Architecture, Science and Technology, XVIIIth Century-Present

Since the first industrial revolution, science and technology have constantly challenged architecture. Technology in particular has represented a powerful source of change for architecture. New materials and structural types have emerged, inducing dramatic changes in the definition of the architectural discipline. From iron construction to digital architecture, from Viollet-le-Duc\’s structural rationalism to Archigram\’s technological eclecticism and beyond, the course will study important episodes in this two-century history.The lectures will not only deal with the practical consequences of the intercourse between architecture, science and technology, like the development of concrete construction or the twentieth century quest for three dimensional structures, but also with their cultural dimension. Theoretical issues, such as the relations between architectural aesthetics and mechanization or the influence exerted by the social sciences, from history to sociology, will be evoked. For science and technology have not only fostered changes in building techniques. They have shaped architectural culture.Students enrolled will have to pass a midterm examination based on the lectures. At the end of the term, they will produce a paper related to the field covered in the course.