IT-47 Architectural Language - Theoretical Issues

The Faculty of Interior Architecture / Interior Architecture
2nd Year, sem 2, 2023-2024 | Compulsory Course | Hours/Week: 2C+1L | ECTS Credits: 3
Fișa disciplinei:
IT-47 Limbaj arhitectural - repere teoretice.pdf
History & Theory of Architecture and Heritage Conservation
Course Leader:
prof.dr.arh. Mihaela Criticos
Teaching Staff:
Ioana Zacharias Vultur, Andrada Rogojinaru
Learning outcomes:
Discovering the main theoretical issues of the architectural design and introducing the students in the matter of architectural form, seen not as materialization of immediate need or subjective creativity, but as an active principle which bears meaning and shapes the human environment;
Understanding the expressive potential of architectural form from the point of view of its structural, functional, aesthetic, and symbolical conditionings;
Understanding the logical mechanism of foming a coherent and unitary architectural language by means of the syntactic relations established between the elements of a whole and the compositional principles that structure an architectural object or ensemble.
Courses titles:
1-2 Introduction. Architecture as an act of edifying and signifying. The complexity of the discipline: the hypostases of architecture. Basic concepts: language, form, expression, perception, meaning.
3-7 The Vitruvian attributes (commands) as sources of the architectural expression: Firmitas (the material support) - the practical and the expressive components; Utilitas (the "content" of architecture) - the practical and the expressive (psychological and symbolic) components; Venustas (the architectural form and expression) - the aesthetic qualities of form (physical and signifying qualities). Contextualitas - a fourth attribute?
8-9 Notions of architectural and urban perception. Fundamental experiences of the relation with the environment. Sensorial and spatial perceptive predispositions (patterns).
10-11 The concept of form in architecture. The complementary hypostases of the architectural form - positive and negative (built volumes and spaces).
12-14 The architectural syntax and composition. Types of syntactic relations: equality; hierarchy; complementarity. Compositional principles based on the syntactic relations: repetition and rhythm; axiality and symmetry; contrast.

Seminar paper:
The paper theme aims at the understanding of the course notions and their using for the analysis of an architectural object (an individual dwelling) in relation with a piece of furniture belonging to the same period or architectural trend.
The seminar exercise proposes the analysis of the way in which the chosen architectural object and piece of furniture respond to the Vitruvian requirements, focusing on the architectural expression as synthesis of the tectonic expression, the expression of function and the expression of pure form, free from practical reasons, along with the expression of the relation with the context.
Teaching Method:
Courses: - Lectures with digital images
Seminar paper: Analysis through text and image, panel presentation, discussions
Examination paper - 50%;
Seminar paper and activity - 50%.
- Mihaela Criticos, Note de curs (ppt)
-Francis D.K. Ching, Architecture: Form, Space & Order – pdf
-Rudolf Arnheim, Dynamics of Architectural Form, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, University of California Press, 1977 (cota I 6212)
-Pierre von Meiss, De la forme au lieu, (trad. engl. From Form to Place), Lausanne, 1986, pp.25-40, 168-176, 179-192 (cota I 9047) - (trad. rom. Pierre von Meiss, De la formă la loc + Tectonica. O introducere în studiul arhitecturii, Editura Capitel Avangarde, București, 2014)
-Hanno-Walter Kruft, “Vitruvius and Architectural Theory in Antiquity”, History of Architectural Theory, Princeton Architectural Press, 1994, pp. 21-29
-Kevin Lynch, The image of the City, The Technology Press & Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1960 (trad. rom. Imaginea orasului, Bucuresti, Editura R.U.R., 2012) – pdf (fragmente)
-Kenneth Frampton, Studies in Tectonic Culture (cota III 3636)
-Robert Venturi, Learning from Las Vegas, (trad. rom. Lecția Las Vegas, Ed. Univ. Ion Mincu, București, 2018)
- Roger H. Clark, Michael Pause, Precedents in Architecture, John Wiley and Sons Publishing House, Second Edition, 1996: hNps:// docs/precedents_in_architecture__second_
-Mihaela Criticos – „Contemporary Interventions in Historic Areas”, in Stefano D’Avino (coord.), Restoration in Romania, Carsa Edizioni, Pescara, 2020 – pdf
The updated lectures in ppt format are sent to the students via email or whatsapp, along with supplementary documentation materials.