Spring Semester 2022
All courses are Jan. 12–Apr. 27, unless otherwise noted.
Design Studio II
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
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
The study of analysis and projection through drawing and computer visualization.
A continuation of Construction I, focusing on light and heavy steel frame construction, concrete construction, light and heavyweight cladding systems and systems building.
Richard Farley, Masoud Akbarzadeh
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.
500 Technology Lab
A required lab/workshop to accompany the core technology sequence in the MArch program. This ungraded course will offer additional instruction, workshops, lab time, and other support to the first year technology courses (Structures I & II and Construction I & II). All students enrolled in any of those courses must also enroll in the 500 Technology Lab.
Design Studio IV
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
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.
Robert Stuart-Smith, Ezio Blasetti
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
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.
A long, deep green thread exists in American literature from Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman through Herman Melville and William Carlos Williams on to Terry Tempest Williams and Wendell Berry. This literature has influenced how we perceive our environments and, in the process, many planners, designers, and conservationists such as Frederick Law Olmsted, Jane Addams, Aldo Leopold, Lewis Mumford, Ian McHarg, and Anne Whiston Spirn. 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 the three most important theorists in environmental planning and landscape architecture: Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., Charles Eliot, and Ian McHarg. The senior Olmsted pretty much created the field of landscape architecture, adapting the English landscape aesthetic for the rapidly urbanizing North American continent to address pressing urban issues. Arguably, the planning profession in the United States also began with the senior Olmsted. Charles Eliot was a protégé of Olmsted’s. Eliot pioneered the use of comprehensive, scientific landscape inventories; originated the concept of land trusts; and designed the first metropolitan regional open-space plan. Educated in landscape architecture and city planning, Ian McHarg influenced both fields in the late twentieth century. He urged us to better understand natural processes and how people use space. The second part of the course will critically explore current theories in environmental planning and landscape architecture. The topics will 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.
600 Technology Lab
A required lab/workshop to accompany the core technology sequence in the MArch program. This ungraded course will offer additional instruction, workshops, lab time, and other support to the second year technology courses including Environmental Systems (I and II), Case Studies, and Material Formations. All students enrolled in any of those courses must also enroll in the 600 Technology Lab.
Advanced Design: Research Studio
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.
Advanced Architectural Design Research Studio
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.
Bioclimatic Design Studio
An advanced design studio for the MSD-EBD program that synthesizes the concepts and techniques of environmental building design. Topics and materials for the studio are developed in Arch 752: EBD Research Seminar, and summarized in a research report at the end of studio.
Topics in Arch Theory II: Visual Research: Architecture and Media after WWII
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.
Topics in Arch Theory II: Architectural Envelopes: Technology and Expression
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.
Topics in Architecture Theory II: Baroque Parameters
This course will provide an overview of the debate surrounding the term Baroque and its contemporary implications. The term Baroque is the subject of many debates ranging from its etymological origin, to disputes on the emergence of an aesthetic “style” post Council of Trent in the seventeenth century by historians such as Heinrich Wölfflin, and the more current and most broad application of the term as a recursive philosophical concept suggested by Gilles Deleuze to “Fold” through time. Although illusive and as dynamic as the work itself, students will become familiar with how the term Baroque has been associated with specific characteristics, attitudes and effects or more specifically the architectural consequences it has produced.
Architecture, Gender, Theory
In this course, we will engage the writing of architectural histories that ask how feminism and gender theory (from eco-feminism and intersectional feminism to queer and trans theory) can spearhead new methods of research, objects of study, and ways of seeing and analyzing spaces, buildings, cities, and human alliances within them. The course is decidedly focused on forms of organizing around women’s and LGBTQ+ rights in cities – from informal activist groups to institution building. The seminar highlights these group efforts as main sites for creative, critical, and political intervention in questioning heteronormative forms of living, care, and kinship. As such, the seminar emphasizes scholarship on gender theory that has helped reframe architectural history since the 1960s and investigates how these ideas have informed and begun to alter the discipline.
History and Theory of Architecture and Climate
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
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
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.
Tech Designated Elective: Enclosures: Selection, Affinities & Integration
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.
