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The Architectural Imagination

MICHAEL HAYES: Architecture is not just about the need for shelter or the need for a functional building. In some ways it’s just what exceeds necessity that is architecture. And it’s the opening onto that excess that makes architecture fundamentally a human endeavor. Architecture is a technical answer to a question. It’s not technical at all, but rather is historical and social. The study of architecture is the study of human thought and human history.

This is about the architectural imagination. It’s how to think about architecture, but it’s also about architecture as a mode of thought. Architecture is one of the most complexly, negotiated, cultural practices there is. And a single instance involves all of the aesthetic, technological, economic, political issues of social production itself. And indeed in some ways, architecture, as we’ll see, helps articulate history itself. Now these are all big planes and will need big ideas to address these claims. It will also need very specific concrete examples of architectural projects and events from history. Welcome to the architectural imagination, an online introduction to the history and theory of architecture. I’m Michael Hayes, professor of architectural theory at the Graduate School of Design. And My colleagues and I will introduce you to some of the most fundamental themes, concepts, and examples of architectural thought..

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