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All Levels | Novelists rely on settings to develop character and weave meaningful links between reader and narrative. If you flip that on its head, you have a new way to approach design criticism—namely, using the lens of fiction to evaluate architecture. We’ll find and follow literary characters beyond the page, down the street and into buildings, helping us comprehend designed space in ways not fully accessible by sight alone. We’ll look at writers like Kafka, who rely on space and place to develop character, and use those techniques to critique the built world around us. We’ll explore buildings around Capitol Hill to put our skills into practice, and workshop our ideas in class. This class includes a lunch break.
Ayad Rahmani is a professor of architecture at Washington State University where he teaches courses on design and theory. He is the author of two books, the last on Kafka and architecture titled Kafka’s Architectures, published in 2015. He writes widely on subjects related to art, architecture and literature, currently as the architecture critic for the Moscow Pullman Daily News. He is currently working on a new book on Frank Lloyd Wright and Ralph Waldo Emerson, examining the American project through the lens of architecture and literature.