81574 - Contemporary Architecture (1) (LM)

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Visual Arts (cod. 9071)

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student acquires necessary knowledge to critically interpret contemporary architecture, in its various aspects: from space and structure to its programmatic and symbolic function, also in relation to the cultural, artistic and environmental context. In particular, the student has the methodological tools for the historical and critical understanding of the city and its major architectures.

Course contents

The course aims to deepen the architectural and artistic experiences, carried out from the second half of the twentieth century until today, in which creative processes and cultural visions common to the different disciplines are used for the genesis of contemporary languages.

The aims of the course are: to reconstruct the experiences of those artists who have been able to outline a horizon of specific research on architecture; to study the ways in which artists have interpreted individual architectural elements (from column, to window); to evaluate their critical position towards certain architectural manifestations; to examine their interpretations of the concepts of space and structure; to analyse how artists have been able to manipulate the materials used in architecture. The most significant experiments carried out by architects who have tried to transform the very logic of the project, introducing solutions inspired by the phenomena of artistic creation are also analyse.

In particular, the following themes are discussed:

Building products and archaic figures: Giuseppe Uncini, Carl Andre, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Alighiero Boetti, Gilberto Zorio and Giovanni Anselmo

From City to Territory: Walter De Maria, Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, Dennis Oppenheim and Alice Aycock

Happening, revolt, liberation and recycling: Allan Kaprow, Wolf Vostell, Mauro Staccioli, Claes Oldenburg, Louise Bourgeois, Niki De Saint Phalle and Gordon Matta-Clark

Social revolution and radical collectives: Constant, Yona Friedman, Archigram, Archizoom and Superstudio

Structures: Richard Serra, Robert Morris, Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt

Casts of space and memories: Bruce Nauman, Rachel Whiteread and Doris Salcedo

The myth of the contemporary ruin: Anselm Kiefer and Pierre Huyghe

Rationalist architecture in the era of post-modernism: Isa Genzken

Drawings evoking architecture: Madelon Vriesendorp

Ecological conflicts, biodiversity, collective habitat and human rights: The 2021 Architecture Biennial, How will we live togheter?


There are no differences between attending and non-attending students.

Rosellini Anna, Gargiani Roberto, Valori primordiali e ideologici della materia, da Uncini a LeWitt, Roma, Aracne, 2018

Rosellini Anna, Calchi di spazio, mnemosine e rovine, Roma, Aracne, 2019

Rosellini Anna, Il était une fois… La statue de la Liberté et les gratte-ciel de New York. Nouvelles freudiennes de Madelon Vriesendorp, in “Matières”, 2019, 15, pp. 90-109

Rosellini Anna, Isa Genzken. Per una continuità critica dell'architettura moderna, Milano, Postmedia, 2020

Teaching methods

Online teaching and seminars with student participation.

Assessment methods

There are no differences between attending and non-attending students.

Oral examination of the topics discussed in the course and the contents of the bibliography

During the oral exam, students must demonstrate to have acquired a critical understanding of the topics discussed in the course and in the bibliography.

1. It will be assessed as excellent the performance of those students achieving an organic vision of the course contents, the use of a proper specific language, the originality of the reflection, as well as the familiarity with the tools for analyzing the art and architecture works.

2. It will be assessed as average the performance of those students showing mostly mechanical or mnemonic knowledge of the subject, not articulated synthesis and analysis capabilities, a correct but not always appropriate language, as well as a scholastic study of the history of architecture.

3. It will be assessed as barely sufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, lack of knowledge of the history of architecture.

4. It will be assessed as insufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, no orientation within the recommended bibliography and inability to analyse the architecture.

Teaching tools

Students are provided with the course images and part of the bibliography.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Anna Rosellini


Quality education Gender equality Sustainable cities Life on land

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.