80 402 Architecture's printing culture


Passed foundationlevel courses

Recommended prerequisite knowledge

This elective course is for all students interested in the relationship between architecture and text.

Course content

What is the relationship between the printed and the built? Are architectural publications mere reflections of the built, or do texts and publications take active part in shaping the built environment? This elective course deals with architecture's publication cultures, moving from the classical treatise to the contemporary blog. During the semester, we read both professional and popular text genres, from technical specifications to illustrated magazines, and from 19th century catalogues, journals and advertisements, to the social media of the 21st century. Through reading, writing and textual analyses, we study how architectural publications communicate with professional and general publics, and discuss the entangled relationships between the printed and the built.

Learning outcomes

The students will acquire skills in reading, discussing, and analyzing texts of various genres, and will also write themselves. They will be introduced to the academic craft and learn to recognize different textual approaches.

Working and learning activities

The course is composed as a series of lectures, reading seminars and writing assignments. The students are assessed on the basis of participation as well as a final essay.

Professor in charge

Professor Mari Hvattum

Mandatory work requirements

Work requirements Number Number of approved Mandatory presence Comment
Other - specify in comments

Writing exercises

Oral examination


Assessment Date Duration Grade scale Oral examination
Semesteroppgave Pass / Fail
Prosessvurdering underveis
Annen vurderingsform, definer i kommentarfelt Pass / Fail

The students are assessed on the basis of participation as well as a final essay.

Reading lists / teaching materials

Colomina, Beatriz, Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media. Cambridge, MIT Press, 1994.

Crysler, Greig, Writing Spaces, Discourses of Architecture, Urbanism and the Built Environment, 1960-2000, Routledge, London, 2003.

Jencks, Charles, « The Bigness of Small Magazines », in Architectural Design, vol. 71, n°1, février 2001, p. 94-95.

Lipstadt, Hélène, “Architecture and its image : Notes towards the definition of Architectural Publication”, in Architectural Design, 1989, nr 59, 12-23.

Parnell, Steve, “AR’s and AD’s post-war editorial policies: the making of modern architecture in Britain”, Journal of Architecture. 17(5), 2012. 763-776.

Parnell, Steve, “Architecture Magazines: Playgrounds and Battlegrounds”. In Common Ground: A Critical Reader Eds. Kieran Long and Shumi Nose, Milan: Marsilio. 2012, pp. 305-308.

Pezzini, Isabelle et Jacques Gubler. "Architecture in Journals of the Avant-Garde." Art Libraries Journal 9:1 (printemps 1984): 3-42.

Rattenbury, Kester, This Is Not Architecture: Media Constructions, (London; New York: Routledge, 2002).

Schwarzer, Mitchell. "History and Theory In Architectural Periodicals." Journal of The Society of Architectural Historians 58:3 (septembre 1999): 342-348.

Steiner, Dietmar, “Architecture and Media: the Future of the Architectural Magazines. Symposium”, Domus, n° 790, pp. 51-58.