“Architecture is dead.” So says Philip Tabor, at least, in a brief essay entitled “I Am a Videocam.” He comes to this controversial conclusion by suggesting that physical, built spaces have no place in an age of electronic spectacle. This course asks students to look at such arguments very closely and to weigh the costs and benefits of moving from physical to digital spaces. Before arriving at such questions, however, this course will examine ancient, modern, and postmodern assessments of how place and space shape identity and culture. From the ultra-rationalist suburbs of DeCorbusier to the surreal, psychogeographies of the Situationiste Internationale, the high-tech surveillance forts of Los Angeles, and the delirious Manhattanism of Rem Koolhaus, this course will not only provide students with a solid understanding of spatial theory, but will also immerse them in hands-on spatial interventions. What is the relationship between writing and space? What is the future of the local rural landscape? What would Waterloo look like if Salvador Dali restructured it? Students will face such questions in this class, and develop an interactive project that will serve as a form of public art.
Instructor: Professor Marcel O’Gorman
Office Hours: Fri. 2:00-4:00 & by appointment
Office Location: Hagey Hall 258
Phone: 519 888 4567 x32946
Email: marcel at uwaterloo dot ca