19090 - Architectural Composition Theories (B)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The teaching-module leads the student to recognize and identify the set of relationships that lie between the theoretical and practical debate on the project. Critical reading of a number of significant contributions to architectural theory will allow to identify some of the major themes concerning the discipline of architectural and urban composition.

Course contents

The Course of Architectural Composition Theories (2 Cfu), integrated with the Third Year Design Workshop, is defined by a corpus of lessons aimed at clarifying the origin of theoretical issues developed in the field of architectural and urban research and exploring its italian and international diffusion. In the classes, a series of texts and theoretical writings published in the twentieth century will be introduced and interpreted critically. Particular attention will be given to the figure of some authors, to the specific cultural field, to the influence of their theoretical contributions to the contemporary project.

The interpretation and analysis of some of the most important trends of the twentieth century will allow the student to investigate the reasons for the project and to gain awareness of the composition discipline.

The lessons will follow a narrative path organized through a series of thematic sections. The main topics, both architectural and urban, will be focused from the texts, the original sources will also be expanded through the use of complementary contributions. The explanation of the main themes discussed in the texts will be accompanied by a specific bibliography and, where necessary, by an integrative anthology. Some recurring concepts such as type, form, city, composition, character, monument, structure, language, representation, common to the theoretical contributions proposed, will be explored in the specific disciplinary reference framework by deepening the relationship between text and image of the project.

The texts presented and discussed during the lessons will allow the student to develop a personal reflection on the project. Theoretical knowledge will therefore be considered a basic tool for the process of making architecture. Theoretical foundation and practical experience will therefore find a space for comparison in the relationship between the textual and design dimension.

The critical reading of the texts will be followed by the elaboration of a thematic exercise and allow to analyze a selection of projects of public buildings and to verify their theoretical reasons.


The bibliography will be provided during the course.

Teaching methods

The teaching module will take place through frontal lessons focused on the interpretation of some of the major texts of 20th-century theory.

The lessons will offer a reading methodology that considers the relationship between the text and the iconographic apparatus contained therein as a priority. The use of other images and projects, used as comparative elements, will open up reflection in the direction of an analogous thought on architecture.

The exercise to be assigned to the groups of two students, consists of the analysis of a case study taken from a selection of modern and contemporary architectural projects. Through the drawing tools the student will be followed in the processing of a typological and comparative analysis.

Assessment methods

As part of the Architectural Design Laboratory, the course aims to offer a theoretical contribution as a support of the design activity by proposing an exercise aimed at deepening the design theme assigned by the Architectural Composition Course I (integrated).

Through a series of review, the student will produce a graphic dossier containing the analyzes and the studies developed on a specific assigned building.

Compositional, distributional, typological and spatial principles of the investigated building will be illustrated with reference to the theoretical issues.

The contribution of the theoretical lessons and the exercise will be offered as a support to the verification of the design path developed within the laboratories during the seminar activities.

The dossier will be presented and discussed during the exam.

Teaching tools

Lezioni frontali attraverso la proiezione di diapositive, riproduzioni audio e/o video.

Office hours

See the website of Stefania Rossl

See the website of Annalisa Trentin