Graduate Architecture



Digi-Blast I or II (mandatory for ALL MArchs!), Summer Preparatory Studio, Physics for Architects, History of Architecture Please see link to blog post for schedule and information.


In the summer abroad programs, students study and travel for approximately 4 weeks at the beginning of the summer (mid-May through mid-June) and receive 1 elective course unit of credit. These programs are open to both graduate and undergraduate students.

Design Studio I

501-201, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Andrew Saunders - Coordinator

An introductory architectural design studio through which students develop critical, analytical and speculative design abilities in architecture. Students develop representational techniques for the analysis of social and cultural constructs, and formulate propositions for situating built form in the arena of the urban and suburban environment. The studio initiates innovation through a sequence of projects, spatial models and rule sets that introduce each student to rule-based design processes-- in which a reversal of expectations leads to the creation of novel spaces and structures. It introduces computation, geometric techniques, and digital fabrication. Projects explore the formation of space in relation to the body, and the developments of small scale public programs.

History and Theory I

511-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Joan Ockman

The first of three required courses in the history and theory of architecture, this is a lecture course with discussion groups that meet weekly with teaching assistants. The course explores fundamental ideas and models of architecture that have emerged over the past three hundred years.

Visual Studies I

521-101, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Nate Hume

The study of analysis and projection through drawing and computer visualization.

Construction I

531-401, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Franca Trubiano

This lecture course explores the basic principles of architectural technology and building construction. Focus is placed on building material, methods of on-site and off-site preparation, material assemblies, and the material performance. Topics discussed include load bearing masonry structures of small to medium size (typical row house construction), heavy and light wood frame construction, sustainable construction practices, emerging + engineered materials, and integrated building practices. The course also introduces students to Building Information Modeling (BIM) via the production of construction documents.

Structures I

535-401, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Richard Farley

Theory applied toward structural form. A review of one-dimensional structural elements; a study of arches, slabs and plates, curved surface structures, lateral and dynamic loads; survey of current and future structural technology. The course comprises both lectures and a weekly laboratory in which various structural elements, systems, materials and technical principles are explored.

Design Studio III

601-201, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Hina Jamelle - Coordinator

In this studio series students examine architecture as a cultural agent and examine the way buildings establish and organize dynamic relationships between site, program and material. The design of a complex building of approximately 50,000 SF provides the pedagogical focus for this research. Students expand their skills through geometrical organization, site analysis and building massing/orientation to related to program organization, circulation and egress, building systems and materials. The conceptual focus of the course is centered on the program of dwelling and how this program can be employed to develop and promote dynamic relationships and conditions through time, both within the building and between the building, and the context. Through research and experimentation students integrate ecological processes into their design methodology to support design innovations in the building's structure, its construction assemblies, environmental systems, and materials. Students work towards a high level of design resolution and visual representation, including the articulation of the building structure and its material assembly/enclosure.

History and Theory III

611-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Daniela Fabricius

This is the third and final required course history and theory of architecture. It is a lecture course that examines selected topics, figures, projects, and theories from the history of architecture and related design fields during the 20th century. The course also draws on related and parallel historical material from other disciplines and arts, placing architecture into a broader socio-cultural-political-technological context. Seminars with teaching assistants complement the lectures.

Visual Studies III

621-101, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Nate Hume

The final of the Visual Studies half-credit courses. Drawings are explored as visual repositories of data from which information can be gleaned, geometries tested and designs refined and transmitted. Salient strengths of various digital media programs are identified and developed through assignments that address the specific intentions and challenges of the design studio project.

Tech Case Studies I

631-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Lindsay Falck

A study of the active integration of various building systems in exemplary architectural projects. To deepen students' understanding of the process of building, the course compares the process of design and construction in similar types of buildings. The course brings forward the nature of the relationship between architectural design and engineering systems, and highlights the crucial communication skills required by both the architect and the engineer.

Technology Designated Elective

632, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Various Faculty

Several sections are offered from which students make a selection. This year's selections include: Deployable Structures, Performance and Design, Detailed Design Studies, Daylighting, Principles of Digi/Fab, Matter and Energy, Material and Structural Intelligence.

