Graduate Architecture


Design Studio II

502-201, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Annette Fierro - Coordinator

This studio explores urban architecture as an embodiment of cultural values. Siting, enclosure of space and tectonic definition are stressed in order to challenge students to project relevant and inventive architectural situations.

History and Theory II

512-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Joan Ockman

How do architecture, urbanism, and the environment reflect the dominant social, economic, and political changes of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and how did its vast geopolitical shifts such as Imperialism, Fascism, the Cold War, Neoliberalism, the "War on Terror," and Nationalism reshape architecture culture? How might architecture culture respond and help construct its resistant variants, anti-fascism, anti-imperialism, decolonization, and making "quieter places" in Donna Haraway's sense? How do critical frameworks to rethink positivism, efficiency, standardization, and even utopian thinking become revised through the lenses of queer, postcolonial, critical race, and eco-feminist theory in postwar architectural production? And how do these frameworks allow us to conceive of more equitable ways of being in the world while thinking with a varied pasts? This course provides twelve discursive and theoretical frameworks to rethink architectural history in the twentieth and twenty-first century. Through twelve lectures the course traces critical questions confronting architectural modernity from the violence of settler colonialism to the possibilities of making kin. While we will trace instances of architecture, city planning, landscape and infrastructural developments that corresponded to dominant ways of conceiving modernity and its analog progress narratives, the course is mainly interested in considering resistant paradigms that elide attempts to speak of a unified or homogenous notion of modernity. The course will be active and interactive and will include building a collaborative dictionary of architectural terms.

Visual Studies II

522-101, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Nate Hume, Brian De Luna

A continuation of the study of analysis and projection through drawing and computer visualization.

Construction II

532-401, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Franca Trubiano

A continuation of Construction I, focusing on light and heavy steel frame construction, concrete construction, light and heavyweight cladding systems and systems building.

Structures II

536-401, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Masoud Akbarzadeh, Richard Farley

A continuation of the equilibrium analysis of structures covered in Structures I. The study of static and hyperstatic systems and design of their elements. Flexural theory, elastic and plastic. Design for combined stresses; prestressing. The study of graphic statics and the design of trusses. The course comprises both lectures and a weekly laboratory in which various structural elements, systems, materials and technical principles are explored.

Design Studio IV

602-201, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Simon Kim - Coordinator

This studio enables students to develop and resolve the design of a building in terms of program, organization, construction and the integration of structures, enclosure and environmental systems as well as life safety issues. Students select from a range of individually-directed studios within this overall framework. Each instructor develops a different approach and project for their section of this studio. Studios incorporate the expertise of external consultants in advanced areas of technology, engineering and manufacturing.

Environmental Systems II

634-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Efrie Escott

Considers the environmental systems of larger, more complex buildings. Contemporary buildings are characterized by the use of systems such as ventilation, heating, cooling, dehumidification, lighting, communications, and controls that not only have their own demands, but interact dynamically with one another. Their relationship to the classic architectural questions about building size and shape are even more complex. With the introduction of sophisticated feedback and control systems, architects are faced with conditions that are virtually animate and coextensive at many scales with the natural and man-made environments in which they are placed.

Material Formations

636-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Ezio Blasetti, Robert Stuart-Smith

Material Formations introduces robotic production and material dynamics as active agents in design rationalization and expression. The course investigates opportunities for designers to synthesize multiple performance criteria within architecture. Theory, Case-Studies and practical tutorials will focus on the incorporation of analytical, simulation, generative computation and robot fabrication concerns within design. While production is traditionally viewed as an explicit and final act of execution, the course explores the potential for all aspects of building production and use to participate within the creative design process, potentially producing performance and affect. Students will develop skills and experience in computer programming, physics-based simulation, and robot motion planning. A design research project will be undertaken through a number of discrete assignments that require the synthetization or structural performance along with material and robotic production constraints. The course will explore design as the outcome of materially formative processed of computation and production. Structure: the course will commence with weekly lectures and computer- based tutorials, and culminate in a series of intensive incremental learning, and prepare groups to work on a final assignment which involves the robotic fabrication of a small design prototype.

Professional Practice I

671-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Philip J. Ryan

The course consists of a series of workshops that introduce students to a diverse range of practices. The course goal is to gain an understanding of the profession by using the project process as a framework. The course comprises a survey of the architectural profession - its licensing and legal requirements; its evolving types of practice, fees and compensation; its 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 issues and technology shifts are analyzed in their capacity to affect the practice of an architect.

