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Types of Architecture Courses

by Jake Shore

Architecture is a respected profession connected to an arduous higher educational experience. Enrolling in architecture school is demanding financially as well as academically, and by examining the different types of architecture courses you’ll get a better idea of what the degree program is like.

Design

In many architecture programs there is a strong emphasis on classes rooted in design, and some require students to take at least one design course every semester. For example, at the University of Pittsburgh, Architecture Design Studio 1 is catered for students pursuing an architecture degree on the graduate level. In such a course exercises are intended to awaken a students’ ability to solve difficult and layered architectural problems. The course also examines context as a motivator for architectural design.

Architectural History

A well-developed architecture program exposes students to the history of architecture, and there are many special topics courses that focus on examining, analyzing and discussing particularly significant architectural history. For example, a special topics course rooted in ancient cities examines such civilizations as the Greeks, Egyptians and Persians to discover the cultural significance of their architecture. In addition, the Renaissance changed the way the world viewed art in a great number of ways, and architecture is an art form that this is particularly true of. Renaissance architecture courses examine city designs, churches and buildings of all kinds to understand the major architectural theories of the time that are still relevant and evaluated. Projects by Raphael, Michelangelo and Bramante are examined.

American Architecture

Despite the fact that it’s important for architecture students to examine foreign and ancient forms of architecture, a successful architecture degree will also include courses that focus on American architecture. Significant elements of America’s identity can be found in its architecture. Certain American architecture courses will examine the work of such great architects as Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles Moore, Steven Holl and many others to inspire students and expose them to great American works.

Landscape Architecture

Designed gardens are fine examples of intentional landscapes and are studied in various architecture courses in order to discover the relationship such have with human cultures. There is a fundamental difference between an organic landscape, one that formed without human interaction, and contrived landscapes, those that are created by humans. Within the study of both the order of man and the order of nature can be discovered, which makes the study of landscape and designed gardens informative and required by many architecture degrees.

About the Author

Jake Shore is an award-winning Brooklyn-based playwright, published short story writer and professor at Wagner College. His short fiction has appeared in many publications including Litro Magazine, one of London's leading literary magazines. Shore earned his MFA in creative writing from Goddard College.

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