Undergraduate Courses

Introduction to Urban Studies

This course will examine different crises confronting cities in the 21st century. Topics will range from informal settlements, to immigration, terrorism, shrinking population, sprawl, rising seas, affordable housing, gentrification, smart cities. The range of cities will include Los Angles, New Orleans, Paris, Logos, Caracas, Havana, New York, Hong Kong, Dubai among others.

Instructors: M. Christine Boyer
Drawing I

This course approaches drawing as a way of thinking and seeing. Students will be introduced to a range of drawing issues, as well as a variety of media, including charcoal, graphite, ink, oil stick, collage, string, wire and clay. Subject matter includes still life, the figure, landscape and architecture. Representation, abstraction and working from imagination will be explored. A structured independent project will be completed at the end of the term.

Instructors: Eve Michele Aschheim, Kurt Kauper
Designing Sustainable Systems: Demonstrating the potential of sustainable design thinking

Integrating the process of design and system thinking with an understanding of fundamental environmental and societal principals of sustainability is necessary to enact sustainable societal changes. This course starts with a study of the science related to sustainability and how open-ended sustainable development problems can be addressed through a process of design, and leads to a major group design project focused on devising and demonstrating an opportunity for sustainability on campus. Fabrication, simulation, sensor and graphical tools will be incorporated into the design process learning and deployed in precept.

Instructors: Forrest Michael Meggers
Introduction to Architectural Design

The first in a series of design studios offered to students interested in majoring in architecture, this an introductory studio to architectural design. Issues and ideas about space and form will be explored through a sequence of projects based on specific architectural representational techniques. The students will be confronted with progressively complex exercises involving spatial relations. The course will stress experimentation while providing an analytical and creative framework to develop an understanding of structure and materials as well as necessary skills in drawing and model making. Two three-hour studios with lectures included.

Instructors: Annie Rachel Barrett, Paul Lewis
Painting I

An introduction to the materials and methods of painting. The areas to be covered are color and its interaction, the use of form and scale, painting from a model, painting objects with a concern for their mass and interaction with light.

Instructors: Eve Michele Aschheim, Colleen Asper
Interdisciplinary Design Studio

The course focuses on the social forces that shape design thinking. Its objective is to introduce architectural and urban design issues to build design and critical thinking skills from a multidisciplinary perspective. The studio is team-taught from faculty across disciplines to expose students to the multiple forces within which design operates.

Geometry and Architectural Representation

The goal of this course is to develop the ability to communicate confidently with visual language, learning how to use drawing as an analytical tool within the design process. The course introduces the fundamentals of drawing using freehand, hardline, and digital tools to explore the representation of material, object, and space. We will tune our ability to see with sketchbook assignments, and late semester drawings will engage ideas of time and narrative. Themes and techniques will be presented through lecture and tutorial supported by readings and discussions. Topics include viewpoint, light, volume, orthographics, and perspective.

Instructors: John H. Hartman
Structures and the Urban Environment

This course focuses on structural engineering as a new art form begun during the Industrial Revolution and flourishing today in long-span bridges, thin shell concrete vaults, and tall buildings. Through critical analysis of major works students are introduced to the methods of evaluating structures as an art form. Students study the works and ideas of individual structural artists through their elementary calculations, their builder's mentality and their aesthetic imagination. Students examine contemporary exemplars that are essential to the understanding of 21st century structuring of cities with illustrations taken from various cities.

Instructors: Maria Eugenia Moreyra Garlock
Structures and the Urban Environment

This course focuses on structural engineering as a new art form begun during the Industrial Revolution and flourishing today in long-span bridges, thin shell concrete vaults, and tall buildings. Through laboratory experiments students study the scientific basis for structural performance and thereby connect external forms to the internal forces in the major works of structural engineers. Students examine contemporary exemplars that are essential to the understanding of 21st century structuring of cities with illustrations taken from various cities in the U.S. and abroad.

Instructors: Maria Eugenia Moreyra Garlock
Nature and Infrastructure in South Asia

South Asia is often imagined as a chaotic place where infrastructure is in a constant battle against the forces of nature. Monsoon rains erode roads, summer heat shuts down power grids, winter snow closes vehicular access, while dry riverbeds open new routes. On the contrary, infrastructure is also imagined as the only means by which the vagaries of nature and geography can be overcome. How then, can we understand these nebulous terms upon which a utopian imagination of the future is grounded?

Instructors: Ateya A. Khorakiwala
Wall Street and Silicon Valley: Place in the American Economy

This course examines two places that play an outsized role in the American economy: Wall Street and Silicon Valley. They are distinct and similarly enduring locations. They embody a divide between urban and suburban, East Coast and West Coast, skyscrapers and office parks, tradition and innovation, conservative and liberal. Despite the ubiquity of electronic trading, firms still congregate in Lower Manhattan. Tech workers fight traffic to maintain a presence in Mountain View. What makes these places endure? How do their histories, architecture, economic dynamics, and distinct cultures shape them as places?

Instructors: Aaron Peter Shkuda
Cities of the 21st Century

This course will examine different crises confronting cities in the 21st century. Topics will range from immigration, to terrorism, shrinking population, traffic congestion, pollution, energy crisis, housing needs, water wars, race riots, extreme weather conditions, war and urban operations. The range of cities will include Los Angeles, New Orleans, Paris, Lagos, Caracas, Havana, New York, Hong Kong, Baghdad among other cities.

