251.936 Seminar Architectural Drawings
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2023W, SE, 3.5h, 5.0EC, to be held in blocked form


  • Semester hours: 3.5
  • Credits: 5.0
  • Type: SE Seminar
  • Format: Hybrid

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to handle important and rare historical architectural drawings, to analyze and understand them in their architectural and historical context, and to compare them with ruined, destroyed, planned or executed buildings. They will also be able to recognize specific aspects of the development in the changing conventions of architectural representation and to apply their insights in their interpretation of such drawings and prints. The drawings as well as their (sometimes: mis-) interpretation will serve as objects and examples for the learning of academic work, writing and presenting.

Architectural drawings of the Renaissance








The seminar will focus on historical drawings and prints from the (Italian) Renaissance of the 16th century of which the Viennese "Albertina" owns a very remarkable and interesting collection. These drawings show ancient Roman as well as contemporary buildings. Because of their wealth of information they represent very important but yet understudied sources for our knowledge and understanding of architecture from the Renaissance and Roman Antiquity. In addition, they allow to study the birth of methods and conventions of representation (of architecture) and even (to reconstruct) the beginnings of academic, interdisciplinary work.

Make your own DISCOVERIES!

The seminar offers a chance to unite ongoing research and teaching – in the way Humboldt imagined it: Because most of these drawings have never been studied extensively or been published before, exploring their information, students have a good chance to make their own real discoveries of new facts even with regard to famous and – presumably – very well-known buildings. 

In comparison with the related buildings it will become obvious how trustworthy these often seemingly hasty sketches are in reality. Because of that, the drawings deserve to be recognized as important sources for Archaeology, Buildings research, Architectural History & Theory and many more disciplines.

Attention please: Because of the limited space in the Albertina's Study Room, only 15 students can take part in the seminar.


Subject of course

Students will be introduced to the handling, the study and interpretation and the academic work with ancient and rare drawings and prints. They will see some of these original drawings, learn to write (academic) abstracts and analytical texts and create presentations to convey their informative findings to an academic audience and interested laypersons. This requires the ability to carefully read, analyze, describe and interpret historical drawings and prints and understand their sometimes complex relationships to the buildings depicted. These methods will be learned In comparison with the original drawings, the writings and buildings by Renaissance architects, and the development of a systematic framework for the academic description of such drawings.

Teaching methods

Study, description and analysis of historical drawings and other forms or architectural representation; verbalization of the acquired knowledge; interpretation of contemporary (Renaissance) texts about architecture; development of an academic system to analyze and describe drawings; differentiation of draughsmen hands, handwritings and the complex, network-like relationships between drawings or other representations of architecture.

Mode of examination

Written and oral

Additional information

Important note: TISS does not allow you to register directly for the "Wahlseminar", but wants students to APPLY (I hope you know how to do this – because I don't … but I'm not a student, so I don't have to know that…) for it AND give it the highest Priority.

Please note that the personal participation in all meetings (online as well as in person) is absolutely obligatory. Please do not register for this seminar if you cannot make sure your participation in all sessions`

Please consider the plagiarism guidelines of TU Wien when writing your seminar paper: Directive concerning the handling of plagiarism (PDF)



Course dates

Sat10:00 - 17:0014.10.2023 Online-Meeting (Zoom) (LIVE)Introduction (Session 1+2)
Sat10:00 - 17:0028.10.2023 Online-Meeting (Zoom) (LIVE)Seminar (Session 3+4)
Sat10:00 - 17:0011.11.2023 Online Meeting (Zoom) (LIVE)Seminar (Session 5+6)
Fri09:00 - 12:0024.11.2023 Albertina's Study RoomSeminar at Albertina (Session 7)
Fri17:00 - 19:0024.11.2023 Location: Main Building, HS 17 "Fritz Hartmann" (LIVE)Presentation "News from Ancient Rome" (not mandatory but recommended)
Sat10:00 - 15:0025.11.2023 followed (if the weather is ok) visit to the Gloriette (Doric order from the Neugebäude)Guided Tour of the "Neugebäude" (ca. 2:30 h) [5 € entry fee]
Sat10:00 - 17:0016.12.2023 Online-Meeting (Zoom) (LIVE)Seminar (Session 9+10)
Sat10:00 - 17:0013.01.2024 Online-Meeting (Zoom) (LIVE)Seminar (Session 11+12)
Course is held blocked

Examination modalities

Presentation of an abstract and a roadmap for an article about a (certain) historical representation of architecture. Definition of a research question which could (or would) be answered by further academic work with this depiction. 15-minutes presentation of the own research results about a certain drawing or a small group of interdependent drawings. Preparation of an approx. 15-page term paper (approx. 30,000 characters of text) demonstrating the systematic approach and the results.


TitleApplication beginApplication end
Wahlseminare18.09.2023 09:0021.09.2023 23:59


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
033 243 Architecture Not specified6. SemesterSTEOP
Course requires the completion of the introductory and orientation phase


No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge

There are no specific requirements exceeding those to basically be expected from students of architecture, like: the ability to read (modern) architectural plans and a certain amount of spatial sense.

Accompanying courses

Continuative courses