History and Theory of Architecture

Victoria University of Wellington

Course Description

  • Course Name

    History and Theory of Architecture

  • Host University

    Victoria University of Wellington

  • Location

    Wellington, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    SARC 151, Students must provide a portfolio of work for pre-approval before International Orientation and Enrolment week at Victoria University of Wellington. Students can only submit portfolios in a CD, PDF, website or proper booklet format. Printouts are strongly discouraged. The portfolio must be an accurate representation of the student?s skills set to date.

  • 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

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Introduction to the development of architectural theory and its application to the recent history of built form.

    At the core of ARCI 251: Architecture History and Theory is the notion that architectural histories, like the works of architecture that they survey, emerge from continual debates, and that every ?history? involves a position held by its author. The past is thus malleable ? it changes as we reinterpret and re-explain what has happened in order to suit both our understanding of the present, and in order to transform that present into an envisaged future.

    This course explores how concepts of architectural history and theory are produced and applied in a range of discourse forms ranging from the written text to realised projects. The focus is the historical development of modern architecture, and its histories, during the 20th century.

    During the course, students will be expected to engage with history as a dynamic construction, and to reflect upon this in terms of contemporary architectural production, whilst navigating a personal critical position with respect to both their own understanding of architectural history and their own design output.

    Through the study of examples of development of modern architecture and its echoes since, it is hoped that students will not only develop a sound knowledge of 20th century architecture and its histories, but that the multiplicity and relativity of parallel histories will also be impressed upon them. Only upon such foundations can we start to articulate informed vision of the future. Thus, ARCI 251 should be seen as a tool for unlocking the potential to anticipate, envision and influence the ?architecture to come.

    Course Learning Objectives
    Students who pass this course will have an introductory understanding of:
    - The major historical, theoretical, and historiographical influences that have shaped the architectural developments during the 20th century
    - The influence that design history and theory exert on contemporary design practice
    - The standards and skills of research and communication required for university-level research assignment work.

    Students are also encouraged conceive and adopt a critical understanding of design history and theory, as well as of their own learning progress throughout ARCI251 and their broader programme of learning.

    Assignment 1.1: Essay Proposal 15%
    Assignment 1.2: Full Essay 50%
    Assignment 2: Weblog 35%

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.

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

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.