For more information, view the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.
- REQUIRED UNDERGRADUATE COURSES
- REQUIRED GRADUATE COURSES
- ELECTIVES AND SEMINARS
Arch 11A – Introduction to Visual Representation and Drawing [David Orkand]
Introductory studio course: theories of representation and the use of several visual means, including freehand drawing and digital media, to analyze and convey ideas regarding the environment. Topics include contour, scale, perspective, color, tone, texture, and design
Arch 100A – Fundamentals of Architectural Design [Various Instructors]
Introductory courses in the design of buildings. Problems emphasize conceptual strategies of form and space, site relationships and social, technological and environmental determinants. 100A focuses on the conceptual design process
Arch 100C – Architectural Design III [Various Instructors]
This is a studio course in architectural design. Students work on individual and group design projects that build on topics from Architecture 100B with additional integration of conditions pertinent to architectural production that may include architectural precedents, context, landscape and urban issues, envelope, performance, structure, and tectonics in the design of buildings.
Arch 102A- Capstone Project Preparation Seminar [Catherine Covey]
This course is a course in architectural research methods with an emphasis on collaborative work. Students will work on individual facets of a collective topic of critical importance to the contemporary discipline of architecture within areas of faculty expertise. These include: architectural history and theory, structures, materials and methods of construction, building performance, energy and environment, and social factors and human behavior in architecture and the environment. The goal of Capstone Preparation is to develop a coherent research proposal that will be used as a topic for the Capstone Project course taken the following semester.
Arch 112- The Social Life of Buildings
How do buildings form and inform the ways in which we live — as individuals and as part of different communities? This course explores the multiple ways in which people and buildings interact. Our cultural and economic practices shape the form of our environment which in turn shapes social constructions of gender, race and class. At the same time, as individuals, we are always making choices about how we use our spaces. Intended as a gateway to advanced architectural humanities classes, the course is organized around three themes that highlight ways of thinking about individual actions, social constructions of gender, race and class, and cultural associations of the built environment.
Arch 130 – Introduction to Architectural Design Theory and Criticism [Greig Crysler]
This class introduces students to the history and practice of design theory from the late 19th century to the present, with emphasis on developments of the last four decades. Readings and lectures explore specific constellations of theory and practice in relation to changing social and historical conditions. The course follows the rise of modernist design thinking, with particular emphasis on the growing influence of technical rationality across multiple fields in the post World War II period. Systematic approaches based in cybernetics and operations research (among others) are examined in the context of wider attempts to develop a science of design. Challenges to modernist design thinking, through advocacy planning and community-based design, the influence of social movements and countercultures, and parallel developments in postmodernism within and beyond architecture, provide the critical background for consideration of recent approaches to design theory, including those informed by developments in digital media and technology, environmental and ecological concerns, questions surrounding the globalization of architectural production, and the development of new materials.
Arch 142 – Sustainability Colloquium [Gail Brager]
Presentations on a variety of topics related to sustainability, offering perspectives from leading practitioners: architectural designers, city planners, consultants, engineers, and researchers. Students can enroll for one unit (required attendance plus reading) or two units (with additional writing assignments.
Arch 150 – Introduction to Structures [Andrew Rastetter]
Study of forces, materials, and structural significance in the design of buildings. Emphasis on understanding the structural behavior of real building systems.
Arch 170A – An Historical Survey of Architecture and Urbanism [Andrew Shanken]
The first part of this sequence studies the ancient and medieval periods; the second part studies the period since 1400; the aim is to look at architecture and urbanism in their social and historical context.
*For MArch students only*
Arch 200A – Introduction to Architecture Studio I [Various Instructors]
Introductory course in architectural design and theories for graduate students. Problems emphasize the major format, spatial, material, tectonic, social, technological, and environmental determinants of building form. Studio work is supplemented by lectures, discussions, readings, and field trips.
Arch 200C – Representational Practice in Architectural Design I [Matthew Kendall]
This course will address three distinct levels of representational practice in architectural design: 1) cultivate an understanding of the foundational discourse and diversity of approaches to architectural representation; 2) develop a fluency in the canonical methods found in architectural practice; 3) encourage the development of a personal relationship to forms of modeling and formats of drawing.
