ARCH 674: SEMINAR IN REGIONALISM
School of Architecture, University of Maryland
Prof. William Bechhoefer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ARCH 674 is a graduate seminar dealing with the concept of regionalism in architecture. The intention is
to explore definitions of regionalism and theoretical approaches to the problem of designing for specific
cultures and landscapes.
Architecture is inescapably a political art, and it reports faithfully for ages to come what the
political values of a particular age were.
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 1999
Regionalism requires that architecture reflect its time, place and culture and that it link the past, the
present, and perhaps the future. Thus, the shape of buildings and environments is related to climate and
landscape, to the availability of resources for building, and especially to the cultural background of
builders. Vernacular environments will be introduced as manifestations of responses to local conditions
and the religious, social, political and economic aspirations of the people who built them. The work of
historical and contemporary architects will be discussed to elucidate differing approaches to architecture
based on the interaction of contemporary issues, timeless qualities drawn from local culture, and personal
The course also outlines the components of a regionalist approach. These include the ability to
understand vernacular landscapes, urban forms and buildings and the understanding of how people make
technological choices based upon climate, material availability, and the economics and skill of the labor
force. A skill of a different kind is the ability to "read" culture, particularly as it is manifest in built form,
and to develop a cross-cultural viewpoint that recognizes that even within one country there may be
distinct sub-cultures, despite commonalities.
To accomplish its goals, the course will draw on examples from around the world. Readings will be
drawn from the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, intellectual history and economics, as well as
ARCH 674: Seminar in Regionalism responds to the following issues defined in the Student Performance Criteria
established by the National Architectural Accrediting Board as a condition of accreditation of a professional program
National and Regional Traditions: Understanding of the national traditions and the local regional heritage in
architecture, landscape, and urban design, including vernacular traditions.
Non-Western Traditions: Awareness of the parallel and divergent canons and traditions of architecture and
urban design in the non-Western world.
Human Diversity: Awareness of the diversity of needs, values, behavioral norms, and social and spatial
patterns that characterize different cultures, and the implications of this diversity for the societal roles and
responsibilities of architects.
Human Behavior: Awareness of the theories and methods of inquiry that seek to clarify the relationships
between human behavior and the physical environment.
Verbal and Writing Skills: Ability to speak and write effectively on subject matter contained in the
For the first part of the semester assigned readings will be the basis of the course.
Friday (11-11:50 am) Each week there will be an essay quiz, based on the reading. Your own thoughts,
reactions, and interpretations will be as important in the writing of these essays as your understanding of
the material. Books and notes may be used and it is expected that you will express yourself in reasonably
coherent and correct English; sketches are useful.
The seminar leader for the week does not take the quiz; he/she should have a draft outline of the issues in
the reading for discussion with the instructor, as well as a strategy for running the seminar.
Monday (10-11:50 am) Each student will be responsible for initiating and maintaining one weekly
seminar. The seminar leader will be expected to have investigated the subject beyond the required
reading; the leader should provide each member of the class with a one-page outline of issues to be
discussed and should stimulate a discussion in which all class members should participate.
All comments in the class are "off the record" and all topics are fair game, so feel free... Remember that
all views are legitimate; they must be presented and argued intelligently to be constructive. The seminar
leader will receive a grade.
For the final weeks of the semester the term paper/essay will be the vehicle of study. Each student will
have 20 minutes to present a synopsis of the major ideas of his/her paper to the class for discussion. A
complete draft will be given to the instructor for correction and commentary.
NOTE: Cell phones should be shut off during class!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A= thorough understanding of material +
ability to manipulate ideas to achieve new comprehension or insights.
B= thorough understanding of material.
C= understanding of major ideas, but without understanding of implications or inter-relationships.
D= evidence of a notion of what ideas are important; mistakes in interpretation; incompleteness.
F= no evidence of comprehension.
Weekly Essays (35%)
Term Paper (35%)
Attendance and Participation (15%)
Alexander, Christopher, The Production of Houses.
AlSayyad, Nezar, ed., Forms of Dominance: On the Architecture and Urbanism of the Colonial
Amourgis, ed., Critical Regionalism: The Pomona Meeting Proceedings.
Bennett, Ralph, ed., Settlements in the Americas: Cross-Cultural Perspectives.
Blier, Susan Preston, The Anatomy of Architecture: Ontology and Metaphor in Batammaliba
Bourdier, Jean-Paul, and Minh-ha, Trinh T., Drawn from African Dwellings.
Cole, Raymond, and Lorch, Richard, eds. Buildings, Culture and Environment.
Crinson, Mark, Empire Building: Orientalism and Victorian Architecture.
Davis, Howard, The Culture of Building.
Denyer, Susan, African Traditional Architecture.
