ARC 320 - END 319 - The Built Environment in Mass Media

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This course will explore how mass media communicate ideas, attitudes and values about the built environment to the public. Human experience and perceptions are documented and communicated in mass media, particularly those incorporating moving images. 

Examples are the portrayal of the university as an “ivory tower,” a placed for “coming of age” or a setting for the practice of “weird science”. Thus, mass media can be a good vehicle to understand the impact of architecture and places on daily life, uncover divergent responses to places and explore cultural trends. Mass media portrayals of architecture and settlement patterns are also a way to identify and study cultural shifts in the social role of architects, planners and developers and the implications for the profession. A set of core readings and accompanying lectures, selected films, television programs and video games will be screened and discussed in class. Assignments will focus on using critical skills to learn lessons about architecture and urbanism and communicate them to others. Students will complete independent projects using multimedia tools to address media representations of architecture in a critical and speculative way.


Edward Steinfeld, ArchD, AIA, has been a trailblazer in the field of inclusive design since the 1970s. He believes architecture should, first and foremost, benefit the people who use buildings, and make a positive contribution to the community.

To create relevance for contemporary issues, this semester will focus on the theme of “Safe Space”. Purchase of Top Hat is required for this class:

Eligibility: Architecture and Environmental Design majors / minors