Note: 2X9 (“Special Topics”) is a number used for rotating topics prior to requesting permanent numbers from campus. While a couple examples are given here, others are offered.
Arch 227: Designing Virtual Places
This course introduces students to designing virtual environments. These may include, but not be limited to, full Virtual Reality applications using 6 degree-of-freedom head mounted displays, 2D-mode VR accessible from any computer, or Augmented Reality applications. Class topics may range from architecture design and simulation, landscape architecture, city planning, parametric design, user-centric experiences, UI/UX, narrative and storytelling on fields such as climate change and social justice, and game design. The course combines concepts from architecture, film studies, and video game design. It uses a game engine software and a modeling software to build, test, and deploy virtual worlds.
Energy, Environment & Sustainability
Arch 240: Advanced Study of Energy and Environment
Minimizing energy use is a cornerstone of designing and operating sustainable buildings, and attention to energy issues can often lead to greatly improved indoor environmental quality. For designers, using computer-based energy analysis tools are important not only to qualify for sustainability ratings and meet energy codes, but also to develop intuition about what makes buildings perform well. This course will present quantitative and qualitative methods for assessing energy performance during design of both residential and commercial buildings. Students will get hands-on experience with state-of-the-art software -- ranging from simple to complex -- to assess the performance of building components and whole-building designs.
Arch 241: Research Methods in Building Science
This class provides training in research skills and critical thinking in the field of Architecture, Building Science, Engineering with a focus on energy use, indoor environmental quality, and human well-being. Readings will cover both building science and technology theory and research methods, and classes will be organized around a series of individual and group homework. Topics will include literature review, design of experiments/simulations, physical measurements, post-occupancy evaluation, statistical analysis, data visualization, and spreading of scientific results.
Arch 242: Design for Sustainability Colloquium
Presentations on a variety of topics related to sustainability from leading practitioners in the field, representing architecture, urban planning, landscape design, engineering, consulting, construction, development, and research. Students can enroll for 1 unit (required attendance, reading, and a brief final group to prepare a poster or movie exploring critical questions related to design for sustainability) or two units (above requirements, plus additional short assignments throughout semester). Class can be repeated multiple times for credit.
Arch 243: Natural Cooling – Sustainable Design for a Warming Planet
Climate-responsive, person-centered design can reduce energy use, create experiential delight and connection to nature, and be more sustainable. This course covers design and operational strategies, low-and high-tech solutions, material choices, dynamic high-performance facades, natural ventilation, and a range of other integrated climate-control strategies most relevant to warm climates. Students will use interactive and experiential exercises, simulation tools, case studies, design exercises. Depending on the semester offered, students may also use the Building Science Wind Tunnel to test design solutions for natural ventilation.
Arch 244: Integrated Mechanical Design for Zero Energy Buildings
This course helps students develop practical knowledge about how to design integrated mechanical system for zero energy commercial buildings. By the end of the semester it is expected that students will understand how to integrate mechanical systems into the buildings, how to recognize and assess their components and functions, how to select the most efficient system for the given constraints. The class is divided in two parts. We will start from the analysis of successful energy efficient buildings to introduce the fundamentals of mechanical systems. The second part will use building visits, guest speakers and lectures to focus on how to design mechanical systems that reduce energy consumption and enhance human well-being.
Arch 245: Daylighting
Daylighting is a cornerstone of architecture design, a fundamental aspect of space making. The course focuses on design approaches to natural light, resorting to the study of precedents in modern and contemporary architecture, daylighting vocabularies and grammars, rules of thumb, field measurements, quantitative studies and computer simulations. Other topics include health and comfort, energy conservation, metrics and standards. Weekly sessions comprise both lectures and labs. Final projects are developed in groups and use both qualitative and quantitative methods to assess design solutions.
Arch 246: Building Energy Simulations
Energy saving in buildings is among the most cost-effective and environmentally sustainable measures to reduce greenhouse gasses emissions and energy consumption. 40% of the primary energy use and 75% of total U.S. electricity consumption is used in buildings. Computer-based energy analysis tools are important for architects, building designers, engineers, and sustainability consultants to use for evidence-based design, sustainability ratings, energy code compliance, building control and optimization, policy development, and assessment. The central objective of this course is for students to develop a fundamental and practical knowledge about building performance and energy simulations. By the end of the semester they will be able to specify, design, run, analyze, compare and assess building energy simulations.
Arch 249: Intro’ to Architectural Acoustics || Charles Salter
This course explores acoustics from the architect’s perspective, including how sound levels are described and measured, human response to sound, mechanical equipment noise and vibration control, office and environmental acoustics.
Arch 250: Intro’ to Structures
This class focuses on the fundamental principles that affect the structural behavior of buildings. Through digital and hands-on exercises, students will learn analytical techniques for measuring and evaluating the flow of forces through structural systems. Students will also learn to consider the structural behavior of buildings as a fundamental factor in the design of architectural proposals. The goal of the class is to gain a fundamental understanding of the forces, moments, and stresses in typical building elements such as columns, beams, frames and walls and to make better informed decisions when designing resource- and environmentally-friendly buildings with lightweight and material-efficient structural systems.
Arch 252: Form and Structure
The class investigates the interplay between geometry and structural behavior of different structural systems categorized with respect to their load-bearing mechanism. Special focus is placed on form-active and surface-active structures like cable nets, membranes, gridshells, and continuous shells. The class will begin by providing a holistic overview of ancient and cutting-edge form-finding approaches and analysis methods. Using playful physical experiments, students will gain a hands-on understanding of how different structural states can affect the shape of a structure and how this interrelation could be used creatively to drive the design process. Followed by a series of software tutorials and small assignments, students will deepen their knowledge by learning more about the latest numerical form-finding methods that use advanced digital modeling and scripting tools. In this context, an overview of the mathematical background is provided to enable class participants to understand and evaluate the applicability and limits of each method. The state-of-the-art form-finding methods are then put to use on practical examples where form and structural states are investigated and manipulated simultaneously.
Arch 258: Robotic Fabrication and Construction
The emergence of robotics in creative sectors such as architecture and design has sparked an entirely new movement of collective making that is inextricably open and future-oriented. Challenged by increasingly complex technological and environmental problems, architects, designers, and engineers are seeking novel practices of collaboration that go far beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries. This collective approach to working with robots is not only revolutionizing how things are designed and made, but is fundamentally transforming the culture, politics, and economics of the creative industries as a whole. The goal of this class is to investigate the unique possibilities of robotic manufacturing and combining it with emerging technologies such as AR/VR, 3D scanning, and data-driven 3D printing for the development of new and creative building processes.
Arch 260: intro’ to Construction
This course addresses the methods and materials of construction. While students will not be experts at the end of the semester, the course should give students the confidence to feel comfortable on a construction site or when designing a small building for a studio. The course will focus on four major territories: structural materials, building envelope, built elements such as stairs and cabinets, and costs, labor conditions, conventional practices, and the regulatory environments that control design.
Arch 262: Architecture in Detail
This seminar will reevaluate the material nature of buildings by studying and understanding construction details and the new technologies that are revolutionizing design construction and labor relations in architecture.
Arch 264: Off-Site Fabrication: Opportunities and Evils
This seminar looks at the implications of off-site fabrication in architecture: consistent, protected environments; worker efficiency and safety; coordination of trades; cheaper, semi-skilled labor; construction periods shortened; and completion dates more predictable. Off-site fabrication can allow for increased refinement and trial assemblies. However, it may also create monotonous sameness when the processes and results are not considered with care.