Architecture Is a Liberal Art


Course Description

What can be done to make the untamed earth fit for human habitation? How does architecture foster conversing, remembering, cherishing, laughing, confessing, falling in love? How does our peculiarly inventive propensity to build interact with the other distinctive aspects of our humanness? Why do arguments have foundations, houses faces (facades), and columns feet? How are architectural ideas conceived, incubated, and shared? How do our ethical and spiritual assumptions and aspirations inform the shaping of wood, stone, concrete, steel, glass?

We understandably take our buildings, streets, sewers, electrical grids—indeed, the whole human artifact—for granted. This course will attempt to evoke and engage with the uncanniness of human building. We will use texts by Calvino, Rasmussen, Rudofsky, Ruskin, Le Corbusier, and others to awaken our curiosity about architecture. In particular, we will reflect on the capacity of architecture to create, communicate, contextualize, and complicate symbolic meaning—just as the other liberal arts do.



Please note, that all courses have a maximum enrollment of 18 students.

Priority is given to students who pay upon registration.

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note that we do not allow participants to audit courses for free.

Course Details

First Session: Tuesdays, January 8th 2019

Course Length: 12 weeks, Tuesdays, 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM

Discussion Team: Jonathan Powers, Esther Spector and Kelsey Keenan

Course Fee: 

$150.00 (tuition fee)

$100.00 (promotion for new students)

Reading and Administration Fee:



$185.00 (tuition fee)

$135.00 (promotion for new students)


NOTE: Reading Fees are included in the total price of the course.

Please note, degree students must schedule an appointment with the Admissions and Accreditation Committee to register for courses for this term. Degree students should not register online.

The course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, an administrative fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session.

If you have taken courses at TMI before

If you are NEW to TMI