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The 'Fusion of Horizon's': affect and the learning subject in architectural history and theory


Van den Berg, K and Loo, S and King, S, The 'Fusion of Horizon's': affect and the learning subject in architectural history and theory, Proceedings of the 2011 International Conference of the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia, 18-21 September 2011, Geelong, Australia, pp. 407-417. ISBN 9780958192552 (2011) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Copyright 2011 Deakin University

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This paper is part of an on-going research project at the University of Tasmania where the School of Architecture & Design contains a significant cohort of culturally and linguistically diverse students who are engaging (often for the first time) with the interpretation of historical and theoretical themes and applying them to design. This paper argues that an understanding of affect and how it can contribute to critical literacies in this context is essential to enable students to interpret different cultural worlds.

Recent 'affectual turns' in other disciplines force a reassessment of the 'learning subject' within architecture and design. Affect has been extensively theorized in relation to education since the 1950s, and foreign language learning, where students develop a sense of their own identity or "voice" in a second language, and confidence in using it to communicate with others (Brown, 1987). Affectual understanding differs from 'subject-centred' cognitive understanding as it eschews the dualist model of the learning subject (the learner as an internal tabula rasa to be inscribed with external knowledge (Gadamer cited in Snodgrass and Coyne, 2006).

Affectual learning, takes on new partners from the edges of subjectivity, resulting in different relations between the human, society and architecture, which according to Thrift, "constructs new forms of empathy, enabling identification with 'another'" (2006). Cognition and emotion are thus engaged simultaneously to produce richer discursive engagements in history and theory of architecture and design.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:affect, architectural history and theory, architectural education
Research Division:Built Environment and Design
Research Group:Architecture
Research Field:Architectural history, theory and criticism
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Pedagogy
UTAS Author:Van den Berg, K (Mrs Kerry Van den Berg)
UTAS Author:Loo, S (Professor Stephen Loo)
UTAS Author:King, S (Dr Stuart King)
ID Code:73455
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:Architecture
Deposited On:2011-10-10
Last Modified:2017-11-10
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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