• Course Code:  Arch 101

  • Term:  Summer 2014

  • Start Date:  Jun 29 2014

  • End Date:  Dec 31 2014

  • Duration:  27 weeks

  • Course Author(s)
    Open Online Academy

This course has ended

Contemporary final ooa

Contemporary Architecture *

Summer 2014

  • Ivan shumkov sq
    Ivan Shumkov
  • Emanuela giudice s
    Emanuela Giudice

Course Summary


The course will analyse major contemporary architectural ideas, ideologies, and projects in the context of both globalisation and specific local contexts. We will trace the development of architecture since the early 90s by discussing the work of some of the most influential architects of our time.

The critical reflection on contemporary topics will allow students to better understand the buildings and cities which we live in. When talking about the architectural protagonists of today, we will focus on their most recent work. Some references will be made to their earlier work, but the focus will be on how they adapt their thinking to current design tendencies. We will examine the evolution of their work and at the same time try to understand how they react to current challenges and opportunities in our profession and society.



Week 1: Globalization and Critical Regionalism: Rafael Moneo, Steven Holl; Design and Online Education, Behind the Scenes

Week 2: Tectonic, Technology and Structure: Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, Norman Foster

Week 3: Critical Discourse and Architecture: Rem Koolhaas, Peter Eisenmann, Bernard Tschumi

Week 4: Surface, Materiality, and Ornament: Herzog & De Meuron, Jean Nouvel, SANAA

Week 5: Form, Sign and Sculpture: Frank Gehry, Daniel Libeskind, Santiago Calatrava

Week 6: Digital Design and Computation: UN Studio, FOA, Zaha Hadid

Week 7: Sustainability, Resilience and Social Design: Wiliam McDonough, Kongjian Yu, Norman Foster, Giancarlo Mazzanti, Medellin and Bogota

Week 8: Final Exam TBD



The course will introduce participants to the contemporary architecture scene and allow them to position themselves into it. Students will acquire the essential skills for looking at, analyzing and understanding architecture. The final goal is to turn use architecture as a way to look at the places that we inhabit, an action for positive change, and a generator of a vision for making possible worlds.



Living in the world of architecture is a full-time job, but you’ll have to spend 2-3 hours per week with your computer and a few more exploring your city. The final assignment will take a few days to complete if you want to qualify for the exposition. 



Students will do research and critical analysis of architecture. They will analyze and comment on the projects presented in each chapter of the course. They will also explore buildings in the cities where they live and visit, according to the concepts introduced in the course, by taking pictures and making videos. A final exam will evaluate the knowledge aquired in the course.



You be offered a certificate by Open Online Academy after you complete all the course assignments and exams. If you include it in your CV, remember that the course is offered by "Open Online Academy, New York."



The course is both for the general public and for people with experience in architecture, so any person can take it. Basic knowledge of architecture is recommended but not necessary. If you were already a student of architecture, this would be a way to expand and further your studies in a global context. If you are already an architect you can learn about the recent developments of the profession and be inspired for your work. If you have general cultural curiosity about architecture, this course will introduce you to some basic concepts that would allow you to understand better the values and importance of architecture.



Ivan R. Shumkov PhD, OOAc Founder

Ivan Shumkov is a New York based architect, professor, scholar and curator. He is a pioneer in online education and founder of Open Online Academy (OOAc), where he also teaches architectural design, history and theory. He graduated with masters degrees from ETSA Barcelona, University of Florence, and Harvard University GSD, as a Fulbright scholar. He completed his PhD in Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and Columbia University GSAPP, as fellow of the Fondation Le Corbusier. Dr. Shumkov has taught at Harvard University GSD, Pratt Institute School of Architecture, Parsons the New School for Design, International University of Catalonia, and ETSA Barcelona. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Harvard Alumni Association and President of Harvard Architectural and Urban Society Alumni. Dr. Shumkov is a licensed architect in Spain and Italy and principal of ISA - Ivan Shumkov Architects, a company working in the fields of architecture, urbanism, landscape and design with offices in New York and Barcelona. He has worked, lectured and exhibited his projects and research in Europe, Brazil, Colombia, China, and the USA.  


Emanuela Giudice PhD, OOAc Assistant Professor

Emanuela Giudice is a Turin based educator. She graduated in architecture and she holds a PhD at the Polytechnic of Turin with the thesis Lectures. Tools, methods and compositive applications in architecture between Whites and Grays. She focuses her research on the radical and post modern languages and their relationship with architecture and design. She collaborated with the Polytechnic of Turin and she has been lecturer at SIJU (Saint John International University) in architecture theory and criticism courses. She developed cultural and education projects related to architectural topics and she has been a broadcaster for the radio program “Les Bijoux Indiscrets”. Among her publications Paradossi dell’architettura. Intorno all’Eupalinos di Paul Valéry (Celid, Torino, 2011), “Gufram. Le matricole di massa in una fabbrica di design”, in M. Gausa (ed.), Rebel Matters. Radical Patterns, forthcoming. She involved both in academic research and in teaching at universities.

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