2023-2024 / ARCH3334-1

Architectural culture 3: history and theory of architecture from 1940 to the present day


40h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in architecture5 crédits 


Justine Gloesener, Eric Le Coguiec


Eric Le Coguiec

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course aims to illustrate the complexity of architectural theories. It will show that movements and currents do not exist in themselves, but are linked to institutions, the economy, social organizations and technological inventions. In this course, the following content will be covered, based on the writings of architects and texts about these writings:


- Architects during the Second World War: Albert Kahn, Erich Mendelsohn, Charles and Ray Eames, Jean Prouvé.
- The blind spot in the historiography of modern architecture
- Critical architecture and the relationship with art: Superstudio, Archizoom, ...
- Postmodernist myths: counter-historiography of postmodern procedures
- Postmodernism's blind spot: discrimination and segregation through the physical design of the built environment
- The aestheticization of contemporary architecture in the age of late capitalism (Architecture and social media)
- As found: from aesthetics to ethics (Smithson)
- Architecture and gender: spatial dichotomy, invisibilization of women architects (since the modernist pioneers), queer architecture, ecofeminism in architecture, etc.
- Architecture in the Anthropocene era: Ouest Architecture, Agwa, Ledroit Pierret Polet, Encore Heureux, Patrick Bouchain, Philippe Madec, Alejandro Aravena, Lacaton et Vassal, etc.



Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of this course, students will be able to:


- Understand the relationships between architecture (1940 to present) and the contexts of architectural production and design: historical, cultural, economic, political, social and institutional;
- Understand the limits of architecture per se, of the myth of the autonomous architect through narratives of architectural activity that can be empirically described.
- Explain the dominant historiography and its counter-arguments.
- Develop a reflexive and critical view of contemporary architectural production;
- Weave links between the notions seen in class and studio projects;
- Develop a reflective architectural approach;

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course  are presented in the form of interactive lectures based on reading one or two texts per week. The texts are available online. The course requires the analysis of texts in preparation for the weekly course;

Topics are presented by the teacher and supported by visual presentations (slideshows, videos, etc.) and texts;

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Blended learning

Additional information:

Hybrid teaching

Recommended or required readings

Banham, R. (1981). Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (1960; Cambridge MA: The MIT Press. Banham, R. (1972). Los Angeles, the Architecture of Four Ecologies. Thomas S. Hines Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.
Blidon, M. (2016). Espace urbain. Dans : Juliette Rennes éd., Encyclopédie critique du genre (pp. 242-251). Paris: La Découverte. https://doi.org/10.3917/dec.renne.2016.01.0242" Bonnevier, K. Behind Straight Curtains: Towards a Queer Feminist Theory of Architecture. Stockolm : Axl Books.
Castells, M. (1996). The rise of the network society. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. Clarisse, C. (2004). Cuisine, recettes d'architecture. Editions de l'Imprimeur
Cohen, J.-L. (2011). Architecture en uniforme: Projeter et construire pour la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Vanves: Hazan. Colquhoun, Al. (2000). Modern Architecture (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000). Conrads, U. (, 1970). Programs and Manifestoes on 20thcentury Architecture (Cambridge MA: The MIT Press.
Faure, E., Hernández González, E., & Luxembourg, C. (Eds.). (2017). La ville, quel genre?: L'espace public à l'épreuvre du genre. Le Temps des Cerises. Foster, H. (2001). Postmodern culture. London: Pluto Press. Foster, H. (1985). Recodings: Art, spectacle, cultural politics. Port Townsend, Wash: Bay Press. Frampton, K., & Rousso, R. (1985). Histoire critique de l'architecture moderne. Paris: Philippe Sers.
Frichot, H., Gabrielsson, C., & Runting, H. (Eds.). (2018). Architecture and feminisms: Ecologies, economies, technologies. Routledge.
Heynen, H. (2007). L'inscription du genre dans l'architecture. Perspective, 4, 693-708. https://doi.org/10.4000/perspective.3575
Hirst, P. (2005). Space and Power: Politics, War and Architecture. Cambridge: Polity Press. Jameson, F. (2012). Le postmodernisme, ou, La logique culturelle du capitalisme tardif. Paris: Beaux-Arts de Paris Jameson, F. (1983). Architecture et critique de l'idéologie ». in Gintz, C. (1983). Territoires 3. Paris: Éditions Territoires. Jameson, F. (1988). "Periodizing the 60s", in The Ideologies of Theory: Essays 1971-1986. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Jencks, C. (1987). The language of post-modern architecture. London: Academy Editions Joselit, D. (2012). After Art: The Object in Networks. Point: Essays on Architecture.¿ Koolhaas, R.(1995). S, M, L, XL. New York: Monacelli Press. Krauss, R. (2007). L'originalité de l'avant-garde et autres mythes modernistes. Paris: Macula. Lavin, S. (2020). Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernist Effects. Spector Books  McLeod, M. (1983). Architecture or Revolution: Taylorism, Technocracy, and Social Change, Art Journal Vol. 43, No. 2. Lefèbvre, H. (1981). The Production of Space. Wiley-Blackwell Print. Madden, D. J. & Marcuse, P. (2016). In defense of housing: The politics of crisis. Verso Books,
Mosconi, N., Paoletti, M. & Raibaud, Y. (2015). Le genre, la ville. Travail, genre et sociétés, 33, 23-28. https://doi.org/10.3917/tgs.033.0023 Mumford, E. (2000). The CIAM Discourse on Urbanism, 1928-1960. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press. Ockman, Joan ed. (1993). Architecture Culture 1943-1968: A Documentary Anthology. New York: Columbia Books on Architecture/Rizzoli. Paquot, T-C. Younès. (2005). Géométrie, mesure du monde. Philosophie, architecture, urbain, Paris. Portoghesi, P. (1982). After Modern Architecture Planning and cities. Rizzoli.
Raibaud, Y. (2015). Durable mais inégalitaire : la ville. Travail, genre et sociétés, 33, 29-47. https://doi.org/10.3917/tgs.033.0029 Rendell, J. (2007). Critical architecture. London: Routledge. Sadler, S. (1998). The Situationist City. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.¿ Sklair, L. (2001). The transnational capitalist class. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. Tafuri, M. (1976). Théories et histoire de l'architecture. Paris: Sadg.
Tummers, L. (2015). Stéréotypes de genre dans la pratique de l'urbanisme. Travail, genre et sociétés, 33, 67-83. https://doi.org/10.3917/tgs.033.0067
Vallerand, O. (2016). Regards queers sur l'architecture : une remise en question des approches identitaires de l'espace. Captures, 1(1).https://doi.org/10.7202/1059828a
Venturi, R., Scott, B. D., & Izenour, S. (2014). L'Enseignement de Las Vegas. Bruxelles: Mardaga. Vidler, A. (ed.) (2008). Architecture Between Spectacle and Use. Sterling

Exam(s) in session

May-June exam session

- Remote

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

August-September exam session

- Remote

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The course will be given in face-to-face and eventually online.
Specific dates, times and locations are provided via CELCAT and may vary.
The e-Campus platform will be the preferred communication tool with the course instructor. It is on this platform that the various documents and teaching resources (slides) will be posted.
As a change of location or schedule is possible, students are required to consult CELCAT regularly as well as their email box.



Eric Le Coguiec

Association of one or more MOOCs