Graduate Architecture

  • Students at work on Masonry Tectonics

  • The completed vault

  • The completed vault

  • The completed vault

Masonry Tectonics

“Beyond text, beyond image, there is a craft of making with masonry.” - Franca Trubiano

This funded seminar and workshop organized and led by Associate Professor Franca Trubiano introduced students to the subject of masonry tectonics by investigating new design opportunities made possible by clay brick and terracotta tile materials. Innovation was channeled via this most ancient of materials and the seminar was focused on the art and science and the construction and modeling of masonry structures. In reviewing the history and theory of masonry construction, students acquired fundamental knowledge on the materiality of tiles, vaulting techniques, form finding, and its associated labor. The seminar was supported by expert consultants who, with first-hand knowledge of masonry techniques, led hands-on masonry workshops for students to engage the material reality of masonry. Students worked alongside University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design alumnus Jonathan Dessi Olive (MArch’15) and union-trained masonry apprentices from the Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers (BAC) Local 1, in Northeast Philadelphia.
The seminar is grateful for the support of Roy Ingraffia from the International Masonry Institute, Boston Valley Terracotta, and BAC.


Ahmad, Alina Mairaj
Badahdah, Musab Mohammad
Baothman, Joud Saleh
He, Mingxin
Kim, Chae Young
Kim, Joung-Hwa
Li, Dongliang
Li, Yang
Li, Yisha
Najem, Jeffrey Luciano
Peng, Yunzhongda
Sun, Tianyi
Swysgood, Mary Stephens
Tu, Shangzi
Wang, Chwen-Ping
Wang, Siqi
Welch, Morgan Leigh
Xiong, Shuoqi
Zha, Yili
Zhou, Xieyang


Roy Ingraffia, Lecturer
Franca Trubiano, Associate Professor of Architecture, Chair, Graduate Group of Architecture