80 405 Theories of Radical Preservation


Passed foundation level courses


If historic preservation is often considered to be reactive, this course considers an alternative history of preservation as projective. The course looks at transitional moments in historic preservation discourse that asserted radical new modes of viewing and transforming existing architecture. Considering the exchange between written manifestoes, drawing techniques, and conservation practices, the course examines how changing political and cultural agendas shifted approaches to representational techniques and architectural interventions over time. Moving from the Italian Renaissance to the present, this course considers the diversity of preservation approaches throughout history, many of which were more speculative and projective than current international norms. The course focuses particularly on theoretical discourses that produced new representational techniques and material practices, prioritizing the exchange between theory and modes of visual and material production.

Course Outline:
Week 1: Instaurare: Italian Renaissance restoration as transformation
Week 2: Beaux-Arts: Prix-de-Rome projections
Week 3: Stylistic Restoration: What may never have existed
Week 4: Romanticism: The cult of the ruin
Week 5: Critical History: Utilities and Liabilities
Week 6: Institutional Authority: UNESCO and its discontents
Week 7: Avant-Garde: Superstudio, Matta-Clark, Asher, Pettena
Week 8: Abstracting Typlogy: Rowe, Rossi, Moneo
Week 9: Opportunistic Reuse: OMA, DSR, HdM
Week 10: Experimental Preservation: Defining a new medium

Forventet læringsutbytte

Upon successful completion of the course, students should possess a greater critical perspective on preservation practices and a broader historical awareness of the development of those practices over time. Through seminar discussions and written assignments, students are expected to improve their abilities to articulate their ideas and construct compelling arguments.

Arbeidsformer og læringsaktiviteter

Weekly seminars will include presentations by the instructor, reading discussions, and student presentations. Students are expected to complete reading and writing assignments and to participate actively in discussions.


Professor Erik F. Langdalen


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