The focused study of architecture as a humanistic endeavor allows our majors to bring together various areas of the liberal arts in a creative fashion, almost in a Renaissance manner.
Architectural studies majors at Middlebury usually augment their on-campus study with study abroad, either in English or in a foreign language. In recent years, our students have attended the Danish International Studies Program in Copenhagen, the Ecole spéciale d’architecture in Paris, France, and the Facoltà di Architettura at the Università di Ferrara, Italy.
Intro to Architectural Design Students install work in CFA
Learning Goals in History of Art
Through courses across a wide continuum of times and cultures, students of art history not only learn to articulate histories of visual production, but also to think critically about the stakes of artistic creation and objects of culture more generally.
Students in the major will, by inquiring into the modes and meanings of visual arts and culture:
- develop their abilities as critical thinkers by questioning works of art and architecture and developing arguments about the circumstances of their production and meaning
- learn to build extended arguments based upon composite evidence: visual, historical, and textual
- engage creative research problems that, over time, yield new insights into art, architecture, history and culture
- become strong, convincing writers through using a variety of approaches to write about the history of the arts, architecture, and visual culture
- become highly skilled at presenting their work through oral, public presentations
Learning Goals in Architectural Studies
The Architectural Studies Program has been designed to offer students enough of an exposure to the field that they can determine whether they wish to pursue it professionally. It also helps them develop the skills and credentials necessary for admission to graduate study in architecture. For those who decide this is not something they wish to build upon after Middlebury, it still provides a fine way to acquire a liberal arts education in a synthetic manner. It combines study in the history of art and architecture (important for developing critical awareness and skills) with art studio work, calculus, physics, and elective work in a range of fields: environmental studies, geography, economics, sociology, and theater design.
Students in the major will develop:
- an understanding of the complex factors that condition the built environment through design analysis, theory and history
- critical and analytical skills through a study of history, theory and design studios
- an ability to communicate ideas through written, graphic and oral means in an organized and articulate fashion through presenting history papers, design critiques, and presentation booklets
- an ability for creative problem-solving in the design studio
- an ability to visualize in spatial and three-dimensional terms
The visual arts constitute a compelling vehicle for a liberal arts education in a global context. Our department offers emphases in art history, museum studies, architectural history, architectural studies, and architecture and the environment.
In art history we study works of art and architecture as bearers of meaning and as manifestations of culture, often considered in a historical context. In architectural studies we scrutinize the built environment in relationship to its natural and cultural contexts, firmly grounded in both theory and praxis.