane Rendell, Walking (click to download) 

30.04 Iconography
Required Reading:
Frances Yates, Architecture and the Art of Memory (click to download) 
Helen Rosenau, Vision of the Temple (click to download) 

07.05 Potential Histories
Required Reading:
Susanne Leeb, Not Quite Embracing Failure. History in Contemporary Art DE (click to download)
Susanne Leeb, Not Quite Embracing Failure. History in Contemporary Art EN (click to download)  

14.05 On Display
Required Reading:
Paul O’Doherty, Notes on a Gallery Space (click to download) 
Edwin Heathcote, A show about showing — Art on Display at the Gulbenkian (click to download) 
October Journal, A Conversation with Jean-Louis Cohen (click to download)