Environmental Readings

685-401, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Frederick Steiner

In this seminar, we will explore this green thread and analyze its influence on how we shape our environments through design and planning. The course has three parts. Throughout, the influence of literature on design and planning theory will be explored. The first part will focus on three most important theorists in environmental planning and landscape architecture: Frederick Law Olmstead Sr., Charles Eliot and Ian McHarg. The second part of the course will critically explore current theories in environmental planning and landscape architecture. The topics include: frameworks for cultural landscape studies, the future of the vernacular, ecological design and planning, sustainable and regenerative design, the languages of landscapes, and evolving views of landscape aesthetics and ethics. In the third part of the course, students will build on the readings to develop their own theory for ecological planning or, alternatively, landscape architecture. While literacy and critical inquiry are addressed throughout the course, critical thinking is especially important for this final section.

Design Studio VI

704-201, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Ferda Kolatan - Coordinator

MSD-AAD Design Research Studio

705-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Hina Jamelle

An Advanced Architectural Design Studio 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, they explore alternative modes and markets for practice, along with new directions and new tools for design.

Architecture and Media after WWII

712-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Taryn R. Mudge

This course will question how architects have engaged in visual research of the built environment within the process of architectural design. In particular, we will consider the media and methods architects have used to observe and to record building sites and how visual information has influenced design thinking and informed architectural proposals in the postwar period. The visual material under investigation in this course will include, but is not limited to, photography (aerial, documentary, street, etc.), film, sketches, painting, collage, mapping as well as magazines and advertisements. Additionally, we will consider the physical distance and relationship between the observer and the observed. For example, does the architect observe the site from the air, as a pedestrian, or through a windshield? Do they borrow images or make their own? Are they in search of precise information or are they hoping to uncover the mood or local character? Are they preparing for a commissioned project or are they dreaming of a utopian future? The course is organized into three parts: Part I will concentrate on approaches to visual research and observation in Europe immediately following the Second World War, Part II will focus on the American context and images of postwar consumer culture, and Part III will discuss the rapid evolution of media and architecture in the late 20th century and question the trajectory of the “post” periods – post-modern, post-post-modern, post-documentary, post-digital and beyond.

Technology and Expression

712-003, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Ariel Genadt

Since the mid 19th century, architectural envelopes have become the prime subject of experimentations and investments, as well as theoretical conflicts. This seminar takes the revolution of steel and glass technology in the 19th century as a starting point to examine the relationship between construction technologies and architectural expression in the 20th and 21st centuries. It explores the interdependence of theory and practice in case studies located in various cultures and climates around the world, and built in a range of techniques and materials. The lectures are organized thematically, looking at the different ways by which technology can be instrumental in selectively revealing and concealing structural logic, material properties, fabrication, digital tools, climate control, sensorial perception, image-making, symbolism and atmosphere. The seminar develops students’ critical thinking towards contemporary practice, where globalized technology and large capital often hinder the creation of architecture with local cultural pertinence. Understanding the reciprocities between building, technology and expression is essential for creatively tackling architecture’s impact on the environment and sustaining its civic agency.

Architectures of Refusal: On Spatial Justice in the South Bronx

712-005, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Eduardo Rega Calvo

A neighborhood with a remarkable history of struggle against inept municipal governments, neoliberalism and the forces behind the breeding of decay, the South Bronx is currently experiencing an aggressive wave of gentrification and policies that keep benefitting small elites. Grassroots organizations are fighting back while practicing radical imaginations for a more just future. Architectures of Refusal: On Spatial Justice in the South Bronx aims to reflect and develop collective architecture research on contemporary visionary architectural and urban activist practices in the South Bronx that refuse capitalist exploitation vis a vis New York City’s economic transformation: from top-down public disinvestment and privatization to bottom-up self-provisioning and organizing. Through reading discussions, film/audiovisual analysis and mobilizing various tools of inquiry on the city, the seminar will learn from those involved in the long-term and grassroots processes that have been redrawing the limits of socio-spatial organization in the South Bronx. The seminar will study the history of radical social movements from the second half of the 20th century in NYC with a special focus on the South Bronx. Groups of students will develop research and spatial visualizations of grassroots struggles for environmental and food justice, post-capitalist economic practices, public health, prison abolitionism and anti-gentrification. Some of the work produced in the seminar will be included in the Architectures of Refusal online platform that aims to study and present the socio-spatial, territorial, urban and environmental dimensions of social movements that prefigure a world that refuses the neoliberal oligarchical status quo.