Arch 201 – Architecture & Urbanism Design Studio [Various Instructors]
The design of buildings or communities of advanced complexity. Each section deals with a specific topic such as housing, public and institutional buildings, and local or international community development. Studio work is supplemented by lectures, discussions, readings, and field trips.
Arch 203 – Integrated Design Studio [Various Instructors]
The Integrated Design Studio is the penultimate studio where students incorporate their accumulated knowledge into architectural solutions. The students demonstrate the integrative thinking that shapes complex architectural design and technical solutions. Students will possess an understanding to classify, compare, summarize, explain and/or interpret information. The students will also become proficient in using specific information to accomplish a task, correctly selecting the appropriate information and accurately applying it to the solution of a specific problem while also distinguishing the effects of its implementation.
Arch 204A – Thesis Seminar [Various Instructors]
Focused design research as the capstone project for graduate students.
Arch 205A – Studio One [Ron Rael]
The first semester of a one-year, post-professional design studio intended for those students who have a professional architecture degree and wish to explore current design issues in a stimulating, rigorous, and highly experimental studio setting.
Arch 207A – Architecture Lectures Colloquium [Georgios Eftaxiopoulos]
This course accompanies the required introductory design studio in the three-year option of the Master of Architecture program. It is the first in a series of three one-unit colloquia, scheduled consecutively for the first three semesters of the program. Students will attend all Wednesday evening lectures of the College of Environmental Design lecture series. Every third week, they will meet with the instructor for a one-hour discussion.
Arch 207B – Architecture Research Colloquium [Maria Alvarez Garcia]
This course accompanies the second year of the required architecture and urbanism design studio in the three-year option of the Master of Architecture program. It is the second in a series of three one-unit colloquia, scheduled consecutively in the fall for the first three years of the program. For a one-hour session each week, faculty in the department of architecture, other departments of the College of Environmental Design, and global guest speakers will present lectures on their research and design practices in urbanism.
Arch 207C – Professional Practice Colloquium [Dan Spiegel]
This course accompanies the required comprehensive design studio in the three-year option of the Master of Architecture program. It is the third in a series of three one-unit colloquia, scheduled consecutively for the first three semesters of the program.
Arch 242 – Sustainability Colloquium [Gail Brager]
Presentations on a variety of topics related to sustainability, offering perspectives from leading practitioners: architectural designers, city planners, consultants, engineers, and researchers. Students can enroll for one unit (required attendance plus reading) or two units (with additional assignments.
Arch 260 – Introduction to Construction, Graduate Level
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 270 – History of Modern Architecture [Greg Castillo]
This course examines developments in design, theory, graphic representation, construction technology, and interior programming through case studies of individual buildings. Each lecture will delve deeply into one or sometimes two buildings to examine program, spatial organization, critical building details, and the relationship of the case study building with regard to other parallel works and the architect’s overall body of work.
This list contains both graduate and undergraduate courses. Varying courses are cross-listed at the graduate level with a limited number of undergraduate seats available.
Arch 98BC & 198BC – Berkeley Connect [Margaret Crawford]
Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program, offered through various academic departments, that helps students build intellectual community. Over the course of a semester, enrolled students participate in regular small-group discussions facilitated by a graduate student mentor (following a faculty-directed curriculum), meet with their graduate student mentor for one-on-one academic advising, attend lectures and panel discussions featuring department faculty and alumni, and go on field trips to campus resources. Students are not required to be declared majors in order to participate.
Arch 139/239 – Architecture and Nationalism: Museums, Memorials and Citizenship [Greig Crysler]
This is a cross-listed course with limited undergraduate seats available.
Arch 142/242 – Sustainability Colloquium [Gail Brager]
Presentations on a variety of topics related to sustainability, offering perspectives from leading practitioners: architectural designers, city planners, consultants, engineers, and researchers. Students can enroll for one unit (required attendance plus reading) or two units (with additional assignments).
Arch 149/249 – Collective Comfort I: A Public Program for Heat Resilience [Liz Gálvez]
This is a cross-listed course with limited undergraduate seats available.
American desert cities designed and built at the turn of the century, in collaboration with the advent of air-conditioning technologies, have been able to house millions of Americans by relying primarily on fossil-fuels to supply relief from extreme hot weather. The increased probability of a longer-lasting heat-wave, combined with the over demand of electrical power supply during extreme weather events can be catastrophic, especially to the most vulnerable communities. To address equitable-cooling in relationship with an over-reliance on private mechanical, electrically powered air-conditioning technologies, the Collective Comfort course sequence aims to develop a public program that re-thinks the cooling center as an educational climate resilience hub.