Professional Practice I

671-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Phillip Ryan

The course goal is to gain an understanding of the architecture profession by using the project process as a framework. Students are introduced to a survey of the architectural profession including licensing and legal requirements, evolving types of practice, fees and compensation, adherence to the constraints of codes and regulatory agencies, client desires and budgets, and its place among competing and allied professions and financial interests. The workshops are a critical forum for discussion to understand the forces which at times both impede and encourage innovation and leadership. Students learn how architects develop the skills necessary to effectively communicate to clients, colleagues, and user groups. Trends such as globalization, ethics, entrepreneurship, sustainability and technology shifts are analyzed in their capacity to affect the practice of an architect.

Architectural Association (AA), London

698-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Homa Farjadi

An advanced Architectural Design Studio taught by Homa Farjadi in London at the Architectural Association's School of Architecture. Topics engage aspects of urban life and urban form in London, and vary from year to year. During the fifth term of the Master of Architecture program, up to fifteen students a year may enroll for the semester abroad program in London, England. This is coordinated by Prof. Homa Farjadi and is housed at the Architectural Association (AA), located on Bedford Square in the heart of Bloomsbury. Students enroll in a special design studio, ARCH 702, taught by Prof. Farjadi, and in two elective courses offered by the faculty at the AA.

Design Studio V

701-201, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Simon Kim - Coordinator

A set of Advanced Architectural Design studios are offered from which students select through a lottery. Topics and sites vary by instructor.

Advanced Architectural Design Studio

703-201, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Ali Rahim

An Advanced Architectural Design Studio which is specifically tailored to post-professional students. Through this studio, students engage in the challenges and opportunities presented by changes in society, technology, and urban experience. Through design projects, students explore alternative modes and markets for practice, along with new directions and new tools for design.

Philosophy of Urban History

717-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Manuel DeLanda

The seminar is based on the thesis that "the Architecture of the City" is not only the work of an individual architect or a company but also the product of the city itself. The intention of the seminar is to demonstrate the creative architectural production of the city of New York and particular of Manhattan. The seminar is a build up by the progressive transformation of the architecture of the city within the 20th century until today. This process of transformation of the architecture of New York starts with the moment architecture was formed by the underlying subdivision of the cities grid, continues with the transformation of architecture becoming the city itself and ends with today's architectural production of the city as the production of a new ground for the city. There will be eight sessions in Philadelphia and five sessions in New York City which will provoke a discussion with New York City Leaders, Inter-disciplinary thinkers, cultural leaders and financiers.

Designing Smart Objects

721-401, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Carla Diana

Today's children enjoy a wide array of play experiences, with stories, learning, characters and games that exist as physical stand-alone objects or toys enhanced with electronics or software. In this course, students will explore the domain of play and learning in order to develop original proposals for new product experiences that are at once tangible, immersive and dynamic. They will conduct research into education and psychology while also gaining hands-on exposure to new product manifestations in a variety of forms, both physical and digital. Students will be challenged to work in teams to explore concepts, share research and build prototypes of their experiences in the form of static objects that may have accompanying electronic devices or software. Final design proposals will consider future distribution models for product experiences such as 3D printing, virtual reality and software- hardware integration. Instruction will be part seminar and part workshop, providing research guidance and encouraging connections will subject matter experts throughout the Penn campus.

Technology in Design: Immersive Kinematics/Physical Computing: Body As Site

724-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Simon Kim

The aim of this course is to understand the new medium of architecture within the format of a research seminar. The subject matter of new media is to be examined and placed in a disciplinary trajectory of building designed and construction technology that adapts to material and digital discoveries. We will also build prototype with the new media, and establish a disciplinary knowledge for ourselves. The seminar is interested in testing the architecture-machine relationship, moving away from architecture that looks like machines into architecture that behaves like machines: An intelligence (based on the conceptual premise of a project and in the design of a system), as part of a process (related to the generative real of architecture) and as the object itself and its embedded intelligence.

