20th Century Architecture and City Planning

Nov 2014

While the material of this class is fascinating, I hate it. Professor Gyger writes her entire lectures before coming to class; this makes it feel like she is reading you a paper instead of giving a lecture. She speaks incredibly quickly, using very large vocabulary, making her impossible to follow. More than that, she moves through hundreds of slides a lecture, pointing out obvious features of buildings, never speaking about what actually matters. This makes the papers the TA's assign extremely difficult to write; you haven't actually learned anything.

Jan 2012

Prof. Ted Mosby is Hot <3 But it does seem he's just some actor reciting lines... Sometimes Barney comes in but all he really does is hit on girls. Ted knows a lot about buildings and I love his lectures, i get to look into his eyes for ages. Prof. Ted Mosby is Hot <3 Prof. Ted Mosby is Hot <3 Prof. Ted Mosby is Hot <3 Prof. Ted Mosby is Hot <3 Prof. Ted Mosby is Hot <3

Nov 2007

I have to say that at first I was terrified of Professor DiPalma because of the awful reviews she got on culpa. However, I threw myself at the class and you know what? I was pleasantly surprised. True, her lectures are a little boring sometimes, but the info's generally good, to the point, accurate. As for her exams, she's the easiest art history professor I've had, and I've taken over 10 art history classes! She not only gives you an image list of 30 or so buildings for the midterm and final, she also gives you the exact images on courseworks. If you studied that and attended discussion section, you could get an easy A. As for papers, I'm not even sure I had to write one. If I did, it was so easy it wasn't memorable. Trust me, DO NOT BELIEVE THE OTHER CULPAS!!! I just had her Spring 07, so believe me!!! She's pretty cool.

Sep 2005

One of the worst professors I have had at Columbia. I think that if you have never taken an art history course in your life and want a broad panoramic view of twentieth century architecture - di palma may be your woman. However, as an art history major, I found her classes incredibly boring and insipid. We would look at great architecture and just gloss over anecdotes and the simplest, most basic aspects on aesthetics. Literally her comments on Liebskind were that his "architecture evokes sensations" ... Hillary Ballon's intro to architecture class - while far broader in scope - was a far better class in teaching me about modern architecture. considering di palma spent a semester on it, and ballon little less than a month, it really should tell you everything about what a dull teacher di palma is avoid her class.

Aug 2005

fascinating class. she is a great lecturer, really interesting and every class you walk away with your head spinning with new information. I am new to architecture and I was not lost at all, but you need to arrive on time and come to every class-- b/c she starts even a min or two early and lectures till the very end, and you will miss a great deal of information if you arrive late/not at all. the exams are really where i bombed- remember it is an art history course, so there will be A LOT of memorization. be prepared for that. recommended.

Jul 2005

I'm sorry but I disagree with the previous reviews. The final was more difficult than the mid-term, but the mid-term was excessively easy. The paper was easy as well, it was only 5 pages long. If you want to take a class about the world trade center and the sears tower, maybe you should start watching the discovery channel or something. My only fault with di palma is that I never felt she was providing the class with her own critical perspective. The architecture material did far outweigh the city planning, but interesting city planning projects were discussed. You will be fine with this class if you attend lectures and review readings to study for the final. I think it was a worthwhile course.

Jun 2005

Prof. Di Palma's midterm and final were ridiculously hard. She used the most obscure slides... absolutely ridiculous.. and I agree... this class was not graded on a curve. The material was interesting, however the frustration of her teaching/ testing/ grading style was not worth it.

May 2005

The professor is hit or miss lecture-wise- some can be really fascinating, and others a bit of a bore. for the most part, i found you could either do the readings OR go to class- they were redundant otherwise. My main complaint is that her midterm and final were ridiculously hard and werent even graded on a curve, as far as i can tell. and by ridiculously hard, i mean....there were people throwing their hands in the air each time the next slide came up. the final was 10 ids, 6 comparisons, and two short essays. three hours of hell. i made it out alive, but it was pretty gray.

May 2005

Oh my god, what a waste. First of all, what class bills itself as being about 20th Century architecture but doesn't even touch upon the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, World Trade Center, Sears Tower...? Lectures were long and boring, just slide after slide after slide. Both textbooks and lectures were the typical arty pretentious stuff that at first sounds really profound but then you realize there's little substance behind it. Basically you stare at buildings you've never heard of before and listen to how great they are. You won't learn much, and what you do learn will not be very interesting. You'll waste a lot of time reading books that say nothing of meaning. Also, the "urban planning" part? Practically nonexistant. Skip this class.

Dec 2004

I think Bergdoll is brilliant, but I'm surprised nobody's written about him yet, because I know a great many students disagree with me. Good stuff about Bergdoll: He really knows his shit. And he doesn't feel the need to dress his lectures up with incomprehensible and often tangential theory; his insights are good enough to stand up without ornamental jargon. He loves the material, and it shows; his lectures are engaging and information-packed (he loves to tell you which architects were probably shacking up, for example--and let me tell you, 19th-century architecture really needs sexing up sometimes). His enthusiasm is infectious. Bergdoll also really cares about undergraduates, which is pretty amazing since he's Chair of the department and seems to spend all his time kissing babies and leading tours in Romania. I have never had a problem meeting with him to discuss paper topics, even outside of office hours. Nor did I ever feel like he didn't take me seriously; again, VERY rare for a big shot art history professor. And now, the bad about Bergdoll: He knows his shit, but that means that a 75-minute lecture often turns into 80 or 90, and you WILL be tested on those extra minutes. He's really excited about the material, which means that his lectures sometimes feel like brain-dumps. I suggest writing absolutely everything down, tape-recording, or resigning yourself to not doing as well as you'd hoped. And don't skip class, really, just don't. You're going to be tested on his lectures, not the reading, and his exams are really hard. Literally every slide he shows (and there are MANY of them) could show up, even if he only talked about it for five seconds. So if you don't have the time or inclination to memorize absolutely everything (thank God, the images are posted on the course website), you will be in trouble. Also, he can be something of a cold fish in person, especially if you waltz into his office hours not totally prepared. There are many architecture and art history students who hate his guts. My advice is this: if you don't have a good memory for images, and you don't REALLY love architecture, I strongly suggest you take his courses anyway--but take them PASS/FAIL.