Tech Designated Elective: Deployable Structures
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.
Beyond the Binary
Simon Kim & Mark Yim
This seminar will examine the design methods of dynamic relationships in design and performance for stage and audience. The class will be one part research and one part development of prototype for performance with the Mendelssohn Choir. As such, a heavy emphasis will be placed in producing a working prototype for the final performance. This means that the design and engineering needs to be ‘stage-proofed’ so that it is robust in its parts and performance
Tech Designated Elective: Daylighting
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.
Tech Designated Elective: Principles of Digital Fabrication
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.
Tech Designated Elective: Heavy Architecture
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.
Envisioning Climate: A Virtual Reality Seminar
Vanessa Keith & Andrew Homick
How can we mobilize to change the future for the better? Climate change unquestionably represents the biggest challenge to the continued presence of humankind—or any other species—on this planet. Managing and attempting to limit the effects of global warming should be our biggest project, prompting us to marshal our collective will, energy, and creativity to design a livable solution to the inevitable shifts in weather and habitat. Urgent timelines alone, however, are not enough to prompt action. This seminar aims to make the invisible visible and tangible by harnessing virtual reality as an empathy machine. Taking inspiration from VR artists and creatives like Participant Media and Condition One (This Is Climate Change), Marshmallow Laser Feast (In the Eyes of the Animal, Ocean of Air), Winslow Porter and Milica Zec (Tree), Tamiko Thiel (Evolution of Fish, Unexpected Growth), the Yale University Hackathon (The Reality of Global Climate Change), among others, we will bring to life the latest climate data on the city’s potential future(s) in VR with the aim of creating immersive experiences that can spur us to positive change in the here and now.
Tech Designated Elective: Inquiry into Biomaterial Architectures
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
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
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?
Tech Designated Elective: Building Acoustics
736-001, January 12, 2022 — March 2, 2022
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.
Healthy Buildings: Science & Application
736-003, March 3, 2022 — April 7, 2022
This course examines the scientific evidence of how different elements of the indoor environment impact human health and well-being, and discusses practical design and technology examples for offices, homes, schools, and other living spaces.
Tech Designated Elective: Virtual Construction & Detailing with BIM
736-002, January 12, 2022 — March 2, 2022
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 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.
Tech Designated Elective: Seeing Architecture: Technology, Ecology, Practice
736-006, March 3, 2022 — April 27, 2022
The course will ask students to consider how we see architecture from both a technological and ecological basis – that is how we understand buildings within the larger global environment we co-habit; as well as how we can learn from booth our past as well as the earth itself – from “the ever nonobjective to which we are subject” to “an object that stands before us and can be seen” (Heidegger, The Origin of the Work of Art, 1950). The implications of design, and more specifically the future work of architects. Through a series of lectures and readings, students will have the opportunity to consider building, both as a subjective act and an objective consequence of architectural workflows within the larger framework of built ecologies and ecologies of thought.
The Function of Fashion in Architecture
The Function of Fashion in Architecture will survey the history of fashion and the architectural parallels starting from Ancient Civilization to Present. The focus will be on the relevance of garment design, methods and techniques and their potential to redefine current architecture elements such as envelope, structure, seams, tectonics and details. The functional, tectonic and structural properties of garment design will be explored as generative platforms to conceptualize very specific architectural elements. One of the challenges in the course is the re-invention of a means of assessment, the development of notations and techniques that will document the forces and the production of difference in the spatial manifestations of the generative systems.
Architecture is intrinsically linked to objects and images. Since the earliest days of prehistoric monuments and painted caves, architecture has developed an inherently iconographic function. This function can be described as follows: Immaterial ideas about the world are physically embodied through material practices such as drawing, painting, and form-making. Or in other words, architecture is a means of expressing cultural predilections, interests, and desires. This representational quality was traditionally aided by integrating painting and sculpting directly into architecture. The confluence of these different mediums and their specific techniques and technologies was viewed as a critical component of manifesting ideas in matter. In modern times however the iconographic function of architecture shifted toward abstraction and an emphasis was placed on separating mediums dealing with image, object, and architecture rather than further integrating them. The seminar will re-examine the combinatorial alliance of image, object, and architecture in the context of contemporary cultural ideas and technologies by designing artifacts that produce novel architectural effects and iconographies.
