70466 - Aesthetics

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

Comprehension and discussion of some key questions of contemporary aesthetic debate on architecture, its language and link to the subject “city”, through a reconstructive and analytical approach.

Course contents

The course of Aesthetics (C.I. 4 CFU, 48 hours) consists, as well as of the characterizing Module 1 (2 CFU, 24 hours), of the Module 2 - exercises (2 CFU, 24 hours).

The course will introduce and examine some of the main authors and texts in Twentieth century philosophy connected to the aesthetic reflection on architecture, and, about them, will discuss themes like “space”, “place”, “city” and “architecture”. The course will be divided in two parts, a first one on Georg Simmel's Aesthetics, and a second one on texts by L. Mumford, F. Fanon, H. Lefebvre, M. Agier chosen by students who form four groups. Some key concepts from the former aesthetic reflection on architecture (Eighteenth-Nineteenth century), as well as the basic concepts of philosophical thought involved in texts under consideration, will be clarified.


First Part (all students)

Georg Simmel's Aesthetics and the "field of architecture":

Georg Simmel: Le metropoli e la vita dello spirito (1903), in Id., Le metropoli e la vita dello spirito, ed. by Paolo Jedlowski, Roma, Armando, 1995, p. 35-57; Sulle esposizioni d'arte (1890) and Esposizione industriale berlinese (1896), in Id., Estetica e sociologia, ed. by Vincenzo Mele, Roma, Armando, 2006, p. 60-85; Roma, Firenze, Venezia (1898, 1906,1907), in Massimo Cacciari, Metropolis. Saggi sulla grande città, Roma, Officina, 1973, p. 35-57; Excursus sulla sociologia dei sensi, in Id., Sociologia (1908), Torino, Comunità, 1998, p. 550-562; La moda, L'ansa del vaso, Le rovine, Le Alpi, in Id., La moda e altri saggi di cultura filosofica (1911), Milano, Longanesi, 1985, p. 29-52, 101-120; Sulla psicologia dell'ornamento (1908), ed. by Vittorio Cotesta, Roma, Armando, 1996, pp. 105-117; Filosofia del paesaggio, in Id., Il volto e il ritratto. Saggi sull'arte, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1985, pp. 71-83.

Filosofie della metropoli. Spazio, potere, architettura nel pensiero del Novecento, ed. by Matteo Vegetti, Roma, Carocci, 2009, p. 119-152 (A. Pinotti on G. Simmel).

Second part (four groups)

1. The Industrial City: Lewis Mumford, L’insensata città industriale in Id., La cultura delle città, ed. by Michela Rosso and Paolo Scrivano, Torino, Einaudi, 2007, p. 133-212.

2. The Colonial City: Frantz Fanon, Della violenza in Id., I dannati della terra, ed. by Liliana Ellena, Torino, Einaudi, 2007, p. 3-51. Frantz Fanon, L’Algeria si svela in Id., Scritti politici II. L’anno V della rivoluzione algerina, ed. by Miguel Mellino, Roma, DeriveApprodi, 2007, p. 39-61.

3. The «Production of Space»: Henri Lefebvre, Industrializzazione e urbanizzazione in Id., Il diritto alla città, trasl. by Gianfranco Morosato, Verona, Ombre Corte, 2014, p. 17-38. Henri Lefebrve, Spazio e politica. Il diritto alla città II, ed. by Gianfranco Morosato e Francesco Biagi, Verona, Ombre Corte, 2018.

4. The Camp: Michel Agier, La Giungla di Calais. I migranti, la frontiera, il campo, trasl. by Nicola Manghi, Verona, Ombre Corte, 2018, p. 21-82. Giorgio Agamben, Che cos’è un campo? in Id., Mezzi senza fine. Note sulla politica, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, 1996, p. 35-41.

Teaching methods

The course comprises 48 hours of lessons (the first and the second part: 24 hours each)

Assessment methods

The course of Aesthetics (C.I. 4 CFU, 48 hours) consists, as well as of the characterizing Module 1 (2 CFU, 24 hours), of the Module 2 - exercises (2 CFU, 24 hours).

The examination of the course on Aesthetics includes the verification of the learning of the contents of all the modules that make up the course and takes place in a single exam.

Oral examination. Short texts written or discussed by students are welcome.

In detail, the verification of the learning objective of knowing some of the essential concepts of modern aesthetics through the analysis of modern artistic languages and their relationship with the theme of the city and of the architecture will be implemented: as regards the monographic part, through the presentations (on request) of individual texts or audiovisual materials agreed with the teacher within the course, as well as with a written exercise in the classroom obligatory for all the students and preparatory to the exam (who could not be present on that occasion is required to agree with the teacher a substitute exercise); as far as the exercise part is concerned, by elaborating a synthesis text for each of the authors and topics addressed in the group, as well as through the individual oral examination at the end of the course which will include questions on the monographic part, on the work of the group and on that of at least one other group.

Teaching tools

The bibliographies specific to the different parts of the course will be analyzed and acquired during the various lessons, starting with the tools available in the texts indicated in the program. The teaching material presented during the lessons is made available to the student in paper or electronic format via the internet, also following the access restrictions, according to the modalities that will be indicated at the beginning of the course.

Office hours

See the website of Andrea Borsari

See the website of Pierpaolo Ascari