The concept of transparency is, therefore, critical – not only to understanding early and mid-20th century modernism – but also to engaging current architectural concerns with mediation, density, surface, light, movement, and information. The purpose of the seminar is to examine the concept of transparency and the 20th century discourses on the shaping and experience of abstract space that informed it – in their full complexity. These discourses include early 20th century theories of \”space creation\” (from Hildebrandt, Schmarzow and Sitte, to van Doesburg, Moholy-Nagy, Mies, Giedion and others); theories of \”image formation\” (Richter, Kepes, Gestalt psychology, etc.); discourses regarding the \”new optics\” and the expansion of vision through new technologies of transportation, optics, and warfare; the representational discourses of graphic design, photography, and film before and after World War II. We will also examine the translation of phenomenal transparency into an operative concept in the 1960s and 1970s in the work of the New York Five, but also Rudolph, Moore, and others and the relation of this work to minimalist and postminimalist sculpture of the period; finally [time permitting] we will investigate the instrumental transparency/translucency/obscurity of \”light construction\” in the 1990s. Requirements/assignments: Course requirements include weekly readings and informed participation in class discussions. A careful preparation of the assigned reading for each week is expected of everyone. Each week one or two students will be responsible for initiating discussion of selected readings or short presentation of assigned topics relating to the readings. The principal assignment of the seminar is an independent research project which will be presented in class with slides or other visual material towards the end of the semester, and developed into a research paper. One-page abstract with preliminary bibliography of project/paper topic (which is to be selected in consultation with me) by October 21. Final papers will be due on January 13,2003.