Ecological Thinking in Art and Architecture

713-401, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Daniel A. Barber, Mantha Zarmakoupi

In the past three decades, discussions about ecological impact and sustainability have come to prominence in the Arts and Sciences as well as in Architecture and Urban Planning. On the one hand, the growing priority of ecocriticism across the humanities (e.g., the recently developed Undergraduate Minor in Environmental Humanities at Penn) and the enlarged agenda of Eco Art to engage with environmental, aesthetic, social, and political relations have led Art Historians to strive at a probing and pointedly ethical integration of visual analysis, cultural interpretation, and environmental history—for an “Ecocritical Art History.” Architecture schools, on the other hand, have created MA programs, such as “Landscape Urbanism” and “Sustainable Design,” and “Environmental Building Design” and architectural theorists and ecological thinkers coin new terms – “resilience,” “adaptation,” and “mitigation”– in efforts to reframe and more effectively tackle the urgent environmental and demographic pressures of global urban developments. Many of these development aim to articulate a more earth-conscious mode of analysis for art and architecture alike. Such concerns have been intensified recently by initiatives to designate the current era of geological time as the “Anthropocene”—the epoch that began when human phenomena started to have a major influence on the Earth's appearance and ecosystems.

Museum as Site: Critique, Intervention, and Production

714-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Andrea Hornick

In this course, we will take the museum as a site for critique, invention, and production. As architecture, cultural institution, and site of performance, the museum offers many relevant opportunities to this time we are living in. Students will visit (online or in person, as their place of residence during the course allows), analyze, and discuss a number of local exhibitions and produce their own intervention in individual or group projects. Exhibition design, design of museum, the process of curating, producing artworks ranging from paintings to installation, performance, and audio works, as well as attention to conservation, installation, museum education, and the logistics and economics of exhibitions will be discussed on site and in seminar. These topics and others will be open for students to engage as part of their own creative work produced for the class in the form of an online exhibition. Museums have been greatly impacted by the current pandemic and the accompanying sea change in social, racial, gender, and economic equity. We will look at how various institutions are creatively responding to the challenge. The students will be asked to respond to these issues within their projects. In the first class, we will understand the current location of each student, and which in-person resources they have access to. This discussion will shape the course of the class; students who are able to visit traditional museums in person, will document and present responses to their visits, and use them to shape a final project. Others will use online resources as well as outdoor spaces within their local environments and urban fabric, including spaces connected to institutions or responding to them. This will include public art, monuments, ruins, outdoor sculpture, graffiti, parks and gardens, arboretums, etc.

History and Theory of Architecture and Climate

718-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Daniel A Barber, Anwar Islem Basunbul

Climate change is upon us. This course discusses the history of thinking about climate in architecture. We confront the geographic and epistemic challenges of climate change and other environmental threats, and reconsider the forces seen to condition the development of modern architecture. The course will explore the history of buildings as mechanisms of climate management, and the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that pertain. As many of the arguments and innovations in the climate discourse were made through visual means, the images produced by architects and others interested in understanding the relationship between “man” and “climate” will be a central arena of exploration. We will treat these images as evidence of material innovations in energy efficient architectural design technologies and also as evidence of new ways of thinking about ecological, political, cultural, and economic relationships. These narratives, images, and methods – and the broader understanding of environmental systems that emerged since the immediate post-war period – also suggest a complex relationship to the present. Rather than examine instrumental aspects of these methods and their histories, we will explore different historiographic and conceptual means for the archival analysis of climate, technology, and architecture. Recent texts concerned with theories of historical change, of new ideas about the human, and with the cultural anxieties associated with the Anthropocene will be read to this end.

Visual Literacy and its Culture

720-401, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Brian De Luna

The digital turn in the creative fields resulted in profound transformations of techniques, aesthetics and underlying concepts in the development of contemporary visual culture. The dissemination and consumption of information through images through all types of media platforms influence and re-define (for better or worse) all aspects of our culture and reality. It is vital to develop a deep knowledge of the current visual concepts and techniques in arts, photography, cinema, product design and architecture to claim a critical stance through which we can positively contribute to the evolution of contemporary culture. The discipline of architecture has been deeply influenced by the digital shift in modes of design and visualization which yielded a wide array of directions within the architectural discourse, especially with questions and problems regarding representation. One clear outcome of this transformational period is the diversity of new representational strategies to seek alternative modes of visualization. It is clear that no one representational medium can be defined as the locus of architectural thought and architecture, as a cultural practice, can no longer be defined through the output of a single medium. The reality of our discipline is that we work through collective mediums and conventions of drawings, models, images, simulations, texts, prototypes and buildings to visualize architectural concepts. These mediums all require degrees of expertise in techniques that are necessary for their execution: they all involve conceptual depth that define their disciplinary positions; they all require translations across each other to enable subjective work-flows; they all require aesthetic attitudes to influence the development of visual culture in architecture. This course will introduce the AAD majors to contemporary topics of visualization in arts, photography, cinema and architecture. They will explore multiple mediums of representation to help them gain the vital visual literacy to excel in the program. Students will be introduced to discursive background and contemporary concepts of line drawing, fabricated object and constructed image as they work through 3 distinct projects during the semester. Each exercise will be initiated by a topical lecture and be followed by weekly pin ups to advance student projects. (Topics to be covered: Discourse of Contemporary Line Drawing, Multi-part 3D Printing, Vacuform/CNC Milling, Digital/Analog Surface Articulation, Rendering, Abstraction and Realism, Montage/Collage/Photorealism).

