ARH 511: Architecture and a Critical History of Ecology

Education - Instructors / Prize (ex aequo)

COURSE SYLLABUS for students


This course is innovative both in its topic and its pedagogical method. In terms of topic, the course exposes the intersections of environmental history and theory with architectural design and conservation in order to explore how the recent and important theorizations of nature, environment, and ecology, can radically inform modern and contemporary architectural practice. In terms of pedagogical method, the course invites students to utilize their critical reading of texts towards the production of new design knowledge through a medium that is more familiar to them, namely the production of collages.


The visual material students produce allows them to experiment with the application of theoretical ecological and environmental concepts to specific design and conservation practices in architecture. The new levels of criticality introduced by the course insert the immediate practical and technical matters of environmental design and conservation into a larger theoretical and critical framework. In this sense, this course is an important companion to more techincally-oriented courses on environmental design and conservation.


The course is an elective graduate seminar of 8 ECTS, and each week it introduces a different topic, using various media (writings from the domains of architecture and ecology, movies and documentaries, design and conservation practices). Each week students produce collages that offer critical commentaries on the readings.


Final research projects allow students to cater to their own interests, and to translate the global literature/practices that the course examined in terms of more local topicas that are closer to our specific locale (Cyrpus). Topics of student work included among others: ‘Ecobranding in the design of Pedieos Park’, ‘Environmental dilemmas in the conservation of a modern hotel’, ‘What are the dark sides of the celebrated environmentalism of the design of the Ayia Napa Marina?’


Authors: Panayiota Pyla; Danae Zacharia



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