Introduction to Design Theories and Criticism
General Catalog Course Title:
Introduction to Architectural Design Theory and Criticism
Terms Offered:
Fall 2016
Fall 2015
Fall 2014

Arch 130 provides an introduction to the ideas that have informed design
thinking from the 19th century to the present, with an emphasis on the
debates of the last four decades. The course explores significant changes
in theory and practice across the design disciplines and professions (with
particular attention to architecture), and considers how they are connected
to larger social and historical forces.

Readings and lectures situate debates about design theory at UC Berkeley in
a broader national and international framework and explore the how past
approaches continue to shape those that are influential today. Key issues
extend from the role of industrialization in 19th century design thinking,
through the rise of modernism and postmodernism, to recent issues
surrounding digital technology, sustainability and globalization.

What you will learn in Arch 130:

*to understand how design theories in your studio classes fit into larger
national and international debates; to become knowledgeable about important
developments in your field

*to develop a "critical thinking" toolkit that can positively inform your
work as a designer

*to become familiar with contemporary debates in design culture, and to
develop your own position towards them

*to explore how design is influenced by (and responds to) social, economic
and political changes.

How you will learn in Arch 130:

*weekly lectures and discussion sections centered on case studies of
influential practitioners, buildings, landscapes and urban spaces

*group projects and class debates on controversial issues in contemporary

*special lectures by important authors, designers and critics

Course themes: 

Part 1: Industrialization and Design

Part 2: Postwar Modernism and the Science of Design

Part 3: Challenges to Modernism and Postmodern Polemics

Part 4: Design, Spectacle. Consumption (and its aftermath)

Part 5: Architecture and the Global Present

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.