Furniture Design as Strategic Process

726-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Mikael Avery

Like architecture, furniture exists at the intersection of idea and physical form. Due to the specific scale that furniture occupies, however, this physical form relates not only to the environment in which the furniture is set, but also intimately to the physical bodies that interact with and around it. Additionally, as a manufactured product, often specified in large quantities, furniture must also address not only poetic considerations, but practical and economic ones as well. Instead of being seen as one-off objects, the furniture created in this seminar focuses on furniture development as a strategic design process where the designer’s role is to understand the various responsibilities to each stakeholder (client/manufacturer, market/customer, environment) and the additional considerations (materials, processes, manufacturability, etc.), and ultimately translate these points into a potentially successful product. In order to approach furniture in this manner, the course will be structured around specific design briefs and clustered into three distinct but continuous stages. First, through focused research into stakeholder needs and potential market opportunities, students will craft tailored design proposals and development concepts accordingly. Next, students will work toward visualizing a concept, complete with sketches, small mock-ups, scale-model prototypes, technical drawings, connections and other pertinent details in order to refine their proposals and secure a real world understanding of the manufacturing processes and the potential obstacles created by their decisions. From insights gained and feedback from these steps, students will ultimately develop a final design proposal for a piece, collection, or system of furniture that successfully leverages their understanding of a thoughtful and deliberate design strategy.

Industrial Design I

727-401, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Peter W. Bressler

This course provides an introduction to the ideas and techniques of Industrial Design, which operates between Engineering and Marketing as the design component of Integrated Product Development. The course is intended for students from engineering, design, or business with an interest in multi-disciplinary, needs-based product design methods. It will follow a workshop model, combining weekly lectures on design manufacturing, with a progressive set of design exercises.

Enclosures: Selection, Affinities & Integration

732-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Charles Berman

Details should be considered in the traditional sense, as assemblages of constituent elements. Not as a mere collection of parts, rather as an “assemblage”, the act of assembling under a guiding principle; the relationship to a whole. Frascari defines the detail as the union of construction – having the dual role of ruling both the construction and construing of architecture. This obligation of the relationship of the parts to the whole and the whole to the parts is the essence of the revelatory detail in service of architecture. This seminar seeks to establish a framework of understanding enclosures in this sense of the revelatory detail. We will seek to counterpoint the numerical (external) facts of what is accepted as facade design (criteria, codes, loads, forces and consumptions) with an understanding of the generative processes underlying these physical criteria. The aim of this seminar is to arm the student with a guided understanding of the materials and assemblies available to them to form enclosures. The underlying intent is twofold. In a generative role as architects, the course intends not for an encyclopedic overview of the elements and calculative methodologies of envelope design. Rather we will endeavor to investigate concepts of enclosure through assemblage of elements, mediated by details, in the service of the architectural intentions of the student. In a execution role as architects in practice, the investigation into methodologies of deployment and execution of enclosure, materials and assemblies is intended to arm the students to engage proactively in their future practices with the succession of consulting engineers, specialty facade consultants, manufacturers and facade contractors that they will encounter during the execution of their work.

Computational Composite Form

732-002, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Ezio Blasetti

This seminar will research algorithmic generative methods and the use of carbon fiber in robotics for architectural design. The research will focus on the intersection of computation, form generation, simulation and robotic fabrication. The objective is to develop and docu¬ment specific computational tools and material prototypes than span across design phases, from concept to fabrication. This course investigates computation as an embodied application in the design, manufacturing and lifespan of architectural building ele¬ments. Students will use object-oriented programming to develop advanced generative and analytical algorithms. Students will explore techniques of advanced geometric operations for the design and robotic manufacturing of complex building components. The seminar will include workshops with micro-controllers for the design of prototypes with embedded informational systems. Students will be in¬troduced to concepts and techniques of evolutionary computation and machine learning and explore their application in architectural design.

Deployable Structures

732-003, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Mohamad Al Khayer

The objective of this course is to introduce the rapidly growing field of deployable structures through hands on experiments conducted in workshop environments. Students develop skills in making deployable structures.