Experiments In Structure

731-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Mohamad Al Khayer

This course studies the relationships between geometric space and those structural systems that amplify tension. Experiments using the hand (touch and force) in coordination with the eye (sight and geometry) will be done during the construction and observation of physical models. Verbal, mathematical and computer models are secondary to the reality of the physical model. However these models will be used to give dimension and document the experiments. Team reports will serve as interim and final examinations. In typology, masonry structures in compression (e.g., vault and dome) correlate with "Classical" space, and steel or reinforced concrete structures in flexure (e.g., frame, slab and column) with "Modernist" space. We seek the spatial correlates to tensile systems of both textiles (woven or braided fabrics where both warp and weft are tensile), and baskets (where the warp is tensile and the weft is compressive). In addition to the experiments, we will examine Le Ricolais' structural models held by the Architectural Archives.

Semi-Fictious Realms.

737-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Christopher McAdams

The pursuit of immersive digital experiences has long been a goal of the computing industry. Early wearable displays designed in the 1960s depicted simple three dimensional graphics in ways that had never been seen before. Through trial and error, digital pioneers reframed the relationship between user and machine, and over the last five decades, have made strides that advanced both the input and output mechanisms we are so comfortable with today. As a field, architecture has been reliant on these advancements to design and document buildings, but these tools still leave the architect removed from the physicality of the design, with their work depicted as 2D lines or 3D planes alone. This course will study the evolutionary advancements made that now allow us to fully inhabit digital worlds through Virtual Reality. Using the HTC Vive and Unreal Engine, students will generate immersive, photorealistic models of unbuilt architectural works and explore digital/physical interactivity. From the terraces of Paul Rudolph's Lower Manhattan Expressway to Boullee s Cenotaph for Newton, the goal of this course is to breathe new life into places and spaces that have, until this time, never been built or occupied.

Arch Design Innovation

741-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Ali Rahim

The mastery of techniques, whether in design, production or both, does not necessarily yield great architecture. As we all know, the most advanced techniques can still yield average designs. Architects are becoming increasingly adept producing complexity & integrating digital design and fabrication techniques into their design process - yet there are few truly elegant projects. Only certain projects that are sophisticated at the level of technique achieve elegance. This seminar explores some of the instances in which designers are able to move beyond technique, by commanding them to such a degree so as to achieve elegant aesthetics within the formal development of projects.

Form and Algorithm

743-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Cecil Balmond and Ezio Blasetti

The critical parameter will be to develop the potential beyond finite forms of explicit and parametric modeling towards non-linear algorithmic processes. We will seek novel patterns of organizatio, structure, and articulation as architectural expressions within the emergent properties of feedback loops and rule based systems. This seminar will accommodate both introductory and advanced levels. No previous scripting experience is necessary. It will consist of a series of introductory sessions, obligatory intensive workshops, lectures followed by suggested readings, and will gradually focus on individual projects. Students will be encouraged to investigate the limits of algorithmic design both theoretically and in practice through a scripting environment.

Parafictional Objects

750-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Kutan Ayata

This representation/design seminar explores the aesthetics of estrangement in realism through various mediums. The reality of the discipline is that architecture is a post-medium effort. Drawings, Renderings, Models, Prototypes, Computations, Simulations, Texts, and Buildings are all put forward by architects as a speculative proposal for the reality of the future. Students will explore the reconfiguration of a "found object" in multiple mediums and represent parafictional scenarios in various techniques of realism. At a time when rendering engines enable the production of hyperrealistic images within the discipline without any critical representational agenda, it has become ever more imperative to rigorously speculate on realism.

Ecology Tech and Design

751-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

William Braham

This course will examine the ecological nature of design at a range of scales, from the most intimate aspects of product design to the largest infrastructures, from the use of water in bathroom to the flow of traffic on the highway. It is a first principle of ecological design that everything is connected, and that activities at one scale can have quite different effects at other scales, so the immediate goal of the course will be to identify useful and characteristic modes of analyzing the systematic, ecological nature of design work, from the concept of the ecological footprint to market share. The course will also draw on the history and philosophy of technology to understand the particular intensity of contemporary society, which is now characterized by the powerful concept of the complex, self-regulating system. The system has become both the dominant mode of explanation and the first principle of design and organization.