Hamdi, Nabeel, and Goethert, Reinhard, Action Planning for Cities: A Guide to Community Practice.
Hughes, David, Afrocentric Architecture: A Design Primer.
Fathy, Hassan, Architecture for the Poor.
Frampton, Kenneth, ed. Technology, Place and Architecture.
Habraken, John, The Structure of the Ordinary.
King, Anthony, The Bungalow
Loyer, François, and Toulier, Bernard, eds. Le Régionalisme, Architecture et Identité.
Markovich, Preiser, Sturm, Pueblo Style and Regional Architecture.
Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl, Native Genius in Anonymous Architecture.
Moore, Keith Diaz, ed., Culture–Meaning–Architecture: Critical Reflections on the Work of A. Rapoport
Oliver, Paul, ed., Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World
Oliver, Paul, Dwellings: The House Across the World.
Oliver, Paul, ed., Shelter, Sign, and Symbol.
Oliver, Paul, ed., Shelter and Society.
Prussin, Labelle, African Nomadic Architecture: Space, Place and Gender.
Serageldin, Ismail, and Steele, James, ed., Architecture of the Contemporary Mosque.
Serageldin, Ismail, The Architecture of Empowerment.
Travis, Jack, ed., African American Architects.
Turan, Mete, ed., Vernacular Architecture.
Tzonis, Lefaivre, Stagno, eds., Tropical Architecture: Critical Regionalism in the age of Globalization.
Vale, Lawrence J., Architecture, Power, and National Identity.
Wright, Gwendolyn, The Politics of Design in French Colonial Urbanism.
Architecture and Community. (Aga Khan Awards, 1).
Architecture in Continuity. (Aga Khan Awards, 2).
Space for Freedom. (Aga Khan Awards, 3).
Building for Tomorrow. (Aga Khan Awards, 4).
Architecture Beyond Architecture. (Aga Khan Awards, 6).
Legacies for the Future. (Aga Khan Awards, 7).
Modernity and Community: Architecture in the Islamic World. (Aga Khan Awards, 8).
CENTER, Volume 3, 1987, "New Regionalism".
ARCH 674: Readings, Spring, 2006
Jan 27 First Class
30 Rudofsky, Architecture Without Architects.
*James M. Fitch, “Vernacular Paradigms for Post-Industrial Architecture.”
(Ch. 11 in Turan, Vernacular Architecture)
*Paul Oliver, “Technology Transfer – a Vernacular View.”
(Ch. 15 in Cole and Lorch, Buildings, Culture and Environment)
Feb 3/6 Amos Rapoport, House Form and Culture.
10/13 *L. Lefaivre and A. Tzonis, Critical Regionalism, pp. 10-55.
*E. Pavlides, “Four Approaches to Regionalism in Architecture.”
(In Amourgis, Critical Regionalism)
*Kenneth Frampton, “Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of
Resistance.” (In Frampton, Labour, Work and Architecture)
17/20 J.B. Jackson, Discovering the Vernacular Landscape, pp. 1-87, 145-157.
*Amos Rapoport, “On Cultural Landscapes.”
(Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, Vol. III, No. II, Spring, 1992)
(Paper topic due on 27 February with bibliography and abstract)
24/27 Edward Hall, The Hidden Dimension. Chapters 4-12.
*Labelle Prussin, African Nomadic Architecture: Space, Place and Gender.
Introduction and Chapter 10.
Mar 3/6 E.F.Schumacher, Small is Beautiful. Part I, 1-5; Part II, 1 and 5; Part III, 1-3.
*Low and Chambers, Housing, Culture, and Design. Chapter 4, pp. 57-71.
*Nabeel Hamdi, Housing Without Houses, Chapter 10.
10/13 Hassan Fathy, Architecture for the Poor. pp. 1-148 + photos.
*M. Bilgi Denel, “Maxims and Traditions: Anatolian Vernacular.”
(Ch.8 in Turan, Vernacular Architecture)
(Mar 20-24: Spring Break)
17/27 Edward W. Said, Orientalism. Introduction; Ch. 1, part I; Ch. 3, part IV.
*Janet Abu-Lughod, “Disappearing Dichotomies: First World-Third World; Traditional-Modern.”
(Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, Vol. III, No. II, Spring, 1992)
*Janet Abu-Lughod, “Creating One’s Future From One’s Past: Nondefensively.”
(Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, Vol VII, No. I, Fall, 1995)
Mar 31- Apr 3 *Richard Sennett, “The Spaces of Democracy.” (Harvard Design Magazine, Summer, 1999)
*Mark Gillem, “America Town: Planning the Outposts of Empire.”
(Journal of Architectural Education, Vol. 58, Issue 3, February, 2005)
*Rob Shields, “Globalisation – Entangled Places, Interface Buildings, Generic Design.”