732-004, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Jessica Zofchak

This course aims to introduce fundamental daylighting concepts and tools to analyze daylighting design. The wide range of topics to be studied includes site planning, building envelope and shading optimization, passive solar design, daylight delivery methods, daylight analysis structure and results interpretation, and a brief daylighting and lighting design integration.

Principles of Digital Fabrication

732-005, January 20, 2021April 21, 2021

Mikael Avery

Through the almost seamless ability to output digital designs to physical objects, digital fabrication has transformed the way designers work. At this point, many of the tools and techniques of digital fabrication are well established and almost taken for granted within the design professions. To begin this course we will review these ‘traditional’ digital fabrication techniques in order to establish a baseline skill set to work from. We will then utilize a series of exercises in order to explore a hybrid approaches to digital fabrication in which multiple techniques are utilized within the same work. With the advent of 3D printing technology in the late 1980s and the current wave of widespread adoption as a design tool—found in design schools and offices across the world—the immediate testing of complex digital models has never been quicker, clearer, or more immediate. Despite this formal freedom to test and print, the installations and buildings generated from these complex digital models rely on much more traditional building techniques for their construction. By combining various digital fabrication approaches, we seek to challenge and reframe the often reductive geometries that currently supports much of this work and bring with it a new way of approaching aesthetics, structure, and construction based on the possibilities inherent in these digital tools and techniques.

Heavy Architecture

732-006, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Philip J. Ryan

Heavy Architecture is a seminar that will examine buildings that, through their tectonics or formal expression, connote a feeling of weight, permanence, or “heaviness.” Analysis of these buildings and methods of construction stand in relation to the proliferation of thin, formally exuberant, and, by virtue of their use or commodified nature, transient buildings. The course is not a rejection or formal critique of “thin” architecture, but instead an analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of the “heavy” building type in terms of a building’s financial, environmental, symbolic or conceptual, and functional goals. The course will parse the alleged nostalgic or habitual reputation of “heavy” architecture within the context of architecture’s ongoing struggle to be the vanguard of the built environment even while its relevancy and voice is challenged by economic, stylistic, and social forces.

Embodied Carbon & Architecture

732-007, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Stephanie Carlisle

The environmental impacts of the built environment are staggering. Buildings are currently responsible for 40% of global carbon emissions, when both operational and embodied carbon are taken into account. Architects have a vital role to play in responding to the current climate emergency, but we can only make substantial progress when we are equipped to evaluate decarbonization strategies and the effects of design decisions. This course brings together an introduction to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), the industry-standard method for evaluating the environmental impacts of a building over its whole life cycle, paired with discussion on broader industry trends and technologies aimed at radically decarbonizing the built environment. In the course, students will receive hands-on experience building comparative LCA models, while also exploring material life cycles, industrial processes, supply chain dynamics, and political and economic dimensions of environmental impact data. We will also discuss current innovations in materials manufacturing and policy changes that focus on embodied carbon, which will transform construction practices. The overall goal of the course is to increase carbon literacy and to empower students with a working understanding of climate change, life cycle assessment, and the many strategies by which designers can immediately reduce the carbon footprint of their projects. This course does not require any previous modeling or software experience.

Inquiry into Biomaterial Architectures

732-008, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Laia Mogas-Soldevila

Traditional building materials are environmentally- and economically-expensive to extract, process, transport or recycle, their damage is non-trivial to repair, and have limited ability to respond to changes in their immediate surroundings. Biological materials like wood, coral, silk, skin or bone outperform man-made materials in that they can be grown where needed, self-repair when damaged, and respond to changes in their surroundings. Their inclusion in architectural practice could have great benefits in wellbeing and the environment defining new tools and strategies towards the future of sustainable construction. Crucial projects describing future biomaterial architectures are emerging in the field. In this seminar, students will review their potential through lectures followed by case studies and propose future developments through a guided research project with special attention to functional, industrial, environmental and aesthetic dimensions. The course is structured to foster fundamental scientific literacy, cross-disciplinary thinking, creativity, and innovation in biomaterials in design.

New Materials and Methods Research

733-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

The primary goal of this course is to help students formulate a robust research proposal for their culminating design studio in digital large-scale fabrication and robotics manufacturing using new materials such as carbon fiber and other composites. The course provides a forum for critical discussion of contemporary design practices that is exploratory and speculative in nature. In addition to collaborative thinking and debate students will develop their own research interests to formulate contemporary positions in the making of architecture through the research of materials and their fabrication methods.

