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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Idea and Form: The Integration of History in the Design Studio


The increasing contradiction between “High-Architecture” and “Low-Architecture” that has been made explicit after the bursting of the “Brick-Bubble” calls for a revision of the teaching of design and history. The change in the European education curricula dictated by the Bologna Process (EHEA) has provided an appropriate context to implement brand new creative subjects, in which history is no longer an isolated subject narrated as facts of the past, but another tool that offers the students a framework to critically engage with the complexity of the built environment. “Idea and Form” is a recently created first-year undergraduate-program subject that interrogates how objects, buildings, cities, and landscapes are shaped focusing on the critical analysis of both their processes of creation and development. “Idea and Form” places its main focus on showing the dialectics between the creative processes and the contingencies of the everyday life, the single-handedly designed projects and the unconsciously and collectively generated realities. Based on historically grounded themes, it offers a clearly understandable theoretical foundation for the development of the different design subjects of the architectural studies curriculum, while challenging the design theories taught in architecture schools until now, primarily focused on the analysis of authored works of architecture.

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