Humanities I: Introduction to Society and Culture

Beginning with the understanding of the definition in the title, this course for fhe first ysemester students develops towards looking at the relationship between human behavior and buildings, shelters and communities. It is also an introduction to the cultural landscapes and architecture of India. While touching upon basic sociological concepts, the course progresses to 'reading' architecture as a product of culture. The scale of examples presented range from city form to institutions to an individual dwelling. The buildings are viewed as an embodiment of changing cultural ideals of spatial order and ritual activity. The exercises grow from being simple to complex, beginning from one's own environment. The emphasis is on learning to analyze the built world, a skill that will benefit the student as an architect or as a perceptive human being. Madhavi Desai discusses concepts of personal space, privacy, territoriality, etc. and their implications on design during the course. The influence of religion, political ideology, and social norms on the built fabric is also discussed. Examples from vernacular to modern architecture are addressed in terms of their historical/cultural significance.