Amid education reform in American schools of architecture in the 1970s, Kenneth Frampton was integral in transforming the curriculum of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture & Planning. In particular, he designed and taught what became three core courses: the theory seminar “Comparative Critical Analysis,” the history lectures “Thresholds of Modern Architecture,” and the housing studio unit on the “Perimeter Block.” In the 1990s, he started teaching “Studies in Tectonic Culture,” which also became a long-standing history and theory course.

Structured around the syllabi of these four courses, this exhibition showcases Frampton’s archive—recently arrived at the CCA—to illustrate his multi-generational impact on the landscape of architecture education. Encompassing drawings, models, photographs, proposals, papers, lectures, slide shows, essays, monographs, letters, and autobiographical documents, the exhibition highlights how Frampton’s pedagogical methods and concerns were instrumental in shaping the discipline and profession of architecture internationally.

Curator: Kim Förster, CCA
Graphic design: Principal, Montreal

Selected objects


Examples of syllabi of four courses, developed by Kenneth Frampton at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture & Planning between 1973 and 1995, are available in PDF format:

Comprehensive Studio III: Composite Perimeter Housing Prototype, 1977
Thresholds in the History of Western Architecture II, 1983
Comparative Critical Analysis of Built Form, 1984
Studies in Tectonic Culture, 1995

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