Ecological Architecture, Contemporary Practices

734-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Todd Woodward

Architecture is an inherently exploitive act – we utilize resources from the earth and produce waste and pollution to create and occupy buildings. We have learned that buildings are responsible for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, 15% of water use and 30% of landfill debris. This growing realization has led building designers to look for ways to minimize negative environmental impacts. Green building design practices are seemingly becoming mainstream. Green building certification programs and building performance metrics are no longer considered fringe ideas. This course will investigate these trends and the underlying theory with a critical eye. Is "mainstream green" really delivering the earth-saving architecture it claims? As green building practices become more widespread, there remains something unsatisfying about a design approach that focuses on limits, checklists, negative impacts and being “less bad.” Can we aspire to something more? If so, what would that be? How can or should the act of design change to accommodate an ecological approach?

Building Acoustics

736-001, January 20, 2021March 9, 2021

Joseph Solway

This course covers the fundamentals of architectural acoustics and the interdependence between acoustics and architectural design. The course explores the effects of building massing, room shape and form, and architectural finishes on a project site’s soundscape and the user’s acoustic experience. It will include fundamentals on sound, sound isolation, room acoustics and building systems noise control, a lecture on the history and future of performance space design, a virtual visit to the Arup SoundLab, and two assignments.

Virtual Construction & Detailing with BIM

736-002, January 20, 2021March 9, 2021

Patrick Morgan

Building Information Modeling (BIM) has become the standard of building construction, design, and operation. During the past decade significant changes have taken place in the nature of design and construction practices which has transformed the very nature of architectural representation. Architects no longer draw 2D deceptions of what they intend others to build, but they instead model, code, simulate and integrate the final built product virtually, alongside their colleagues and collaborators, architects, engineers and builders. The production of an information rich BIM is the ground upon which all construction activities for advanced and complex buildings take place. BIM is also the origins of contemporary innovations in Integrated Design, the creation of collaborative platforms which aim to maximize the sustainable outcomes in the project delivery of buildings. Moreover, being able to collaboratively produce, share and query a BIM makes possible the global practice of design and construction. The course will familiarize students to this important field of architectural practice.

Water Shaping Architecture

736-005, March 12, 2021April 29, 2021

Stuart Mardeusz & Jonathan Weiss

While efforts in sustainable design have focused on energy use, carbon footprint, light and impacts on human occupants, it could be argued that water is the ultimate test of sustainability. Water is amongst the most compelling and significant design topics of the 21st Century. Not just a necessity of life, water has central social, cultural, and symbolic meanings and plays an essential role for all living organisms. As our planet is ever more challenged to provide for increasing populations with finite resources, our approach to water will need to evolve to meet our new and future realities. The goals of this course are to recognize the significant history of designing water, and touch upon the social, cultural, ecologic, and economic impact that designed water has had and will play in the 21st Century, and in addressing urgent global challenges linked to climate change. Water Shaping Architecture will challenge individuals to project possibilities for our disciplines and begin to inform students about the crucial role design plays in shaping this resource. How do our choices as architects impact access to water, and how are those issues predetermined on a building, local, regional and continental scale? How can our projects react resiliently to changing climate and changing reality? If Sustainability is about providing for our needs while allowing for future generations to do the same, how does our outlook on water shape our decision-making process? The class includes readings, short sketch assignments and case studies, field trips (in person as possible or virtual) and a final case study report.

Architectural Workflows in the Design and Delivery of Buildings

736-006, March 12, 2021April 29, 2021

Richard Garber

This seminar in design and technology will focus on the concept of the architectural workflow as it pertains to both contemporary operations in design practice as well as novel project delivery methods enabled by Building Information Modeling (BIM). The synthesis of these digital design platforms with simulation and increasing access to data in the form of natural phenomena, ecology, and building performance has allowed contemporary architects to engage the notion of workflows with others in design and construction practices. Increasingly, this engagement involves object-oriented computing operations and non-human interfaces that expand architectural scope beyond buildings, allowing us to more broadly consider the complex environments in which our buildings exist. As such, workflows occupy an expanded territory within architectural practice and merge digital-design operations with construction activities, project delivery, and post-occupation scenarios in both virtual and actual formats. The implications for the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry could not be greater, and these new collaborative models have become as important as the novel buildings they allow us to produce.

Digital Fabrication

744-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Ferda Kolatan

This course explores the conceptual and material intersections between digital technology and contemporary aesthetics. The seminar will examine how ‘3D Color Printing’ can expand our conceptual, historical, and material understanding of the relationship between images and objects in the context of architecture. Through the design and fabrication of a “Digital Folly”, the students will advance their technical skills while also reflecting on architecture’s rich tradition of manifesting cultural ideas through the combination of the pictorial with the tectonic in novel ways.

