Graduate Courses

Architecture Design Studio

Part two of a two semester sequence in which fundamental design skills are taught in the context of the architect's wider responsibilities to society, culture and the environment. Students acquire a command of the techniques of design and representation through a series of specific architectural problems of increasing complexity. Both semesters are required for three-year M.Arch. students.

Instructors: Darell Fields, Cameron Wu
Integrated Building Studios

In this studio, architecture is conceived primarily as a technical endeavor. We approach design in consideration of ecology, environmental technology, building materials and structure, but also in respect to the integration of communications, robotics, geolocation and sensing technologies in the built environment. The studio is supported by technical experts. Students are required to investigate in depth a relevant technology and construct their projects around it. Projects are developed to a level of detail sufficient to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the chosen technology.

Instructors: Matthew Au, Mira H. Henry
Architecture Design Studio

Vertical Design Studios examine architecture as cultural production, taking into account its capacity to structure both physical environments and social organizations. Projects include a broad range of project types, including individual buildings, urban districts and landscapes.

Instructors: Jing Liu
Architecture Design Studio

Vertical Design Studios examine architectural design in the intersection of materiality, technology, sociality and politics; taking into account its capacity to rearticulate physical environments and social organizations. Projects are intended to explore the role of architectural apparatus to intervene daily urban enactments, by the development of a broad range of architectural devices: including buildings, urban districts, landscape and the interactions that bring them all into shared performances.

Instructors: Juergen Hermann Mayer
M. Arch Thesis Studio

The Master of Architecture Thesis is an independent design project on a theme selected by the student. The student begins with a thesis statement outlining an area of study or a problem that has consequences for contemporary architectural production. Marking the transition between the academic and professional worlds, the thesis project is an opportunity for each student to define an individual position with regard to a specific aspect of architectural practice. As an integral part of the design process, it is intended that the thesis project incorporate research, programming and site definition.

Instructors: Sylvia Lavin
Post-Prof. Thesis Studio

The Master of Architecture Thesis is an independent design project on a theme selected by the student. The student begins with a thesis statement outlining an area of study or a problem that has consequences for contemporary architectural production. Marking the transition between the academic and professional worlds, the thesis project is an opportunity for each student to define an individual position with regard to a specific aspect of architectural practice. As an integral part of the design process, it is intended that the thesis project will incorporate research, programming and site definition.

Instructors: Jesse A. Reiser
Integrated Building Systems

An introduction to building systems and the methods of construction used to realize design in built form. First half of the course is an overview of the primary systems, materials and principles used in construction of buildings and the fabrication of elements, through lectures and accompanying lab sessions. The second half allows students to design, detail and fabricate a custom fabrication utilizing principals explored in the lectures.

Instructors: Peter A. Pelsinski
Structural Design

Introduction to the design of building structures of steel, timber and reinforced concrete.

Instructors: Nat Oppenheimer
Contemporary Facade Design

The course introduces the students to the main themes of performance oriented technical design of the building enclosure while reinforcing the generally understood idea of the facade as the primary language for communication of the architectural idea, developed in harmony with material, its techniques and several other forces of the industry. The students develop a historical, theoretical and practical understanding of the contemporary building enclosure and the architect's role within the process of its design and execution.

Instructors: Sameer Kumar
The Environmental Engineering of Buildings, Part II

Design and analysis of a 100,000sf net-zero energy building (or equivalent) using techniques, tools and information from ARC 514 (a full set of course materials are provided to students not taking 514). Selection, design and evaluation of environmental systems including air-conditioning, ventilation, lighting, power and renewable energy systems with an emphasis on design integration with architecture and structure. Selection of building envelope components and materials for optimum thermal performance. Sustainable design concepts and energy conservation are stressed throughout.

Instructors: Mahadev Raman
Post-Professional M.Arch. Thesis Seminar

This course supports students in the development of a broad range of thesis topics optimized to the faculty of the SoA. A series of exercises guide students to identify the primary questions that currently structure the discipline and those extra-disciplinary concerns which architecture must engage today. Throughout the work, analyses of these issues are linked to contemporary architectural production. All work is conducted by small teams and harnesses the dynamic feedback between specifically architectural problematics and the general logic of contemporary culture in preparation for future thesis work.

Instructors: Jesse A. Reiser
Collage Making in Architecture

A graphic skills course that focuses on the techniques, craft, and ideologies of collage as a form of architectural representation. There are in-class workshops and weekly projects involving (handmade) collages. There are also a limited number of supplementary readings to situate our work within the context of architectural history and theory.

