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ART H 290 A: History of Architecture

We look forward to safely returning to in-person instruction and activities this autumn quarter. Current and prospective students please visit our COVID-19 Updates pages.
Meeting Time: 
MWF 11:30am - 12:50pm
ART 003
Meredith Clausen
Meredith Clausen

Syllabus Description:


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AH290, Fall 2019
Introduction to the History of Architecture
MWF 11:30 - 12:50, rm 003, Art Bldg

Instructor: Prof Meredith L. Clausen, Architectural History
Art Building, rm 222
Office tel: (206) 616-6751
Office hours:
 Wednesday, 2-5 pm, or by appt.


SoA+AH+D Policies

Lecture Images


Cities and Buildings Database


Course description: A cross-cultural introduction to the study of cities and buildings around the world, from earliest times to present. No slide identifications; emphasis is on developing analytic skills rather than memorizing names and dates.

Course objectives: To provide an understanding of differing building traditions across time and diverse cultures, both Western and non-Western. Students will learn the basics of structure, as well as acquire an understanding of what goes into the design of buildings, the purpose of architecture, its meaning and expressive power.

Course requirements: Lectures & informal discussion three times/week, attendance and participation of which is expected. Three exams, the last on the last day of class, each constituting 25% of the final grade; the final 25% will be based on the two short (4-6 pg) papers describing and analyzing several local buildings. Students are required to take exams as scheduled; exceptions are granted only in cases of documented emergencies and must be approved by the instructor; they are cumulative, with each exam emphasizing new material but drawing on knowledge, skills, and understanding acquired throughout the quarter.

Disability Services Office: If you would like to request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact the Disability Services Office, email:, 206-543-6450 (voice) / 206-543-6452 (TTY). Please provide the instructor a copy of your letter from Disability Services indicating you have a disability that requires assistance. Disability Resources for Students, UW Seattle Campus

Religious Accommodations: Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy ( Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (https://regis

Common Classroom Rules of Thumb: Please, no talking in class and turn all cell phones off, as they are disruptive. Come on time and don’t leave early; if for whatever reason you have to leave early, sit in the back near the exit so you don’t interrupt the class. No late papers will be accepted without signed medical excuse.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism consists of using the creations, ideas, words, inventions, or work of someone else in your own work without formally acknowledging them through the use of quotation marks, footnotes, bibliography, or other reference. If in doubt as to what might qualify, check with the instructor. Instances of plagiarism will be referred to the Vice Provost/Special Asst to the President for Student Relations, and can lead to suspension or other major disciplinary action. (Not nice to have on your student record!)

Images: The Powerpts containing all the images used in class will be posted online for student review (see Lecture Images link above). Many (though not all) of the slides used in class are accessible in the Cities and Buildings Database, an online digital image database created at the University of Washington in 1996. There are also, of course, other image-based websites that one can use as a source of images.

Texts: (available at the University Book Store)

Students are expected to do the required reading before the class meets, as preparation for the discussion. The recommended readings are for those seeking a fuller understanding of the subject. Optional reading cited in the bibliography is for students wishing to pursue specific topics on their own. Books are available in the Architecture Library, Gould Hall; required articles/chapters are in CANVAS via the Readings page (linked above). One might also want to look at another similar text by Ching, Jarzombek, Prakash, A Global History of Architecture, which takes a similar cross-cultural approach to architectural history; Prakash is on the U.W. faculty, teaching (among other things, including studio) architecture in India/southeast Asia.

Link to full syllabus for schedule and weekly topics


Catalog Description: 
Introduction to the history of architecture across a broad range of cultural contexts.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:20pm