Cinema and Architecture in Translation

746-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Danielle Willems, Nicholas Klein

Cinema and Architecture in Translation is a course that will survey key cinematic moments and techniques within the history of film and find new intersections between architecture and dramatic situational narratives. This course is organized into a series of thematic lectures that parallel the contemporary development of the two disciplines both in theory and technique. The focus will be on the analysis of mise-en-scène, the architecture of the film scene and developing speculative architectural futures. Current pre and post-production techniques in filmmaking are converging with architectural digital representation. This is an opportunity that provides fertile ground for architects to critically re-examine the ‘digital’ and ‘image’ making in a variety of scales in relation to impactful narratives and visualizations. There is a rich history in constructing images, speculative worlds and scenes for the film industry. These tools, specifically the technique of “matte-painting” will be explored in this course. We will examine the parallels between the tools and strategies of cinematic visualization as it relates to advanced architectural image making. Students will engage and explore selected readings on the intersections between architecture and cinema. While an important aspect of this course will be to identify the differences between “real” and “cinematic” architecture, we will also explore the ever more porous borders between the physical, the virtual and the amorphous. The emphasis is to encourage more intellectual rigor along with more fearless and technically proficient visualization. This is an advanced representation course that produces 2D images and narrative texts.

Architecture and the New Elegance

748-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Hina Jamelle

The seminar will define and elaborate on the following topics for the digital discourse- diagrammatic relations, technique and aesthetic principles. Technological innovations establish new status quos and updated platforms from which to operate and launch further innovations. Design research practices continually reinvent themselves and the techniques they use to stay ahead of such developments. Mastery of techniques remains important and underpins the use of digital technologies in the design and manufacturing of elegant buildings. But, ultimately, a highly sophisticated formal language propels aesthetics. The seminar seeks to reframe the questions facing architectural design, setting the intellectual framework for an increasingly expansive set of design solutions. The goal is to narrow the gap between aesthetics, design research and practice.

Resilience: The Urgency of Climate Change

758-001, January 21, 2021April 29, 2021

Joe MacDonald

With sea levels rising, amidst pandemics, and struggling to find our way through race relations, this seminar explores a broad range of topics around the subject of Resilience and Sustainability. Over the last several months, the Weitzman School has participated in crafting the TerraScale Resilience Institute, a think tank focused on future-forward efforts about how we can collectively research, advance agendas and implement measures to literally save the planet. We will use a green infrastructure property development currently under construction in real time as our focus, Project Energos, a massive green field site near Nevada by Los Angeles developer TerraScale. This research seminar will support a subsequent studio offering in Fall, 2021. Students are welcome to enroll in this Seminar with or without taking the studio. The subject is relevant to all students interested in understanding how action is currently being taken by a global network of environmentalists advancing a resilience agenda. You will have the opportunity to meet and discuss seminar objectives with leaders in the field from around the world. There are several transdisciplinary approaches we will use to research and unpack some of the challenging and urgent topics of our times.

Design and Development

762-401, January 21, 2020April 29, 2021

Alan Razak

This newly reconstituted course will introduce designers and planners to practical methods of design and development for major real estate product types. Topics will include product archetypes, site selection and obtaining entitlements, basic site planning, programming, and conceptual and basic design principles. Project types will include, among others; infill and suburban office parks, all retail forms, campus and institutional projects. Two-person teams of developers and architects will present and discuss actual development projects.

Project Management

765-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Charles Capaldi

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

768-401, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Asuka Nakahara

This course focuses on “ground-up” development as well as re- development, and acquisition investments. We will examine traditional real estate product types including office, R&D, retail, warehouses, lodging, single-family and multi-family residential, mixed use, and land. “Specialty” uses like golf courses, resorts, timeshares, and senior assisted living will be analyzed. You will learn the development process from market analysis, site acquisition, zoning, entitlements, approvals, site planning, building design, construction, financing, and leasing to ongoing management and disposition. Additional topics - workouts, leadership, and running an entrepreneurial company - will be discussed. Throughout, we will focus on risk management, as minimizing risk first results in maximizing long run profits and net worth accumulation.

