module specification

AR7007 - Poetry and Architecture (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Poetry and Architecture
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 200
161 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 75% 50 4000 word essay
Coursework 25%   Seminar presentation
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester City Tuesday Morning
Spring semester City Wednesday Morning

Module summary

Poetry and Architecture examines how architecture can be connected to a broad range of other discourses through the critical application of poetic ideas. In this context, poetry represents not a literary genre, but a methodology – a tactic that shifts between interpretation (poetics), performance (poetry), and making (poiesis). The module offers students a radical alternative to most current discourses about architecture; an opportunity to conceive of architecture as an actor in an expanded field of practice, knowledge, objects and ideas; and to understand the creative processes that animate, and connect, the practice and interpretation of architecture.


The seminar course begins with a definition of poetry and a demonstration of poetic effects. It sets out the wider theoretical framework and applies the ideas and the method to thinking about architecture, using a broad variety of materials and sources, and various built or unbuilt examples. Themes treated may include rationality and irrationality, violence in architecture, metaphor and obscurity. The course deliberately sets out to offer alternatives to most current discourse about architecture, and to do this with critical rigour. The course affords students with an opportunity to play an active role in the development of the syllabus and experiments with alternative teaching methods. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module the student should be able to:
1. think critically and with precision about different aspects of creating and communicating meaning and their expression within architecture and architectural theory;
2. use historical and cultural materials imaginatively in the pursuit of such questions;
3. construct a clear and forceful argument, effectively expressed through prose;
4. show evidence of an ability to apply the specific subject matter of the course to other contexts.

Assessment strategy

The assessment will be based on a compilation of weekly writing assignments, together with a short preface and conclusion that supply an overview. This composite piece of work is intended to be equivalent in scope and scale to the standard essay of 4000 words; it will count for 75% of the mark. A class presentation will make up the remaining 25%.The pass mark for the module is to be calculated as an aggregate of the components weighted accordingly, with the proviso that the candidate must pass Component 1 (the essay).


Indicative Bibliography

Barthes, Roland. The Preparation of the Novel: Lecture Courses and Seminars at the Collège de France (1978-1979 and 1979-1980) / [Roland Barthes] ; Translated by Kate Briggs. European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism. New York ; Chichester: Columbia University Press, 2011.
Barthes, Roland, and Annette Lavers. Mythologies. London: Vintage, 1993.
Flusser, Vilém, and Louis Bec. Vampyrotheutis Infernalis: A Treatise, with a Report by the Institut Scientifique de Recherche Paranaturaliste. Minneapolis, Minn. ; London: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.
Goldsmith, Kenneth. Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age / Kenneth Goldsmith. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.
Haraway, Donna Jeanne. The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness / Donna Haraway. Chicago, Ill. ; [Great Britain] : Bristol: Prickly Paradigm ; University Presses Marketing, 2003.
Latour, Bruno. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory / Bruno Latour. Clarendon Lectures in Management Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
MacCormack, Carol P., and Marilyn Strathern, eds. Nature, Culture and Gender. Cambridge: Cambridge Unviersity Press, 1980.
Valéry, Paul. “Course in Poetics: First Lesson.” In The Creative Process, Etc., by Brewster GHISELIN, 92–106. New York: New American Library of World Literature, 1955.

Online Sources
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