History of Latin American Architecture and Art

Universidad Veritas

Course Description

  • Course Name

    History of Latin American Architecture and Art

  • Host University

    Universidad Veritas

  • Location

    San José, Costa Rica

  • Area of Study

    Architecture, Design, History, Interior Design

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 5
  • Overview

    Course name: Latin American Architecture and Art
    Course code: ARCH 3112
    Total contact hours: 48 hours
    This course will be offered in English to overseas students taking Spanish intensive courses with the Language Department, as an opportunity to expand the knowledge of the Latin American culture and learn about its architecture and art, adding credits to their university syllabus.
    Main objective:
    To travel through time in Latin America, in order to grasp the main events and influences that contributed to the making of past and present architecture, analyzing the artistic manifestations and achieving a better understanding of the culture. Through guided theoretical classes assisted by visual images, and the visits to museums and specific sectors of San José, this course offers the opportunity to expand the knowledge of the Latin American culture through the history of its architecture and the richness of its art, with a closer look to the diversity of the Latin American society and a general view of the land.
    Instructive objective:
    To broaden the experience of learning and challenge the analysis capacity through exposure, individual investigation, on site observation, group analysis and general discussions.
    Specific objectives:
    - To learn about pre-Columbian art and architecture in Latin America.
    - To grasp the importance of the discovery and conquest of Latin America and its consequences reflected in its art and architecture.
    - To understand the colonial society and culture of Latin America.
    - To analyze the various external influences in Latin American art and architecture.
    - To explore Latin American Art and Architecture today and its influence upon the rest of the world.
    This course is structured for International Students attending the Study Abroad program at Universidad Veritas. However, courses are not exclusive to foreigners so a few native student could enroll in this course.
    Students are only allowed 2 absences (justified or not). The student will fail the course if he/she has more than 2 absences. Students will have a 0 on any assignment evaluated in class (presentations, evaluations, field trips, etc.) if he/she is absent in this class, unless an official document is presented to justify the absence the class after the absence. In this case the assignment will be done this day. An unjustified absence to a fieldtrip will immediately mean failing the course. You can only have two total absences in your elective courses HOWEVER, if you miss more than one day of class in a given month, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT for that particular course.
    Electronic devices:
    The use of cell phones, smart phones, or other mobile communication devices is disruptive, and is therefore prohibited during class. Please turn all devices OFF and put them away when class begins. Devices may be used ONLY when the professor assigns a specific activity and allows the use of devices for internet search or recording. Those who fail to comply with the rule must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.
    Professors have the right to expel a student from the classroom should he / she:
    1) be disruptive in the classroom
    2) be under the influence of alcohol or even smell like alcohol
    3) Behave in a disrespectful way.
    If you tend to be late for class, you will lose 25% of your total grade
    I. Introduction to Latin America
    A. Brief History of Latin America: summary of historical events from the discovery and conquest to this date.
    B. Latin American Culture
    1. Geography, Natural Environment and Resources
    2. Ethnic groups
    3. Politics and Economics
    4. Social Organization and Religion
    5. Artistic Manifestations
    II. Pre-columbian Art and Architecture in Latin America
    A. The Mayans
    1. Social structure and economy
    2. Religion
    3. Arts and crafts
    4. Architecture and cities
    B. The Aztecs
    1. Social structure and economy
    2. Religion
    3. The conquest of Mexico
    4. Art and Architecture
    C. The Incas
    1. Social structure and economy
    2. Religion
    3. Conquest of Peru
    4. Art and Architecture
    III. Colonial Art and Architecture in Latin America
    A. When America completed the World
    B. Colonial culture
    1. Social structure, economics and religion
    2. Architecture: colonial settlements, religious architecture, the courtyard house
    3. Art: painting and sculpture
    C. Independence Movements
    IV. Baroque Art and Architecture
    A. Painting and Sculpture
    B. Religious Architecture
    - Theory presented with plenty of visual images and examples.
    - Practice based on active participation of students in class discussions, on site analysis and observation during the field trips.
    - Individual exercise of applied art for group evaluation. Any form of art may be suggested by the student, around the theme of pre-Columbian art.
    - Individual investigation on a particular aspect of Latin American architecture in the last century (of student’s choice)
    - Three field trips
    1. Visit to the Jade Museum and walk through Barrio Amon.
    2. Visit to the Gold Museum, Central Park and San Jose Cathedral.
    3. Visit to the National Museum.
    Class assistance, participation, individual and group class work………………30%
    Pre-Columbian art assignment……………………………………………………..20%
    Individual Investigation on Contemporary Latin American Architecture………..35%
    Field trips………………………………………………………………………………15%

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.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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