Material Agencies: Robotics & Design Lab II

802-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Robert Stuart-Smith

This course will leverage knowledge gained by students in the Fall and set an ambitious aim for the experimentation, development and demonstration of a robotically manufactured design prototype that is intrinsically related to a bespoke production process. The end product will involve a 1:1 part or whole, physically fabricated work that will be accompanied by either a live demonstration or video production. During the first half of the semester students will engage in the development of bespoke robotic tooling, sensor and programming capabilities in order to create novel manufacturing processes that explore ideas of intelligent or autonomous manufacturing with an emphasis on responsive or manipulation based processes. Industry processes will be leveraged yet re-cast through creative engagement with manufacturing materials, tools and production operations. Participants will follow a brief that specifies a line of inquiry or scenario, whilst allowing some degree of self-direction. Projects will engage in a speculative and critical approach to architectural design, production and use while leveraging robotics platforms, methods for machine vision, sensing and learning, in addition to an engagement with material dynamics and computer programming within design research. A successful project is expected to: demonstrate a rigorously crafted design artifact; explore novel approaches to design, material fabrication and user engagement, questioning the role and nature of architecture's physical and cultural contribution; and explore novel forms of robotic production and representation. Some proposals will involve live or filmed demonstrator performances. All projects will require a computer simulation or animation that demonstrates a temporal consideration for design, manufacture or use. The course introduces robot tooling, sensor-feedback procedures, 1:1 material prototyping, and building design with tectonic considerations. Examples of potentially relevant industry processes include: sheet-metal bending, incremental metal forming, additive and subtractive manufacturing.

Advanced RAS Programming

804-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

This course will support ARCH 802 Material Agencies II with a greater level of technical competency and detail. More ambitious functionality will be developed that will enable student's greater degrees of freedom and creativity in their engagement with design and production processes. While students will not engage in science/engineering development, research and software developed in such disciplines will be applied within design, fabrication and user occupation orientated scenarios. Topics will vary in application to suit studio briefs and shifting capabilities within industry and academia. Examples include mechanical and electrical design for bespoke robot tooling, use of Computer Vision for real-time sensing and live behavior-based adaptation, machine learning in design or fabrication applications, or deeper engagement in robot communication and control (E.g. Linux ROS Robot programming framework).

Experimental Matter

806-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

This course aims to extend knowledge into state of the art materials, material applications and fabrication methods and contribute research and experimental results towards ARCH 802 Material Agencies II course prototypical projects. Operating predominantly through research and controlled physical experiments, students will develop a material strategy for their ARCH 802 Material Agencies II work, investigating scientific research papers, industry publications and precedent projects in order to develop know-how in materials and material applications. A material application method will be proposed and experimented with to evaluate and develop use within a robotic fabrication process. Submissions will incorporate experimental test results, methods and precedent research documentation.

Scientific Research and Writing

808-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Billie Faircloth

Following a framing of architectural design-research and theory in Semester 1, this course aims to provide students with knowledge of state of the art robotics and design taking place in the research community and to introduce methods to evaluate and demonstrate academic research that encompasses both creative and technical work. Submissions will include a technical written statement related ARCH 802 Material Agencies II work, which will be produced by participants under direction within this core seminar. This will train students for additional technical career opportunities and raise the level of discourse and prospects for further research from the program and its participants to a level suitable for continuation within PhD studies.

Methods in Architectural Field Research

812-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

Franca Trubiano

Methods in Architectural Research is an advanced research seminar aimed at PhD and MS students which introduces means, methods, types, and values typical of architectural research. This “Methods” course (which is also open to M.EBD and M. Arch students) speaks to the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of research. It investigates how one identifies a field of enquiry, what are the questions of value to the field, the various methods, strategies, and tactics of engagement representative of the field, as well as the critical knowledge needed in communicating one’s results. The architectural profession is largely predicated on studio-based practices and yet the larger discipline—as defined in post-professional programs, doctoral studies, think tanks, research centers, and labs—participates in multiple forms of enquiry whose investigative protocols and metrics of excellence are often borrowed from both the humanities and the sciences. Why therefore, do we hardly ever engage in this form of knowledge production in professional schools of architecture? Architecture’s destiny is to be a form of composite knowing, in which both qualitative and quantitative methods of enquiry are needed in delimiting its research horizons. As such, students in Methods in Architectural Research are introduced to a spectrum of methods inclusive of the arts, design, theory, history, social sciences, environmental sciences, building science, and engineering. Whether architects reflect, theorize, analyze, or test ideas; whether they construct, build artifacts, simulate environments, develop software, or cull data, they do so by implementing research processes and by communicating their results using verifiable reporting mechanisms. The seminar introduces, discusses, and reviews the full spectrum of research methods typical of the discipline with the goal of having students design the research process for their respective Dissertations.

Qualifying Research

813-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

This is an independent study course for first year Ph.D. and M.S. students, supervised by a member of the Graduate Group in Architecture. A course of readings and advisor sessions throughout the semester will result in an independent study paper, which will also be used as the student's qualifying paper for the Qualifying Examination. This research paper will be prepared as if for scholarly publication.

Field Bibliography

851-001, January 20, 2021April 29, 2021

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.

Independent Study

999-001, January 15, 2020April 29, 2020

This course enables students to undertake 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.