Undergraduate Courses

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 and oil stick. 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 given at the end of the semester.

Instructors: Eve Michele Aschheim, Nathan A. Carter
Introduction to Architectural Thinking

The objective of this course is to provide a broad overview of the discipline of architecture: its history, theories, methodologies; its manners of thinking and working. Rather than a chronological survey, the course will be organized thematically, with examples drawn from a range of historical periods as well as contemporary practice. Through lectures, readings, and discussions every student will acquire a working knowledge of key texts, buildings and architectural concepts.

Instructors: Stanley T. Allen
Painting I

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

Instructors: Eve Michele Aschheim, Pamela E. Lins
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.

Instructors: Mario Isaac Gandelsonas, Aiala Levy
Renaissance Art and Architecture

What was the Renaissance? This class explores the major artistic currents that swept northern and southern Europe from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries in an attempt to answer that question. In addition to considering key themes such as the revival of antiquity, imitation and license, religious devotion, artistic style, and the art market, we will survey significant works by artists and architects including Donatello, Raphael, Leonardo, Jan van Eyck, Dürer, and Michelangelo. Precepts will focus on direct study of original objects, with visits to Princeton's collections of paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, books and maps.

Instructors: Carolina Mangone, Carolyn Yerkes
History of Architectural Theory

This course offers a history of architectural theory, criticism, and historiography from the Renaissance to the present, emphasizing the texts, media and institutions that have supported architecture's claim to modernity since the late 17th Century. Architectural thought is examined in its social and cultural context as it relates both to the Western philosophical tradition and to design method and practice.

Instructors: Lucia Allais, Masha Panteleyeva

From the 19th century colonial era to the current border/migration crisis, camps and prisons have managed surplus and racialized populations through zones of confinement and exception. It is literature, and particularly the novel, that provides the compelling encounters with questions of confinement and movement. This course approaches the "border crisis" through a combination of readings in political theory/history and global literature, situating it in the longer history of population management and equipping students with the methodological tools for thinking about it across the social sciences/humanities divide.

Instructors: Nasser Abourahme
History of Comparative Architecture: Architecture, Film and Spatial Imaginary

The course focuses on the intersection of architecture and film and its role in establishing the formal, hermeneutic, and semiotic parameters of both. Convergences and divergences between the two arts will allow us to re-examine the visual implications and signifying functions of the modern and contemporary intermedium practice that arose when architecture was represented cinematically. Our guiding premise is that this practice implies a whole new set of perceptions that extend from a novel vision of architectural form to codes, both narrative and spatial, for reading the city as utopian and dystopian space.

Instructors: Daniel Sherer
The Birth of a Profession: Architects, Architecture and Engineers in 18th-Century Europe

The 18th century saw the emergence of the first architectural and engineering schools. Architects and engineers started to compete all over Europe in a time when technical knowledge and efficiency were becoming as important as experience and learnedness. This course provides students with a survey of 18th-century European architecture in the light of the rivalry between two trades on the verge of professionalization. The first weeks will be devoted to the actors of the building world before focusing on the fields of contest between architects and engineers and how this battle defined the nature of each profession, between art and science.

Instructors: Basile Charles Baudez
German Media Theory: Rhetorics of Surveillance

Taking up the master trope of dystopian futurity articulated in Orwell's 1984, this seminar in media theory will track the paranoid logic of surveillance across a wide range of literary, philosophical, technological (photographic, cinematic, digital) and architectural manifestations. Using a comparative, historical and interdisciplinary approach we will consider surveillance as a political tactic, a narrative strategy, a theory of the subject, a spatial configuration, a mode of spectatorship, and as a key dynamic of both old and new media.

Instructors: Thomas Yaron Levin
Junior Studio

This course will focus on a number of specific design techniques in a highly regimented manner. The theme of this semester will be the relationship between geometry and matter in the development of a piece of furniture. We will explore the nature of these complex surfaces and the effects of a limited but continuous enclosed environment on human functions. We will elaborate our skills in model-building, with particular emphasis placed on the value of accurate representation both by fostering craft and by exploring novel techniques of fashioning and representing precise geometries.

