Critical Analysis Essay of the Dialectic in Architecture
The main assignment to be assessed for this module is a critical essay of 3,000 words. The essay must reflect architectural theories argued in a dialectical mode of logic. It may not be merely ideas strung together in a narrative format, but must instead include a level of criticality. The content of the critical essay may be focused on the three main themes of the class – tectonics, use, site – or one negotiated with the tutor. *
The essay should have three main parts: 1) a position on the theoretical topic, the thesis; 2) an acknowledgement of the shortcomings of the position through the critical eyes of opposing points of view, the antithesis; and 3) how the student would propose a reconciliation or transformation of the conflicting views, the synthesis. All three positions must be supported by texts that the student has researched in addition to the ones used in class. Whilst students may refer to texts discussed in class, usage of such texts should be limited. The point of the essay is to use the textbook as a model for understanding opposing points of view on a theoretical topic; students are expected, however, to develop their own informed opinions on a topic which they find interesting.
As part of the assignment, students will be asked to analyse the Piazza San Marco in Venice incorporating the dialectical form of logic and implementing photomontage as a means of conveying the analysis. This part of the assignment will explained in separate hand out.
Students will be asked to submit a brief outline/abstract/proposal of their essay at the beginning of class on Monday February 17, 2014. Feedback will be given to assist students on Monday March 3, 2014. This submission should include an initial outline of the Piazza San Marco analysis in written format. See separate hand out for additional details regarding this portion of the assignment.
Please refer to the MMU Moodle web site, http://moodle.mmu.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=18564, for additional information regarding proper Referencing and Writing Tips. It is the student’s responsibility to review the referencing requirements and comply with them. Colloquial use of the English language is not permitted. Generally speaking, the essay should be argued in a concise manner and supported with appropriate references who are authorities on the subject. Wikepedia is not an acceptable source for academic writing. Students are encouraged to use sources from books, essays and journals, but are discouraged from using (too many) web sources, as the credibility of many of the latter may be called into question. Visit the library!
If English is the second language of the student, please are encouraged to take advantage of the facilities on campus which are available to assist in proofreading and advising on proper syntax. Please allow a sufficient amount of time for someone to proofread and return your essay before the submission deadline.
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