Film and Architecture

King's College London

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Film and Architecture

  • Host University

    King's College London

  • Location

    London, England

  • Area of Study

    Architecture, Film Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • UK Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Cinema and architecture have often been closely related but not often enough studied together. This module aims to explore the rich formal and technical parallels between them, the shared intellectual debates which have shaped them, the representation of architecture and architects by filmmakers, and the ways in which motion pictures have influenced architects in their practice and design.
    Organized in a way which is partly thematic and partly historical, the module will necessarily approach cinema and architecture from a variety of directions:
    1. The image and use of real buildings in movies, especially buildings of noted architectural significance, as well as the design and construction of studio sets in which real buildings are replicated or far-fetched ones imagined;
    2. Both fiction films and documentaries about architects; the architect as artist and technocrat; the film director and architect as superstars; the tension between art and industry, mass culture and the avant garde, in both fields;
    3. The special ability of the film or digital video camera to render in moving pictures the shapes, masses, spaces, surfaces, and textures of the built environment - and its acoustics through sound;
    4. Similarities between the techniques of architecture and filmmaking; the use of sketches, plans, storyboards, models, and studios; the manipulation of materials, space, light, and sound; the navigation of space, the creation of point of view and narrative;
    5. The architect as a kind of set designer for whom buildings must be spectacular, entertaining, and performative, a sense especially evident in the classical era and, more recently, in postmodernism where architecture has been heavily informed by mass media.
    You do not need to have a pre-existing knowledge or understanding of architecture to take the module - key aspects of architecture history and theory will be explained as we go along.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.