Architecture and the New Elegance
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.
Perform Design Workshop
Environmental systems have been developed and applied in buildings to improve thermal comfort and to reduce energy use. The workshop examines the design and performance of the systems, focusing on their climatic effects on occupants while providing technical and analytic skills. Environmental systems of interest include the Trombe wall, double-skin façade, external thermal mass, integrated shading, stack ventilation, and passive downdraft cooling. Computational fluid dynamics and building energy simulation are incorporated for quantitative analysis along with the physical model and energy tracing diagram for qualitative analysis. The course further provides technical skills that serve the ARCH 709 EBD Research Studio offered in the same semester. Meetings include lectures, workshops, and desk-crits. Students must have completed ARCH 753 Introduction to Building Performance Simulation as a prerequisite.
Design and Development
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.
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
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 Agency: Robotics & Design Lab II
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
Jose Luis Garcia del Casillo Lopez
This seminar provides a theoretical context to the program, relating autonomous robotics and fabrication research to architectural discourse, philosophy, science and technology. The course commences with a historical overview of scientific topics including cybernetics, complexity theory, emergence/self-organization, evolution/developmental biology, behaviour-based robotics. The course also critically assesses present and future societal trajectories in relation to technology, exploring socio-political, ethical and philosophical arguments that concern a broader technological shift that has occurred during the last decade which has given rise to our unquestioned reliance on algorithms within our everyday lives (social media, shopping, navigation), and similar impact from Urban OS's, Industry 4 and driverless car technologies. Readings cover philosophy, computer science, cybernetics, robotics, sociology, psychology, and will be discussed in relation to their consideration within the domain of architectural design and building technology. Examples include: Blaise Aguera y Arcas, Maurice Conti, Norbert Weiner, Kevin Kelly, Ray Kurzweil, Ed Finn, Donna Haraway, Andre Gorz, Bruce Sterling, Daniel Kahneman, Timothy Morton, Levi Bryant. A theoretical written statement related to ARCH 801 Material Agencies I Section 1 or 2 will be produced by participants within this core seminar.
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.
Methods in Architectural Field Research
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.
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.
The Idea of the Avant-Garde in Architecture
No historian of architecture has written as intensely about the contradictions of architecture in late-modern society or reflected as deeply on the resulting problems and tasks of architectural historiography as Manfredo Tafuri (1935-1994). For many, the Italian historian's dismissal of "hopes in design" under conditions of advanced capitalism produced a disciplinary impasse. This in turn led to call to oublier Tafuri - to move beyong his pessimistic and lacerating stance. The seminar will undertake a close reading of one of Tafuri's most complexly conceived and richly elaborated books, The Sphere and the Labyrinth: Avant-Gardes and Architecture form Piranesi to the 1970s. Initially published in Italian in 1980 and translated into English in 1987, the book represents the first effort to define and historicize the concept of an avant-garde specifically in architecture. Its content centers on the radical formal and urban experiments of the first three decades of the twentieth century. Yet Tafuri surprisingly begins his account with the eighteenth-century inventions of Piranesi, and he concludes with an examination of the "neo-avant-garde" of his own day. In addition to traversing The Sphere and the Labyrinth chapter by chapter - starting with the extraordinary methodological introduction, "The Historical 'Project'"-we shall also read a number of primary and secondary sources on the historical contexts under discussion and consider a number of important intertexts that shed light on Tafuri's position. The objectives of the course are at once historical and historiographic: we shall be concerned both with actual events and with how they have been written into history. Finally, we shall reassess the role of an avant-garde in architecture and compare Tafuri's conception to that advanced in other disciplines. Is the concept of an avant-garde still viable today? Or should it be consigned to the dustbin of twentieth-century ideas? Assignment for first class: read the introduction to The Sphere and the Labyrinth, pp. 1-21, "The Historical 'Project.'" A copy of the book is on reserve at the library. Note: the book is out of print. For future classes please make every effort to purchase a used copy or obtain one via interlibrary loan. Copies of individual chapters will also be made available on our class website.
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.
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.