Study Areas and Course Descriptions, 2017-2018
In course titles, a designates fall term, b designates spring term, and c designates summer. [Bracketed courses are not offered in 2017–2018.] The School reserves the right to change the prescribed course of study as necessary.
Design and Visualization
Sunil Bald and Mark Foster Gage, Study Area Coordinators
This study area encompasses required studios, elective advanced studios, and courses that concentrate on design logic and skills and that support design thinking and representation.
For the M.Arch. I program, required courses in this study area include a core sequence of four design studios, the first-year building project, two advanced studios, a course in formal analysis (1018a), and a four-stage sequence of courses that deal specifically with visualization methodologies. The core studio sequence progresses from spatially abstract exercises to more complex programs that require integrative thinking at various scales and situated on sites of increased complexity, while integrating ecological, landscape, and tectonic demands. In all four stages of the visualization sequence, hand, digital, 2-D, and 3-D methods are explored. The first course (1001c) of this visualization sequence is a summer course required for entering students who have not had significant prior architectural training.m The next three courses (1015a, 1016b, and 1017c)—in the fall, spring, and early summer of the first year—are required of all M.Arch. I students.
For the M.Arch. II program, required courses in this study area include a core design studio (1061a), three advanced studios, and a course in computation analysis and fabrication (1062a).
Technology and Practice
Martin Finio and Kyoung Sun Moon, Study Area Coordinators
This study area explores fundamental theories and methods of building technologies and the relationships among these technologies, architectural design, and the larger natural environment. Courses examine materials, construction, structural systems, and the environmental technologies that provide healthy, productive, sustainable, and comfortable environments. This area also covers professional practice and examines the relationship between methods of construction, procurement, and management. Advanced courses investigate specific technical systems in greater detail, survey emerging methods and technologies, and explore the relationship between building technologies and architectural design in current practice and writings.
For the M.Arch. I program, requirements in this study area include six courses that survey common technical systems used in buildings and integrate the consideration of these technical systems into architectural design through a series of projects of increasing complexity. In addition, there is a required course on architectural practice.
History and Theory
Keller Easterling and Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen, Study Area Coordinators
This study area explores the relationship between design, history, and theory through a broad range of courses in which the analysis of buildings, cities, landscapes, and texts supports the articulation and criticism of fundamental concepts, methods, and issues. Historical and contemporary projects and writings are studied in context and as part of the theoretical discourse of architecture.
For entering M.Arch. I students who have not had significant prior architectural training, the pre-first-year visualization course (1001c) includes a broad survey of Western architectural history to the nineteenth century. For all M.Arch. I students, there is a first-year required survey course of nineteenth- and twentieth-century architectural history (3011a) followed in the second year by two required courses on architectural theory (3021a and 3022b).
In addition, M.Arch. I students must satisfactorily complete two elective courses from this study area that require at least a fifteen-page research paper. With the exception of courses in which a student elects to do a project in lieu of a research paper, or courses whose descriptions specifically indicate that they do not fulfill the History and Theory elective requirement, all elective courses in this study area fulfill this requirement. Provided a fifteen-page research paper is required, the elective courses 1239a, 4216a, 4222a, and 4223b also fulfill this History and Theory elective requirement, although those listed from the Urbanism and Landscape study area cannot be used to satisfy both the History and Theory and the Urbanism and Landscape elective requirements. Courses in other study areas as well as courses offered at the University outside of the School of Architecture that include a research paper and cover an architectural history and theory topic may fulfill the History and Theory elective requirement provided a student requests and receives permission from one of the History and Theory study area coordinators qualifying that course to fulfill the requirement. One of the two required History and Theory electives should be in a non-Western subject.
For the M.Arch. II program, there is a second-year required course dealing with issues of architecture and urbanism (3071a).
Urbanism and Landscape
Alan Plattus and Elihu Rubin, Study Area Coordinators
In this study area, a broad range of courses explore the aesthetic, economic, social, and political influences on the spatial form of urban places and the urban, suburban, and rural landscapes that form our design ecology.
For the M.Arch. I program, required courses in this study area include an introduction to urban design (4011b), an introduction to planning and development (4021a), and the satisfactory completion of one of the elective seminar courses from this study area. Note that the elective course 3237b will fulfill the Urbanism and Landscape elective requirement, although it cannot fulfill both the History and Theory and the Urbanism and Landscape elective requirements. Courses offered outside the School not listed below may fulfill this elective requirement provided permission from the study area coordinators has been granted.