History and Theory

The History and Theory Program Area critically analyzes how the designed environment shapes and is shaped by its aesthetic, philosophical, cultural, social, political, economic, religious, and technological contexts, throughout time and across geographies.

Detail photo of capital ornament

Nave capital, church, Zaraka Monastery (Stymfalia, Greece). Photo by Heather E. Grossman.

Deploying humanistic and interdisciplinary methods, courses and faculty research explore the past and present global built environment at all scales, through analysis of both objects and texts. Students are trained to interrogate both broad questions and microhistories to reveal manifestations of human making and use of the built form, societies’ interpretation and reception of architecture over time, and the changing nature of design thought and practice. Faculty research and teaching interpret and theorize architecture and identity, memory, and materiality, among other areas of interest, frequently focusing on transcultural zones from the deep past to the present.

Affiliated Faculty

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