Undergraduate Courses

Drawing I

The great thing about drawing is you can do it anywhere! This course approaches drawing as a way of thinking and seeing. We'll introduce basic techniques while also encouraging experimentation, with a focus on both drawing from life and drawing as an expressive act. Students will be introduced to the basics of line, shading, proportion, composition, texture and gesture. You'll also maintain a drawing journal, and use it as a regular space for observation and personal expression. Through exposure to a variety of mediums and techniques, you'll gain the skills and confidence necessary to develop an individual final project of your choosing.

Instructors: Eve Michele Aschheim, Troy Gene Michie Jr.
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, addressing form and light, color and its interaction, composition, scale, texture and gesture. Students will experiment with subject matter including still life, landscape, architecture, self-portraiture and abstraction, while painting from a variety of sources: life, sketches, maquettes, collages, photographs and imagination. Students will progressively develop personal imagery that will inform an individual final project. Princeton will provide all materials for the painting class.

Instructors: 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.

Instructors: Mario Isaac Gandelsonas
Greek Architecture

What makes a Greek temple ringed with marble columns "classical"? This course offers a historical overview of Greek architecture, case studies of landmark structures, and thematic explorations of how ancient religion, politics, and society shaped the built environment of the Aegean and broader Mediterranean. It also delves into the oldest surviving work of architecture theory and looks critically at the legacies of antiquity, particularly in the making of American self-image(s). Precepts include exercises in observation and experiments with ancient building materials (e.g. carving marble) and technologies.

Instructors: Samuel Holzman
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, the art market, and the encounter with foreign cultures, peoples and goods, we will survey significant works by artists and architects including Donatello, Jan van Eyck, Alberti, Raphael, Leonardo, Sofonisba Anguissola and Michelangelo.

Instructors: Carolina Mangone, Carolyn Yerkes
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: Jay Cephas
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: V. Mitch McEwen
Thinking Through Soil

Soil is a critical resource for an increasingly urbanized planet. In this course our goal will be to familiarize ourselves with the fundamentals of soil science and soil theory in order to consider the relationship between soils and the urban environment. Through engagements with both humanistic and empirical scholarship we will develop a perspectival approach to tracing the diverse political and disciplinary contexts in which soil is made an object of knowledge. In particular, the course will feature an extended case study of Mexico City's wastewater agriculture system, and the colonial history of indigenous Latin American soil knowledge.

Junior Studio

The semester will focus on the design of an addition (a graft) to an existing unused masonry structure along the Delaware Raritan canal, approximately 3 miles from Princeton University's campus. Students will consider how people use and perceive this piece of infrastructure, how it defines the landscape and identify opportunities for its transformation through operations. Specific assignments will include sketching, hand and digital drawings, a site model and 3d representations. Projects should reflect knowledge of the existing site and project spatial conditions that encourage human interaction, contemplation, exercise or other activities.

Instructors: Marshall Bashant Brown
South Asian Migrations

This interdisciplinary course explores the history, politics, and social dynamics of urban migration on the Indian subcontinent, home to and source of some of the largest migrations in human history. Through writing, discussion, and other activities, the class will also encounter broader concepts in the study of migration; its diversity, causes, challenges, as well as implications for social organization and city planning. Subtopics include the history of Asia's great migrations, partition and refugee resettlement, indentured and imported labor, gender politics, South Asian diasporas in the US, and the rural-urban divide in the global South.

Instructors: Shoshana Ruth Goldstein
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 Mcdonald 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: Jay Cephas
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: Cameron Wu
Empathy and Alienation: Aesthetics, Politics, Culture

In 19- and 20-c. debates that crossed borders among disciplines including psychology, sociology, anthropology, art history, philosophy, and political theory, empathy and alienation emerged as key terms to describe relations among human beings, works of art, and commodities. This seminar addresses the dynamics of empathy and alienation across a range of discourses and artifacts in European culture. Our explorations of how relationships between empathy and alienation were variously conceptualized in psychological aesthetics, psychoanalysis, and critical theory will aim to open up new perspectives on recent debates about identity and affect.

Instructors: Brigid Doherty, Spyros Papapetros