Architecture (ARCH) 300

History of Ideas in Architecture II (Revision 2)

ARCH 300 Course Cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

ARCH 300: History of Ideas in Architecture II is intended for students enrolled in the BSc (Architecture) program at the RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University. For those students interested in pursuing a career as a registered architect, this course also contributes to the RAIC Syllabus Diploma.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: ARCH 200

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

Centre: RAIC Centre for Architecture

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Architecture 300: History of Ideas in Architecture II examines the principles and ideas that shaped civilization and architecture from the end of the Middle Ages to the early Modern era (circa 1400–1800). Across Eurasia, Africa, and the Americas, architecture was used to promote and sustain states that were structured along hereditary class lines. Throughout this course students will chart the rise and fall of this idea, the creation of the modern economic state, and its colonial expansion.

By studying the course commentary, textbooks, scholarly articles, and visual and primary sources, students will learn about both this long and eventful period of the history of architecture, and how scholars study it. As you work through the six Study Guide units, you will complete a series of exercises and assignments that will assist in honing the skills necessary for your research project.

Course Outline

Using A Global History of Architecture as a primary reference, the course is organized around a series of themed units designed to develop visual literacy in the history and principles of architecture. The units and the referenced ancillary sources should, however, be studied in the sequence that follows:

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Class-structured Architecture: Beijing and China c. 1400–c. 1750
  • Unit 2: Architectural Imagery for a Class-structured State in Japan c. 1500–c. 1750
  • Unit 3: Architectural Imagery for a Class-structured Imperial Vision in Russia c. 1450–c.1750
  • Unit 4: Building for Divine Kingship in the West and Beyond, c. 1400–c. 1750
  • Unit 5: New Architecture and a New Society in the West: Historicism in the Service of the Capitalist Enterprise c. 1400–c. 1800
  • Unit 6: Architecture of Persuasion: Western Capitalism and Colonial Legacies in India and the Americas c. 1600–c. 1800

Learning Outcomes

By analyzing visual evidence and the accompanying literature, with specific reference to a series of monuments as case studies, students will discern

  • Essential details: nomenclature, locations, builders, significant dates, and chronologies.
  • Visual evidence: original as-built, change over time, and current state.
  • Reasons for original construction: the beliefs, values, and intentions that motivated the builders, and how those are revealed in as-built plans, form, or decorative details.
  • Manner of use: the rituals, activities, and events the buildings were intended to accommodate.
  • Method of construction: the contribution of evolving technologies, types of building materials, and how geography, environment, and climate influenced their form and function.
  • Geopolitical, chronological, or ideological contexts for these structures and how they are the same as or different from other buildings that responded to similar stimuli in different times or places.

Course Evaluation

Your final grade in Architecture 300 is based on the grades you achieve on six assignments.

Course Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 5%
Assignment 2 10%
Assignment 3 20%
Assignment 4 15%
Assignment 5 30%
Assignment 6 20%
Total 100%

To receive credit for ARCH 300 you must complete all assignments and achieve a minimum composite course grade of 67 percent.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Ching, Francis D. K. (Advisory Ed.), Jarzombek, Mark M., & Prakash, Vikramaditya (2017). A Global History of Architecture. (3rd ed.) Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Kruft, Hanno-Walter (1994). A History of Architectural Theory from Vitruvius to the Present. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press.

Online Materials

Course Home Page (online): The course home page houses all the online components of your course.

Study Schedule (online): The study schedule on your course home page includes the Course Information, the six units of the Study Guide, links to the online readings, and links to your assignments.

Course Information (online): You are now reading the Course Information, which provides specific information about how to proceed through the course. Read the Course Information carefully before you begin reading the Study Guide.

Study Guide (online): The Study Guide units are embedded in the Study Schedule on the course home page.

Assignments (online): The assignments are on the course home page, along with helpful instructions.

Forms: Forms you may need are available through the myAU portal.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, May 10, 2018.

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