ARCH 4509/6509
Monograph

A series of architecture text books on a shelf

  • Instructor: Andrea Simitch
  • Time: Th 12:20–2:15 p.m.
  • Location: 261B East Sibley Hall
  • Credits: 3

A portfolio is comprehensive; a monograph is compromised.
A portfolio is objective; a monograph is subjective.
A portfolio is universal; a monograph is personal.
A portfolio explains; a monograph mystifies.
A portfolio hastens; a monograph hesitates.
A portfolio is slick; a monograph is slippery.
A portfolio is honest. a monograph is deceptive.
A portfolio is graphic. a monograph is therapeutic.
A portfolio is defensive. a monograph is adaptive.* 

The monograph has traditionally been a device through which an architect's or an artist's body of work has been disseminated to a specific audience — a medium through which a distillation of the author's principal ideas and artifacts are envisioned and presented. Architecture is mainly understood through images, and the monograph is a medium through which the concepts embedded in these images are not only framed and interpreted but given greater depth and meaning. And it is the design of the monograph that becomes the vehicle of that meaning.

For the purposes of this class, a monograph is considered to be an in-depth and critical presentation of a single project. This seminar will introduce the history of the monograph through a series of case studies. It will ask that the student design and produce a monograph that represents one of her/his previously designed and completed projects. This monograph will include explanatory text, project drawings, images, and guest critical essays. To this end, students will be asked to revisit/represent the existing drawings and models of the previously designed project that they select to represent in the monograph. Each student will be required to submit a self-published monograph of one project by the end of the semester.

*From Ada Tolla & Giuseppe Lignano LOT-EK_ADV Studio VI.

Instructor permission required:

All students interested in the class are asked to bring the following material to the first class:

  • A 'portfolio' of the project the student wishes to 'monograph-asize' — maximum of six 8.5" x 11" pages.
  • A list of seminars, studios etc. that the student feels might have served as preparation for the course.

All students interested in enrolling in the class will indicate their preference by signing the roster at the end of the first class. Class list will be posted by the end of the following day.

View a PDF of this class description.