Understanding the Arts: Art History and Architecture (Online)

Open to students entering grade 9 or 10 in the fall
I - June 29–July 17, 2020
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 9:10–11:00 a.m. and 1:10–3:00 p.m.
Thomas Ian Campbell, Aki Ishida

“I have gained a strong knowledge of architecture through the professor. I have also gained many new friends.” – Amara D. | Exeter, California

Course Description

A two-course curricular option for students wishing to develop their appreciation of art and architecture. Both courses emphasize critical thinking and analysis, skills that will be valuable to students in whatever fields they choose to pursue in college and beyond.

What is Art History?

This course introduces students to selected monuments of painting, sculpture, and architecture and to basic trends and concepts in the history of art. Examples are drawn from a wide range of periods and cultures. Students are introduced to aspects of visual analysis, historical context, and problems of interpretation. Participants engage in discussions centered around slide presentations and videos.

What is Architecture?

An introduction to ways of understanding architecture framed around four topics: Concept, Context, Form, and Materials. Students are challenged to examine and understand the effects of physical environment on human experience, the factors that influence architectural forms, and the role that architecture plays in shaping our behaviors and civic cultures

Participants gain an understanding of architecture through slide presentations, readings, virtual visits to buildings, and discussions around observations and analyses of architecture and public spaces around the world, both iconic and lesser-known. We examine different types of buildings such as museums, churches, libraries, and transportation hubs. While the primary focus is on learning through observation and analysis, students also learn to think and imagine through hands-on, at-home model-making, using materials they should be able to find around their homes.


Thomas Ian Campbell

Tom Campbell holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. His dissertation examines the attempts of British artists in the 1970’s to establish new contexts for their work beyond existing art institutions. Tom has taught a wide range of topics in Columbia University’s Art Humanities program and at the Horace Mann School, where he led courses on Renaissance and Modern art.

Aki Ishida

Aki Ishida received her Master of Science in advanced architectural design from Columbia University and Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Minnesota. She is an Associate Professor of Architecture at Virginia Tech and has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, Parsons the New School for Design, Pratt Institute, and Konkuk University in Seoul, Korea. She is a registered architect, a LEED-accredited professional, and the principal of Aki Ishida Architect PLLC. Prior to starting her company, she was a designer and project manager with James Carpenter Design Associates, I. M. Pei Architect, and Rafael Vinoly Architects. She has run multiple collaborative projects with partners including The Japan Society, The Smithsonian, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. DesignIntelligence has named Ms. Ishida one of the 25 Most Admired Educators for 2016.


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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.