Instructors: M. Christine Boyer
Research Seminar: Eco-urbanist Architecture

This course will attempt to define how future cities can address problems of waning fossil fuels, global warming, population growth and expanding landfills through a fusion of the ecological, the architectural, and the urban. Developments in both the ecological sciences and in urban planning - from Jefferson's checkerboard city to today's Bed Zed - will be presented. Students will propose new architectural typologies that bridge the two disciplines such as garages for cars that can power houses or living machine-parks... Ultimately, we will create a series of generic guidelines to define a theoretical eco-city of tomorrow.

Instructors: Amale Andraos, Daniel E. Wood
Technology and the City: The Architectural Implications of the Networked Urban Landscape

The seminar explores the implications of technologically networked cities for architectural programming and the design of spaces and places, including: 1) how information technology is reshaping the nature of architectural programming and our ideas of spaces, places and community; 2) how programs for spaces, buildings, places, and the city are being transformed by the increasing mobility, fluidity, and "blurring" of activities in space; and 3) the history of ideas that shape our understanding of technology and urbanism, programming and architecture: the networked global city; the sentient city; smart cities; big data; and hybrid places.

Instructors: Andrew Laing
Global Medieval Architecture

This course is a survey of architecture from the Middle Ages, a term used here to denote the period between 500 CE and 1500 CE. Global in both geographical scope (e.g. Europe, Africa, and Asia) and buildings surveyed, this course examines various architectural forms, techniques, and priorities across multiple landscapes. Organized by building type, the course is broadly comparative while examining buildings on their own terms. Subjects include palaces, castles, and fortress; roads and infrastructure; water architecture; houses and other domestic spaces; and urban planning and design.

Instructors: Alexander Kane Harper
History of Comparative Architecture: Italian Architecture and the USA

Focusing on the mutual reception of Italian and American architecture 1920-2018, we take into account divergences of urban form and architectural tradition that separate the two cultures alongside convergences of theory and practice. Starting with the impact of Wright on Mollino and Moretti, we move to the critical fortune of Organic Architecture in the postwar work of Scarpa and to the diverse roles of Ponti and BBPR in the USA, culminating with the dialogue between the New York Five and Italy in the 1970s. The course ends with an overview of contemporary dialogues between Italian and American architects, theoreticians and critics.

Instructors: Daniel Sherer
The Modern Environmental Imagination: People, Place, Planet

This course explores the history of the environmental imagination from the Age of Exploration of early modern Europe to the global environmental politics of today. We will trace the ways in which people have imagined themselves and nature have shifted over time, and how these changes have helped shape science and politics in the modern world. The course also examines more recent efforts in the arts and sciences to re-imagine humans and nature in order to grapple with the rapidly changing world of contemporary global environmental politics, with a particular focus on the challenges of urbanization, biodiversity loss, and climate change.

Instructors: Chad Louis Monfreda
Junior Studio II

This junior studio will focus on a number of specific design techniques in a highly regimented manner. We will continue to sharpen our skills in model-building, with emphasis placed on the value of accurate representation both by fostering craft and by exploring novel techniques of drawing and modeling.

Instructors: Hayley Eber
Materials in Civil Engineering

An introductory course on materials used civil and environmental engineering. Lectures on structure and properties of construction materials including concrete, steel, glass and timber; fracture mechanics; strength testing; mechanisms of deterioration; impact of material manufacturing on the environment. Labs on brittle fracture, heat treatment of steel, strength of concrete, mechanical properties of wood.

Instructors: Claire Emily White
The Body in Space: Art, Architecture, and Performance

An interdisciplinary investigation of the status of the human body in the modern reinvention of space within the overlapping frames of art, architecture, and the performing arts, from the fin-de-siècle to the present. Works by artists, architects, theater designers, and film makers who address the human figure in space will be supplemented by readings on architectural theory, intellectual and cultural history, psychoanalysis, anthropology, and aesthetics. Course will address issues of bodily empathy, the relation between bodily perception and space, as well as the animation and mechanization of bodies and things inside modern enclosures.

Instructors: Spyros Papapetros
Experimenting in Dark Times: 19th C African American Literature and Culture

This interdisciplinary course explores the intersecting worlds of late 19th century African American literature, technology, aesthetics, and politics. Although this period is commonly theorized as the "Nadir," or "dark point," of Black life, it was in fact a moment of artistic and social experimentation, as black artists and intellectuals traversed a range of media to imagine new futures. We will investigate this overlooked cultural moment and develop an understanding of black experimental writing's roots. In design studio, students will design historically experimental urban projects around the text's investigated in the weekly seminar.

Instructors: V. Mitch McEwen, Autumn M. Womack
Survey of Selected Works of Twentieth-Century Architects

This course is intended to expose the students to a range of major works, built and unbuilt, of architecture from 1950 to the present. This course will focus on these particular buildings as they open themselves to a textual analysis. These analyses are intended to open up issues such as criticality, autonomy and singularity as they begin to evolve in architectural building (as opposed to texts) in the last half of the 20th century. This course will concentrate on individual buildings not architects. Each analysis will be accompanied by an illustrated presentation and selected readings.

Instructors: Julian M. Rose
Topics in the Formal Analysis of the Urban Structure: Environmental Challenges of Urban Sprawl

As part of the search for solutions to climate, water and energy challenges in a rapidly urbanizing world, it is crucial to understand and reassess the role of exurban sprawl in the environment. This interdisciplinary course aims to add theoretical, pragmatic and cultural dimensions to scientific, technological, and policy aspects of current environmental challenges, in an effort to bridge the environmental sciences, urbanism and the humanities

Instructors: Mario Isaac Gandelsonas