HAA 178N - Architecture in the "museum"





Patricio Del Real

Wednesdays, 3:00 pm - 5:45 pm

Why has architecture entered the museum? Today, art museums continue to expand their offering on “buildings,” some even opening departments dedicated to architecture and design. In these privileged exhibition spaces, architecture abandons its place in the world – its practical and everyday interactions in the built environment – to enter the realm of representation. At the same time, exhibitions are part of the production of architecture, conditioning its practice and stimulating its culture. This reading/research proseminar examines architecture as a cultural object in display. It looks for the historical conditions that normalized its presentation in the museum. Our focus: architecture exhibitions in the expanded field of exhibitionary practices, from professional associations to ministries of public works, that led architecture to enter the “museum.” We will look at: key exhibitions; their materials; what and how is put on display (models, drawings, and objects); archives; collecting and acquisitions policies; curatorial strategies. Our aim is to go beyond well-known exhibitions and explore why architecture has become a tool for cultural authority, elite aesthetics, market consolidation, and political soft power. The course will run in parallel with seminars held at UNAM, Mexico, and PUC, Chile, led by local faculty members. Each seminar will focus on their national architectural and cultural contexts and work to survey and construct an Americanist geography of curatorial practices in architecture during the 20th century. Students are required to attended public presentations in the lecture series: Why Architecture Belongs in the Museum. Undergraduate approval from instructor.