During the Fall semester, seminar students will collectively develop design principles and strategies that can inform the cooling center as a heat resilience and climate education hub. This year-long interdisciplinary endeavor proposes a research seminar in the fall followed by an advanced collaborative architecture studio in the spring. The sequence brings interdisciplinary partners from resiliency planning, engineering, and community stakeholders into collaboration with architecture students. The work from the seminar and studio will be showcased in a forthcoming exhibition and is partially funded by the SOM Foundation’s 2023 Faculty Research Prize.
Arch 177/277 – California Architecture [Margaret Crawford]
Many California architects came from other places: Maybeck from New York via the Ecole des Beaux Arts; Schindler and Neutra from Vienna; Frank Gehry from Chicago. But, once they arrived, their encounters with the Golden State produced new and original forms of architecture. This seminar will examine the qualities of the state’s environment, culture, economy, and population that have produced unique buildings and landscapes during the 20th century. It will look at both Northern and Southern California architecture, starting with canonical designers then moving beyond them to consider lesser-known regional architects whose work embodies local characteristics.
Arch 229 – Special Topics in Design and Methods [Raveevarn Choksombatchai]
Designed and structured as an experimental drawing workshop, the course will explore techniques and methods of analyzing and investigating contemporary urban forms. Emphasizing close observations into particularities and latent potentials of specific urban issues or environments, these drawings strive to reveal not only the tangible but also shed light to the intangibles, render the invisible visible. These drawings augmented and altered realities; they straddle between real and fiction. They are allegorical and abstract on one hand, yet act as a practical re-investigation of the contemporary urban paradigm on the other. Each week, we will read a short excerpt of writings about city & urban theory that will situate us in a specific conceptual framework. Each reading will help guide our observations, reveal hidden traces and posit new insights into the complex makeup of a postmodern metropolis. This is a part of course in drawing series exploring the power of drawings as much an envisioning tool and as a critique.
Arch 229 – Special Topics in Design and Methods [Sierra Bainbridge]
Designing for Sustainable Futures: Exploring Tipping Points and Planetary Boundaries
In the latter half of the 20th century, functional economies unquestioningly equated continuous growth with robust economic health. However, numerous scenarios have revealed that unchecked, exponential growth can strain and disrupt organisms, networks, and systems. Around the mid-20th century, it became increasingly evident that human behaviors — such as population growth, consumption patterns, development practices, and resource utilization — were propelling us toward a tipping point, a critical threshold at which exponential growth surpasses our planet’s capacity to sustain prevailing systems. Enter the concept of “planetary boundaries,” which underscores the notion that sustainable development can only thrive within essential natural limits grounded in biophysical realities. These two pivotal concepts — tipping points and planetary boundaries — now stand as fundamental frameworks for decision-making that respects ecological constraints. These concepts can serve as guides for intentional design of a future that ensures survival through respect of the planet’s ecological bounds. This future must be designed across scales and with profound interdisciplinary collaboration.
Arch 246 – Building Energy Simulations [Stefano Schiavon]
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.
Arch 252 – Form and Structure [Simon Schleicher]
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.
Arch 279 – Architectural Pilgrimage [Greg Castillo]
How have architects over the past three centuries used travel as a tool for investigation and inspiration? What research methods have they used and to what effect? How have design nomads approached the cultural difference and interacted with otherness? What can be learned from the texts, images, and objects that they assembled as documents of their Bildungsreise (the German term for a journey of enlightenment and self-discovery)?
Architectural Pilgrimage explores modes of seeing and absorbing built landscapes through the eyes of an investigative wanderer. Each class session pairs an historical case study of architectural pilgrimage with an examination of a related research method: examples include drawing; photography; collection, curation, and exhibition of travel artifacts; walking as an observational tool; various forms of mapping; and modes of documentation ranging from writing to audio and video recording. The final course project asks participants to devise a polished travel proposal consisting of a compelling statement of purpose and its logical itinerary like those required of applicants to the Architecture Department’s Branner, Stump, and Beckerman travel fellowships.