Graduate Courses

Please note, this is a tentative list of courses offered during the 2015-2016 school year. Course offerings change each year.  Additional courses taught in other departments may be used to satisfy Architecture requirements, and are not listed here. For the most up to date list of courses, visit the Registrar's Course Offerings page.

ARC 501, 502 Architecture Design Studio
Michael Meredith & Staff
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.

ARC 501 = Fall Semester
ARC 502 = Spring Semester

ARC 503, 504 Integrated Building Studios
Paul Lewis

Integrated design studios approach architecture from a synthetic perspective. Considerations of structure, environmental technology, building materials and systems, exterior envelope, and site design are integrated directly into the design process through the participation of technical faculty and outside advisors in critiques and reviews. Projects are developed to a high level of detail. At least one course is required for professional M.Arch. students.

ARC 503 = Fall Semester
ARC 504 = Spring Semester

ARC 505 A-C, 506 A-C Architecture Design Studio
Axel Kilian, Jesse Reiser, Junya Ishigami

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. Two vertical studios are required for all M.Arch. students.

ARC 505 = Fall Semester
ARC 506 = Spring Semester

ARC 507, 508 Master of Architecture Thesis Studio
Liz Diller

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. One course is required for all M.Arch. students. Completion of pre-thesis workshops is required for entry into Thesis Studio.

ARC 507 = Fall Semester
ARC 508 = Spring Semester

ARC 509 Integrated Building Systems (Spring 2016)
Peter Pelsinski
An introduction to building systems and the methods of construction used to realize design in built form. First half of the course exposes students to the primary systems, materials and principals used in construction of buildings and the fabrication of elements, through lectures and accompanying lab sessions. Focus shifts in second half to explaining the means by which information is communicated from designers to fabricators, current standards in the practice of architecture, and practice's relation to changes in methods of fabrication and project delivery.

ARC 510 Structural Analysis for Architecture (Fall 2015)
Guy Nordenson
Elementary structural analysis for architecture students covering statics, strength of materials and approximate methods of analysis, including historical examples.

ARC 511 Structural Design (Spring 2016)
Nat Oppenheimer
Introduction to the design of structural elements and systems in steel, concrete and wood including the application of computer-aided engineering software and approximate methods. This course concludes with the schematic design of a complete structure.

ARC 514 Environmental Engineering of Buildings, Part I (Fall 2015)
Mahadev Raman
The first part of a sequence taught over two terms that provides a broad introduction to Building Systems, Environmental Control and Energy Conservation. Sustainable design themes and environmentally responsible practices are stressed throughout and form a backdrop to all the instructional material provided. The fall course focuses on fundamental concepts and provides an introduction to Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Lighting, Acoustical and Life Safety systems.

ARC 515 Environmental Engineering of Buildings, Part II (Spring 2016)
Mahadev Raman
This course is a study and evaluation of mechanical and electrical system applications for different building types, including air conditioning, electrical, plumbing and telecommunications. There will be an emphasis on design integration with architecture and structure within the construction process including sustainable design and energy conservation. Students will be introduced to vertical transportation, life safety systems, and intelligent buildings.  The course will have a conceptual approach using case studies and field trips.

ARC 521 Elemental Building Function (Fall 2015)
Forrest Meggers
This course will build a discourse encompassing the many aspects of building function to try to rediscover the best role of the architect. We will attempt to discover what level of functional system knowledge is appropriate for the architect today. A palette of potentially complex topics will be provided to explore building function, but to avoid the seminar becoming overly technical, it will be grounded in the basic elements of function that one might imagine: Aristotle's Air, Fire, Earth, and Water. Air: space and comfort; Fire: energy and operation; Earth: materials and construction; Water: flow and systems.

ARC 530 Master Thesis Prep Seminar
Liz Diller

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

ARC 531 Proseminar for Post-Professional M.Arch. (Fall 2015)
Michael Meredith

This course provides a broad survey of the contemporary condition by examining different formats contributing to architecture culture since the year 2000.

ARC 545 The Philosophy of Urban History (Fall 2015)
Manuel Delanda
The class introduces students to the branch of the philosophy of history that specializes in cities. Cities are social entities that exist at an intermediate scale between the micro-level of individuals and the macro-level of society as a whole. Social science has tended to focus at those two extremes, while the intermediate meso-level has been neglected. The philosophy of urban history aims at remedying this situation, stressingnot only the role of cities as historical actors, but also the role of other meso-level social entities from local communities and institutional organizations to urban regions and provinces.

ARC 547 Introduction to Formal Analysis (Fall 2015)
Michael Young
This course is an introduction to the primary projective systems that form the foundations of architectural representation and serve as essential tools of formal analysis and design. Coursework will be derived from a structured examination of key primary sources by Gaspard Monge, Brook Taylor and Girard Desargues.