MEBD Research Seminar

752-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Directed student research of selected topics in environmental building design. These topics will be further explored in ARCH 708: MEBD Studio and will provide the basis for the research documents developed with each student's design project. Course work will include lectures, discussions, weekly readings, and in-class exercises. Each student will be required to make a presentation and submit a research report.

Building Performance Simulation

753-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016


The course provides students with an understanding of building design simulation methods, hands-on experience in using computer simulation models, and exploration of the technologies, underlying principles, and potential applications of simulation tools in architecture. Classroom lecturers are given each week, with a series of analysis projects to provide students with hands-on experience using computer models. This course is required and reserved for MEBD students.

Project Management

765-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016


This course is an introduction to techniques and tools of managing the design and construction of large, and small, construction projects. Topics include project delivery systems, management tools, cost-control and budgeting systems, professional roles. Case studies serve to illustrate applications. Cost and schedule control systems are described. Case studies illustrate the application of techniques in the field.

Real Estate Development

768-402, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Alan Feldman

This course analyzes the development process and related investment risks and returns. Cases and case discussions are the dominant teaching method, with lectures, project tours(s) interspersed. Clear and decisive thinking is required and students will appreciate the many disciplines required to make a real estate project successful.

Architectural Research

811-401, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016


This course has three parts. All incoming students in the M.S. and Ph.D. programs should attend the first, and register for either the second or the third sections. The first part consists of a series of presentations by members of the Graduate Group in Architecture. The several presentations will address the topics the faculty are currently examining and will demonstrate different methods or styles of research. The other two sections of this course address basic concepts, texts, and methods in 1: history and theory, and 2) technology and simulation.

Field Bibliography

851-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

This course is essentially an independent study, undertaken by doctoral students in preparation for the Candidacy Examination. This course should be taken in conjunction with ARCH 852 after all other courses have been completed. Normally a member of the student's Dissertation Committee supervises this course.

Dissertation Proposal

852-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

This course is essentially an independent study, undertaken by doctoral students in order to write the Proposal for the Dissertation. The Proposal is prepared before and defended during the Candidacy Examination. This course should be taken in conjunction with ARCH 852 after all other courses have been completed. Normally a member of the student's Dissertation Committee supervises this course.

Independent Study

999-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

This course enables student to undertake a self-directed study on a topic in Architecture under the supervision of a faculty member. Students are required to make a proposal for the study to the Department Chair, outlining the subject and method of investigation, and confirming the course supervisor at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester.

Design Processes

551-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Carla Diana; Sarah Rottenberg

This studio is structured for IPD students as an intensive, interdisciplinary exploration of design as purposeful for Integrated product design. The goal of the studio is to give students a firsthand experience of various processes involved in creating successful integrated product designs. This first semester of the four-semester studio sequence focuses on giving students experience developing designs based on a the starting points of form, function, materiality and manufacturing process. Students will practice design through rigorous, consistent processes for thinking through the evolution of their ideas. In this course, they will go through an entire design process from conceptualization to design to producing prototypes. They will be taught to focus on the specifics of their designs, causing them to be conscious of what drives their choices as designers and providing them with a wider range of tools to design from in successive projects.

Independent Thesis.

706-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

Karen M'Closkey

In the final semester of the program, students select from three options; 1) An elective design studio; selected from among the advanced architectural design studios offered by the Department of Architecture; 2) a research studio, the exploration of a topic or theme established by an individual faculty member or group of faculty members; or 3) an independent thesis, the exploration of a topic or theme under the supervision of a thesis advisor.

MEBD Research Seminar

752-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016

William Braham

Directed student research of selected topics in environmental building design. These topics will be further explored in ARCH 708: MEBD Studio and will provide the basis for the research documents developed with each student's design project. Course work will include lectures, discussions, weekly readings, and in-class exercises. Each student will be required to make a presentation and submit a research report.

Research Report

815-001, August 30, 2016December 12, 2016


The candidate for the M.S. in Architecture degree shall prepare a research report in his or her subject of study. The topic of this report must be approved by an advisor. This report will be developed in the independent study courses, undertaken after the eight units of course work has been completed, normally in the summer semester. The purpose of these courses is to give the student an opportunity to synthesize their previous coursework at Penn. Course enrollment is by permit only.