The title of the class comes from Georges Perec's book Species of Spaces. Perec writes, "This is how space begins, with words only, signs traced on the blank page." Over three sessions, this workshop will examine ways of describing space with words. To inspire new writings about spaces, readings will be assigned and serve as points of departure for group discussion and written output.
The second class will be devoted to The Realistic.
We will start discussion by talking about the state of architecture criticism; participants should take a look at the discussion on Urban Omnibus (http://urbanomnibus.net/tag/criticism/).
Conversation will then look at how realistic writing succeeds or fails when confronted with an emotionally charged space. A local example is the controversy over Brooklyn Yards.
The class will also discuss questions such as: does architecture criticism move the field forward, or simply divide the starchitects from the non starchitects? How does the straightforward, journalistic approach to writing conflict with the theory-laden project summaries often found on architects' websites?