ARC 548 The "Work" of Architecture: History, Theory, Criticism, and Design (Fall 2015)
Anthony Vidler
The seminar will study selected architectural projects and buildings in the context of their critical and historical reception, and their active influence on theory and design from the Renaissance to the present. The case study approach will allow for understanding the work in relation to the theoretical (and sometimes philosophical) intentions of the architect/artist, its reception, its fortunes in criticism and history, and its implications for contemporary interpretation and design.

ARC 562 Introduction to the Architecture Profession (Fall 2015)
J. Robert Hillier
The carrying out of architectural services goes beyond design and involves an obligation to the public, to clients, to peers and employees. This course deals with the contracts, specifications, technical documentation, project management, and construction administration phases of the architectural services.

ARC 563 Starting, Building, and Operating an Architectural Practice (Spring 2016)
J. Robert Hillier
The course offers a review and analysis of the dynamics and process inherent in starting, developing, managing, and operating an 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.

ARC 571 Research in Architecture (Fall 2015)
Beatriz Colomina
This advanced pro-seminar explores architectural research techniques through collaborative investigation of a specific issue facing the field. Rather than study research methods in the abstract, students are asked to actively carry out detailed research in teams and reflect upon its limits and potentials. The research project of each semester is carried through to realization in the form of a book, a conference, or an exhibition organized by the students in subsequent semesters.

ARC 573 Proseminar - Computation, Energy and Technology in Architecture (Fall 2015)
Axel Kilian & Forrest Meggers

ARC 574 Computing and Imaging in Architecture (Fall 2015)
Ryan Johns
A seminar focuses on the formal analysis of buildings and familiarizing students with two- and three- dimensional computer graphic through the use of the microcomputer cluster in the School of Architecture.  Students use AutoCAD in their analyses of building. A series of formal experiments will be carried out each culminating in the fabrication of rapid prototypes using the CNC mill & the InVision 3D printer, explicitly challenging conventional modes of practice & seeking insight into new forms of organization, techniques & operative procedures. Students will focus on the analysis & construction of sophisticated production pipelines using various high-end software environments.

ARC 575 Advanced Topics in Modern Architecture: Architecture In/As Photography
Jean-Louis Cohen

The seminar discusses the work of photographers who have responded to architecture, and of artists or architects who have either produced photographs or used them consistently. A wide range of themes is considered in the photographs analyzed, dealing with the works
designed by influential architects, or the buildings and landscapes that inspired them, from industrial infrastructure to vernacular abodes.

ARC 577 Topics in Contemporary Architectural Theory: Building the Postmodern (Fall 2015)
Sylvia Lavin
Creative Space is a double agent. On the one hand, it constitutes a new corporate vernacular that uses stock architectural motifs for commercial gain and operates precisely counter to the typical concerns of advanced architectural thought. On the other hand, Creative Space realizes the concept of `art into life' and vindicates the strain in modernist thought that maintained architectural space could positively transform the subjects it contained. This seminar investigates the emergence of contemporary Creative Space by focusing on the history of spaces of production, theories of creativity and the relation of tools and their users

ARC 588 Dynamical Logics in Architecture (Spring 2016)
Jesse Reiser

This course is designed as a workshop in architecture derived from material logics. Students will engage in a series of intensive design projects organized around exploring the new implications of the relationship of the part to the whole, force integration, analoguemodeling, mass customization, the generic, etc. Ultimately, each project will work through the architectural performance of the complex interplay between material organization, program and form. The primary emphasis of the course will be the development of individual design/research projects, supplemented by background readings.

ARC 596 Topics in Architecture and Information
Axel Kilian

Geometry has dominated design representation and computational models for years. Many of the challenges related to the need to reduce the use of resources require novel models for computational design, reaching beyond geometry only. Scientific data visualization has progressed using computation for capturing complex phenomena in visual form. Architecture faces almost the reverse problem in shaping complex process through design. This advanced seminar will challenge the participants to develop novel design models in a computational design context.

LAS 505 Conflict Shorelines I/Amazonia: A Botanical Archaeology of Genocide (Fall 2015)
Eduardo Cadava & Staff
(Crosslisted with ENG 506, ARC 540, HUM 505 & URB 505)
This course explores the relations among colonial history, contemporary conflicts, and climate change by examining the political, legal, epistemic, and aesthetic challenges this kind of violence initiates. Reading colonial and urban histories against meteorological and climate data, we use environmental modes of detection and imaging in order to reveal tropical forests to be archaeological resources in which patterns of human intervention and violence can be read. The Amazon is not only an ecological threshold, but also a political one, and it continues to bear the traces of the deadliest land conflicts in Brazil.

*This course is supported by the Princeton-Mellon Initiaitive in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities.


Department of Art and Archaeology courses can be found online at Courses from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering can be found at