Instructors: Marshall Bashant Brown
Architecture, Technology, and the Environment: Energy from Turtles to the Grid

As climate change reshapes enviro-technical landscapes across the globe, this seminar examines discussions on the history of energy, nature, and built landscapes in terms of historiography and on location. Independent research thus considers the material and historical ramifications of the discussed concepts and probes them through case studies and locally. Students can choose to focus on historical or design inquiries for the final independent research projects which result in a journal-article style paper or exhibition that includes historical maps, drawings and installations.

Instructors: S.E. Eisterer
Form Finding of Structural Surfaces

The course looks at the most inventive structures and technologies, demonstrating their use of form finding techniques in creating complex curved surfaces. The first part introduces the topic of structural surfaces, tracing the ancient relationship between innovative design and construction technology and the evolution of surface structures. The second part familiarizes the student with membranes(systems, form finding techniques,materials and construction techniques.) The third part focuses on rigid surfaces. The fourth part provides a deeper understanding of numerical form finding techniques.

Instructors: Sigrid M. Adriaenssens
Technology and the City: The Architectural Implications of Networked Urban Landscape

The seminar explores the implications of technologically networked cities for architectural programming and the design of spaces and places. Key issues examined: information technology reshaping the nature of architectural programming and our ideas of spaces, places and communities; programs for spaces, buildings, and the city being transformed by increasing mobility, fluidity and `blurring' of activities in space; and, the history of ideas that shape how we understand technology and urbanism, programming and architecture, including cyborg cities, sentient and smart cities, big data, hybrid places, crypto cities, and metaverse urbanism.

Instructors: Andrew Mcdonald Laing
Introduction to Formal Analysis

Introduction to the primary projective systems that form the foundations of architectural representation and serve as essential tools of formal analysis and design. Coursework is derived from a structured examination of key primary sources by Gaspard Monge, Brook Taylor and Girard Desargues.

Instructors: Cameron Wu
Space and Subjectivity: Labor's Histories

This seminar explores concepts and themes concerning the interplay of labor, identity, and the built environment. We proceed from an intersectional analysis that roots questions of labor within physical bodies and from there aim to understand how these bodies labor to construct the built environment as well as how the built environment shapes laboring bodies, questions of identity, and our understandings of work and labor.

Instructors: Jay Cephas
Of Monkeys, Men and Great Edifices

The seminar explores philosophical intersections of race and architecture, revealing Blackness as a negative aesthetic formation in historical and theoretical discourses. The transfiguration of Blackness from "inferior" historical racial sign to compelling architectonic language parallels John Dewey's formulations on rhetoric and "becoming." The result is a new spatial rhetoric founded on Blackness. Blackness is discussed as an aesthetic principle rather than a strictly socio-political condition. The distinction allows us to understand how race and architecture coexist.

Instructors: Darell Fields
Topics in Contemporary Architecture & Urbanism: Writing the City

The cultural discourse of architecture and cities is created and sustained largely by the writing of architects, critics, and historians. As an intellectual discipline, architecture requires writing to support and communicate its ideas, requires texts to position and expand upon its visual representations. The course introduces students to different models of writing through reading architecture and theory texts and through learning to read the city at its many scales. The goal is to give students the conceptual tools to form and write their own ideas and the confidence to present their writing in a public forum.

Instructors: Cynthia Davidson
Topics in Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism: Building and Embodied Carbon

The climate crisis requires a radical shift in how buildings are built to significantly decrease their embodied carbon. This design seminar explores the tectonics of plant-based building materials (wood, straw, hemp, cork, bamboo, etc.), invents new assemblies and tests how different material assemblies can be catalysts for new forms of buildings. As a design intensive course, the visible aesthetics of these materials are combined with the invisible attributes made legible through other means such as life cycle analysis, thermal imaging, and carbon calculations.

Instructors: Paul Lewis
Topics in Contemporary Architecture & Urbanism: Bed Project II, Symposium Banquet

This design seminar involves conceiving, designing, and holding a Symposium/Banquet at Princeton, with Professors Beatriz Colomina and Sanford Kwinter as clients and interlocutors. Inspired by Plato's Symposium, the task of the seminar participants is to create a detailed minute by minute score for the event which integrates the design and creation of: food and drink, serving and tableware, music and movement as a ritual framework for the Symposium's free discourse. The Princeton event is a dress rehearsal for an inaugural event in Tokyo planned for 2024.