Instructors: Hayley Eber, Gia Fels Wolff
Computational Design

This course provides an introduction to computing in architectural design and develops novel methods for the production, evaluation, and representation of architectural forms and the systems that define them. The course is organized around a series of four successive design exercises that build on one another, each rethinking the status of computational design today. Students explore the distance between models, their data sets, and their outputs by developing competency in computational design techniques through: three-dimensional modeling; algorithmic and parametric modeling; imaging, rendering, and animating; and participatory modeling.

Instructors: Erin Dayle Besler
Mapping Gentrification

This seminar introduces the study of gentrification, with a focus on mapping projects using GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software. Readings, films, and site visits will situate the topic, as the course examines how racial landscapes of gentrification, culture and politics have been influenced by and helped drive urban change. Tutorials in ArcGIS will allow students to convert observations of urban life into fresh data and work with existing datasets. Learn to read maps critically, undertake multifaceted spatial analysis, and master new cartographic practices associated with emerging scholarship in the Digital and Urban Humanities.

Instructors: Aaron Peter Shkuda

This seminar will focus on the modern architecture and urbanism in Havana, including the old colonial city, Art Deco, the International Style, the footprint of the American presence (from the mob to the sugar mills), buildings from the Cuban Revolution and the Soviet period. How can Cuba's world-class heritage survive the pressures being brought by the continued violence of the embargo, the rising flood damage due to climate change, and the social impacts of gentrification? Given the absence of large-scale industry, what are the social and environmental costs of the tourism industry which constitutes the main livelihood of the island?

Instructors: Esther Roseli da Costa Azevedo Meyer
Theories of Housing and Urbanism

The seminar will explore theories of urbanism and housing by reading canonical writers who have created distinctive and influential ideas about urbanism and housing from the nineteenth century to the present. The writers are architects, planners, and social scientists. The theories are interdisciplinary. One or two major works will be discussed each week. We will critically evaluate their relevance and significance for architecture now. Topics include: modernism, technological futurism, density, the new urbanism, the networked city, landscape urbanism, and sustainable urbanism.

Instructors: Andrew Laing
Topics in the History and Theory of Architecture

We will consider that a successful thesis entails the meeting of a socio-cultural problematic with a specific disciplinary issue, that the confluence and exchange between these external and internal situations can instigate an original contribution to architectural knowledge and technique. The "newness" of this contribution comes through a particular kind of repetition, a wily swerve within the established canon. The seminar will introduce disciplinary methods and themes through close readings of architectural texts and objects and will provide a workshop for the testing and elaboration of architectural polemics through directed research.

Instructors: Cameron Wu
Architecture and Democracy

What kind of public architecture is appropriate for a democracy? Should public spaces and buildings reflect democratic values - such as transparency and accessibility - or is the crucial requirement for democratic architecture that the process of arriving at decisions about the built environment is as participatory as possible? Is gentrification somehow un-democratic? The course will introduce students to different theories of democracy, to different approaches to architecture, and to many examples of architecture and urban planning from around the world, via images and films. Might include a field trip.

Instructors: Jan-Werner Müller
Advanced Design Studio

The Advanced Design Studio examines architecture as cultural production, taking into account its capacity to structure both physical environments and social organizations. A specific problem or topic area will be set by each studio critic, and may include a broad range of building types, urban districts or regional landscapes, questions of sustainability, building materials or building performance. Studio work will include research and data gathering, analysis and program definition. Students are expected to master a full range of design media, including drawing, model-making and computer-aided design.

Instructors: Marshall Bashant Brown
Ecologies of the Envelope

This seminar is aimed to develop knowledge about the principles of building envelope design, situated in a history of the envelope technologies. The course is aimed to research and discuss a new theory of the building envelope, able to replace the historical disciplines of the facade. We will teach the principles of insulation, waterproofing, air leakage, vapor barriers, ventilation, de-bridging, embedded energy etc,, trying to bring together technical and theoretical knowledge, into an ecological, evolutionary reading of building technologies.

Instructors: Alejandro Zaera-Polo