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
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
Urban Studies Research Seminar

This seminar introduces urban studies research methods through a study of New York in conversation with other cities. Focused on communities and landmarks represented in historical accounts, literary works, art and film, we will travel through cityscapes as cultural and mythological spaces - from the past to the present day. We will examine how standards of evidence shape what is knowable about cities and urban life, what "counts" as knowledge in urban studies, and how these different disciplinary perspectives construct and limit knowledge about cities as a result.

Instructors: Aaron Peter Shkuda
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: Kurt Walter Forster
Building Science and Technology: Building Systems

In preparation for a fluid and evolving contemporary design practice, this course introduces physical prototyping and strategies for fabrication in a computational era. Across platforms and instruments, exercises and readings emphasize process development as a core competency in architecture. A lecture component provides a technological overview, situated in a long-term cultural perspective and a theoretical framework. Focused lab modules provides exposure to a range of prototyping and fabrication resources at SOA, where students gain hands on experience.

Instructors: Stefana Parascho
History of Comparative Architecture: The Expanded Field. Tensions, Analogies, and Exchanges

This seminar, which evokes Rosalind Krauss' pathbreaking essay "Sculpture in the Expanded Field" (which first appeared in October in 1979), explores tensions, analogies and exchanges that characterize the complex relationship between modern architecture and contemporary art. Its aim is to show not only that these two areas of aesthetic production and critical inquiry are joined in a single field, as Krauss argues, but also that the unity of this field did not emerge until fairly recently in the history of modernism.

Instructors: Daniel Sherer
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: Gia Fels Wolff
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
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
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