(Ch. 3 in Cole and Lorch, Buildings, Culture and Environment)
Apr 7 - May 1 Paper Presentations
May 5 Final Class
*Electronic Reserve. Password: arch674bec
The subject of the term paper/essay will be "The Regionalism of ___________________". The paper is
to be considered as an essay, not just a report. As such, it should present a theoretical framework and
may reach conclusions or judgements. The intention is to show how an architect's work demonstrates
both "regional" and "universal" characteristics, according to ideas which will become clear through
course reading and discussion. Definition of regional characteristics will be the prelude, followed by a
consideration of the architect's work in its physical and cultural context; use concepts from the course
readings and other sources to develop the framework of your discussion. Be sure to see the instructor for
discussion of your topic early in the semester.
The following architects may be subjects. Other architects or topics will be considered, if you have a
particular interest. It is most valuable if you choose an architect (or region) about whom (or which) you
Aalvar Aalto (Finland) Rasem Badran (Jordan)
Tadeo Ando (Japan) Geoffrey Bawa (Sri Lanka)
Luis Barragan (Mexico) Charles Correa (India)
Sedad Hakk_ Eldem (Turkey) Renzo Piano (Italy)
John Gaw Meem (USA) Bernard Maybeck (USA)
Glenn Murcutt (Australia) Lake/Flato Architects (USA)
William Wurster (USA) Jorn Utzon (Denmark)
Patkau Architects (Canada) Edwin Lutyens (UK/India)
Ricardo Legoretta (Mexico) Brian MacKay-Lyons (Canada)
Will Bruder (USA) Judith Chaffee (USA)
Alternate Topics (consult instructor):
Analysis of a site/culture in terms of regionalist characteristics.
Case study of a vernacular building/settlement type.
The paper should be 10 typed pages of text, referenced as appropriate. Papers should be fully
illustrated to demonstrate points being made. Note that the Slide Room will make slides that you
need for your class presentation with 2 weeks notice; if you are using a Power Point presentation in class,
illustrations should come from high quality slides that can be scanned, or from other sources if the
scanning is high resolution. Projection and use of mediocre images in the paper are not acceptable.
Consult with the Slide Room curators.
27 Feb Choice of topic with bibliography and abstract.
Class presentations of papers; complete draft to be given to the instructor:
15 May, 12 noon: FINAL SUBMISSION
The Code of Academic Integrity
The University has requested that all instructors review with students the issue of academic honesty at the
beginning of each course .
The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity,
administered by the Student Honor Council. This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland
for all undergraduate and graduate students. As a student you are responsible for upholding these
standards for this course. It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating,
fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information on the Code of Academic Integrity or the
Student Honor Council, please visit http://www.studenthonorcouncil.umd.edu/whatis.html.
In the context of this seminar, I would emphasize the following:
a) Weekly Essays: The writing is to be entirely your own. However, books and your
own notes may be used. Ideas or quotations of others should be credited; brief mention
or notation is consistent with a timed exercise. There should be no class discussion
during the essay.
b) Term Paper: All ideas or quotations of other authors must be fully acknowledged in
footnotes or endnotes and in a bibliography. Use accepted forms of citations for
scholarly work. If you make drawings based on drawings, photos or other graphic
materials of another author, the source must be credited.
If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact the
instructor as soon as possible.
SCHEDULE OF TERM PAPER PRESENTATIONS
April 9, Friday Honduras (Kanthor)
12, Monday Geoffrey Bawa (Ostrander)
Luis Barragan (Peters)
Ricardo Legoretta (Weems)
16, Friday Sedad Hakki Eldem (Song)
19, Monday Glenn Murcott (Diaz)
Renzo Piano (Cronin)
Tadeo Ando (Garland)
23, Friday Kisho Kurokawa (Smolyar)
26, Monday Bernard Maybeck (Zephir)
Will Bruder (Reed)
30, Friday Final Class Meeting
The topics have been arranged with a purpose; in particular, the grouped subjects are together for a
reason. Therefore, if you find a date inconvenient, it may or may not be easy to change. Let me know,
and I will try to accommodate.
I am available during office hours (W 9:45-11:45) to discuss your papers, or at times to be arranged
individually. This should be done sooner rather than later. Remember that you will have 15 minutes to
present a synopsis of the major ideas of the paper to the class. The draft of the paper should be
"substantially complete" and handed in to me. You may change it based on class discussion and my
comments on your draft; I want you to have every opportunity to produce a good paper (although I do not
see it as my role to correct your English).
The paper should be 10 (+) typed, double-spaced pages of text, fully illustrated and referenced as
appropriate. I will keep the final paper, so you should make a copy for yourself; if you give me a
stamped and addressed envelope, I will mail you final comments
FINAL SUBMISSION: Monday, 15 May, 12 noon.