Instructors: Jesse A. Reiser
Founding, Building, and Managing your own Architectural Practice: Managing your own Architectural Practice

Review and analysis of the dynamics and process inherent in starting, developing, managing and operating your own architectural practice, including marketing, finance, human resources, project process, liability, insurance, and general management. Areas of particular emphasis include project accounting, public presentations, and the development of a business plan.

Instructors: J. Robert Hillier
Literary and Cultural Theory: Architectures of Theory

This class engages with spatial analysis across a range of disciplines and approaches; from architecture, architectural theory and manifestos to continental philosophy, Marxism, Black studies, decolonial writings, and a sample of graphic- and novelistic depictions of built space. We ask whether thinking about built space as a "language" is fundamentally different from "picturing" space or inhabiting space with our bodies, and whether these approaches count as "cognitive mapping." We contemplate the dystopian actualities and utopian possibilities inherent in the built environment and the constructive projects of world building.

Instructors: Andrew Cole
Research in Architecture (Proseminar)

This advanced pro-seminar investigates research methodologies in architectural discourse and practice. Each year the pro-seminar focuses on a specific theme addressing the history of the discipline from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students engage as a group in an in-depth reading of theoretical and historiographic sources on architecture and related fields.

Instructors: M. Christine Boyer
Pro Seminar: Computation, Energy, Technology in Architecture

The pro seminar is offered to incoming PhD students in the PhD track in Computation, Energy, building Technology in the School of Architecture (open to other interested graduate students as well) and is organized as a research seminar to introduce the participants to scientific research methods in the context of design in Architecture and science in engineering. It is structured as a series of introductory presentations of exemplary methods based on case studies and a number of guest presentations from collaborating disciplines.

Instructors: Forrest Michael Meggers
Advanced Topics in Modern Architecture: Mies van der Rohe and the Architecture of Capitalism

Recent monographs and thematic studies have shaped our understanding of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's life and work, yet the last archival discoveries and interpretations inspire a different view of the architect's trajectory. Often seen as a lonesome, misanthropic figure, Mies's worked as a professional architect with an extreme artistic and intellectual ambition, deeply engaged in the capitalist modernization of two metropolises: Berlin, where his provocative manifestos of the 1920s elucidate his built work, and Chicago, where his refinement of paradigmatic structure types characterized his second, American, career in the 1950s.

Instructors: Jean-Louis Cohen
Advanced Topics in Modern Architecture: Environments of Governance: Architecture, Media, Development

This seminar investigates discourses and techniques of environmental governance addressed to the so-called "Third World," those seeking to regulate not only economic production but spatial arrangements, social reproduction, and forms of subjectivity in the decades after World War II. It does so by interrogating the intersection and co-constitutive realms of architecture, media, and development aid. To this end, an important task of the course is to ask how to identify, recognize, and attend to the many techno-social forms of designing and managing environments, with their distinctly northern epistemologies and imperial dispositions.

Instructors: Felicity Scott
Utopics: Private Fantasies, Public Projects

This seminar investigates the consistent tensions between interior fantasy and exterior publicity in the modern period. Case studies and readings include the private houses and public projects of Ledoux, Soane, Fourier, Loos, Le Corbusier, Kiesler, and others, in relation to the literary influences of Romanticism, Symbolism, Surrealism, and psychoanalysis. Participants will select an example of their choice for research and documentation.

Instructors: Anthony Vidler
Gender, Cities, and Dissent

This seminar investigates 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, and cities, as well as the human alliances within them. We study forms of organizing around women's and LGBTQ+ rights in cities, from the efforts of informal activist groups to those of institution building, and highlight these efforts as main sites for creative, architectural, and urban intervention in challenging heteronormative forms of living and instead providing spaces of care and kinship making.

Instructors: S.E. Eisterer
Topics in Architecture: The Total Corporation: The Design of Everything In a Global Context

To distance architecture from the "war machine," architects called for the reintegration of the arts after WW2. The resulting post-war Gesamtkunstwerk accompanied the development of ever larger corporations and corporate architectural practices integrating new kinds of agents into their increasingly complex wholes, from women designers and computing services to global environmental and economic models. By exploring how corporations--Olivetti in Ivrea, Hilton in Havana, JUMEX in Mexico City--operated architecture across all scales and mediums, students in this seminar will uncover the questions post-war integration was designed to answer.

Instructors: Rubén Gallo, Sylvia Lavin