Markus Breitschmid, assistant professor of architecture in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, has been awarded a 2007 Fellowship Grant from the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. The grant will support the augmentation of how historical and theoretical content of architecture is being taught and learned in the course "History of Architecture."
The intent of the restructuring of the course is to adapt a learning-based model of the design laboratory for a course that traditionally was conducted as a lecture class. The enrolled students will conduct archival documentation in the library, draw reconstructive and analytical architectural conditions, write and communicate descriptions of design situations, and translate discoveries from one media to another.
Each student will be encouraged to directly engage with the object of architecture in a historical mode using the tools and instruments of the discipline of architecture. "History of Architecture" students will discover how architecture and architects contribute to the discovery of knowledge through a mode that is in the realm of the aesthetic and challenges the prevalent notion that knowledge can only be obtained by positivist endeavor.
"Because the course material will be encountered not as a list of historical facts, but as information and limitations that influence architectural designs, the restructured course will offer a more accurate contribution of the historical and theoretical branches of architecture to each student's professional growth," said Breitschmid.
Breitschmid, who received his architectural education in Switzerland and the United States, is a registered architect and a member of the Swiss Institute of Architects and Engineers. He received his doctorate from the Institute of Building History, Architectural Theory and Building Preservation at the Technische Universität Berlin in Germany. He has lectured and served as a design critic at various schools in Europe and the United States. Previously, Breitschmid has taught at Cornell University, the University of North Carolina, and the Catholic University of America. His scholarship encompasses what is commonly known as German Modernism and focuses on the aesthetic mentality of Modernism.
The College of Architecture and Urban Studies is one of the largest of its type in the nation. The college is composed of two schools and the departments of landscape architecture, building construction, and art and art history. The School of Architecture + Design includes programs in architecture, industrial design and interior design. The School of Public and International Affairs includes programs in urban affairs and planning, public administration and policy, and government and international affairs. The college enrolls more than 2,000 students offering 22 degrees programs taught by 160 faculty members.