Architecture

Courses

  • Fall 2016

    ADVANCED STUDIO

    These studios, three of which are required for graduation, are offered by individual instructors to students who have successfully completed the core curriculum. They are assigned by lottery on the first day of classes. Once assigned to an advanced studio, a student may not drop studio.
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture department, course not available via web registration
    Fee: Some advanced studio sections have a fee for course supplies or field trips. The fee is announced during the registration lottery held in the Department.

    ADVANCED TOPIC IN ARCHITECTURAL DRAWING

    This 3 credit advanced seminar offers students the opportunity to focus on drawing topics pertaining to architecture. Drawing is treated as a space for architectural research and/or as an autonomous work of architecture. The notion that drawing serves architecture merely as representation is questioned and critiqued. The theoretical and technical focus on the process of drawing will cultivate and address issues that have for hundreds of years served as the core of the architecture discipline. Simultaneously, the research may allow for the generation or assimilation of ideas, cultures and knowledge from other fields into architecture.
    Major elective
    Open to juniors and above

    ADVANCED TOPICS IN ARCHITECTURAL TECHNOLOGY

    This 3 credit advanced seminar offers students the opportunity to focus on advanced applications of technology in architecture. Students will explore the relationship between design and technology within topics such as advanced energy modeling, advanced structural analysis, high performance structures, high performance building facades, and sustainable design. These seminars are designed to strengthen students' ability to conduct research, explore material performance and enable validation of design concepts based on applied technology.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $30.00 - $50.00
    Open to Architecture seniors, graduate students. Permission of instructor required.

    ADVANCED TOPICS IN ARCHITECTURAL THEORY

    Theory offerings in the architecture department are deliberately consistent or complementary with our pedagogy, born and raised in an arts college. Theory based courses have a basis in empiricism, direct observation and experience of creative processes. Recognizing that discovery and invention often come between existing matrices of thought, offerings may be from disciplines other than architecture or branches of knowledge other than art and design.
    Objectives of the theory component of our curriculum are to:
    1. Expand the capacity to speculate productively.
    2. Develop the skeptic's eye and mind.
    3. Equip the ability to recognize connections that trigger discovery and invention.
    There is an optional field trip planned to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during spring break, for an additional cost of approximately $2200. Although it is highly recommended, students' inability to travel will not limit their potential to fully participate in the course. Field trip to be confirmed.
    Major elective
    Open to junior and above

    ADVANCED TOPICS IN ARCHITECTURE DESIGN AND COMPUTATION

    This 3 credit advanced seminar offers students the opportunity to focus on computational topics pertaining to architecture. Computational techniques and computational ideas are explored through making, writing, reading, and discussion. Some of the work in this course will take place in the space of the digital model, but coding, physical computation, and human computation may also enter into play. Students in this course will, under the mentorship of faculty, develop a level of expertise and knowledge that goes beyond what is usually associated with the requisite skills for contemporary architectural practice. Conversely, it is expected that computation may provoke a challenge to even the most base conceptions of design and architecture. Each iteration of this course will identify and advance a single theme, concept or problem. Some issues that may arise during this course include authorship, modeling vs simulation, computer controlled fabrication, intelligence, and creativity. Prerequisite: completion of Architectural Projection or permission of instructor with a demonstrated experience with 2-D and 3-D software.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $30.00
    Major elective
    Open to juniors and above

    ARCHITECTURAL PROJECTION

    This course introduces the beginning student to the origins, media, geometries and role(s) of projection drawing in the design and construction process. The student will learn systems of projection drawing from direct experience, and be challenged to work both from life and to life. Subjects such as transparency, figure/ground, sciagraphy, oblique projection, surface development, volumetric intersections, spatial manipulation and analytic operations will build on the basics of orthographic and conic projection. The course involves line and tone drawing, hand drafting, computer drawing(Autocad) and computer modeling(Rhino).
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture department, course not available via web registration

    ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN I

    The study of basic concepts of Human Environmental Comforts. Inherent within 'physio-environ' considerations are principles of temperature, humidity, heat transfer, air movement, and hydrostatics. These principles will be studied in terms of their abstract physics and mathematics, through empirical benchmarking and as the basis for a design proposal that includes considerations of larger scale strategies as well as assemblies. Emphasis will be placed on the principles behind the technology, the behavioral characteristics and the qualities of the systems' operation considered in making building design decisions.
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture department.
    Course not available via web registration.

    INTEGRATED BUILDING SYSTEMS

    Conceived as the culmination of the technologies sequence of courses, this course allows students to choose amongst the three instructor's differing approaches to the problem of conceiving technology holistically, in relation to a set of architectural criteria. The conceptual and technical aspects of building systems are considered and emergent environmentally-conscious technologies are emphasized for research and application.
    Prerequisites: All required technologies courses
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture department.
    Course not available via web registration.

    INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTATION

    This course introduces computational techniques, methods, and ideas in the context of art and design. Studio projects first focus on the design of algorithms then shift to involve computer programming and scripting. Critical attention will be given to code as a body of crafted text, as well as the tension, conflict, and potential possible when computation generates, informs or interacts with drawings, materials, forms, and spaces. Canonical computational works of art and design and will be presented and assigned for analysis. This course is open to students of all majors and is designed for those with little or no computation experience. A laptop is required.
    Estimated material coas: $250.00
    Also offered as ARCH-1571 for ARCH majors
    Course fulfills 1 of 2 core studio requirements for CTC Concentration

    STEEL STRUCTURES

    This course reviews the role of metals in architecture, focusing on the fundamentals of steel analysis and design in architecture; and examines typical framing techniques and systems. Topics include construction issues, floor framing systems, column analysis and design, steel detailing and light gauge steel framing materials and systems. In addition the course introduces students to lateral force resistance systems in steel construction and exposes them to alternatives to steel such as aluminum and fiberglass. By the and of the course, students will be aware of the role of metals in architectural design and construction; design and detail simple steel structural systems; and proportion these systems to resist the moment and shear demands determined through structural analysis.
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture department, course not available via web registration

    STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS

    The basic content will be statics and strength of materials. The first portion will deal with force vectors, trusses, cross-sectional properties, and shear/moment diagrams, followed by stresses, strains, material applications and the analysis procedures necessary to compute structural behaviors. While the class format is mostly lecture, there will be ample time for discussion, in addition to group projects and field trips. This class is foundational to all future structural design classes such as Wood Structures and Steel Structures. The student will develop an intuitive understanding of structural behavior by studying various structural systems qualitatively under various loading conditions. The analysis of statically determinate trusses and frames will reinforce the intuitive understanding. Structural forces will be understood by tracing the loads (dead, live, wind, and seismic) through a building. They will be able to convert these loads into internal material stresses (axial, shear bending) for the purposes of proportioning members quantitatively. The relevant material sectional properties (such as moment of inertia and radius of gyration) will be learned through hands on bending and buckling experiments and later backed by quantitative analysis. A math test will be given prior to the first class to determine which students are required to attend a supplemental lecture class instructed by the teaching assistant. This course is a pre-requisite for Steel Structures, Wood Structures, and Concrete Structures.
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture Department; Course not available via web registration.

    THE MAKING OF DESIGN PRINCIPLES

    This course, the first in a two semester sequence, explores design principles specific to architecture. Two interrelated aspects of design are pursued: 1) the elements of composition and their formal, spatial, and tectonic manipulation and 2) meanings conveyed by formal choices and transformations.
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture department; Course not available via web registration

    THESIS SEM: NAVIGATING THE CREATIVE PROCESS

    We begin work on your Degree Projects from the outset of the semester: navigating arbitrary beginnings; setting boundaries like nets; developing a whole language of grunts, smudges and haiku; gathering the unique and unrepeatable content, forces, and conditions of your project; hunting an emerging and fleeting idea; recognizing discoveries; projecting forward with the imagination; and distilling glyphs, diagrams and insight plans.
    This course satisfies the prerequisite requirement for Degree Project.

    URBAN DESIGN PRINCIPLES

    The Urban Design Principles core studio introduces students to the city as a designed environment, giving them the tools to work through impressions, analysis and design operations as ways to understand "man's greatest work of art". Students confront the design of housing as a way to order social relationships and shape the public realm and attack the problems of structure, construction, access and code compliance in the context of a complex large-scale architectural design.
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture department.
    Course not available via web registration.

    Wintersession 2017

    *ITALY: WS TRAVEL ROME FROM PANTHEON TO MAAM: A SOCIO-HISTORICAL EXPLORATION OF LIGHT AND URBANITY

    Using the creative cultures of Germany, Netherlands and Belgium, students will use the experience of footwear design as a way to more deeply understand and expand their own personal design process. This course will inform through the practice of creative introspections inspired by Da Vinci's methods as well as from Northern European history design practice and cultural aesthetic.

    There will be a series studio and factory visits within a variety of design fields supported by museum and gallery visits. Students will also use their sketchbooks as visual and reflective journals to practice insightful daily exercises to advance their design process and footwear designs. During the visit to Northern Europe we will have three presentations to share cultural explorations, process development and the progress of shoe designs. The final shoe design will represent the influence of these explorations and the manifestation of an expanded design methodology.

    All students are required to remain in good academic standing in order to participate in the WS travel course/studio. Failure to remain in good academic standing can lead to removal from the course, either before or during the course. Also in cases where WS travel courses and studios do not reach student capacity, the course may be cancelled after the last day of Wintersession travel course registration. As such, all students are advised not to purchase flights for participation in Wintersession travel courses until the course is confirmed to run, which happens within the week after the final Wintersession travel course registration period.

    Registration begins in October at a time to be announced.
    Permission of instructor required.
    Open to first year students with approval from the Dean of Experimental and Foundation Studies.
    Estimated Travel cost: $3,445.00.
    ***Off-Campus Study***

    *JAPAN: CONTEMPORARY WORKS AND THEIR EXECUTION: KYOTO AND NAOSHIMA

    Temples and shrines, tranquil gardens, traditional crafts and music - these are all things that should not be missed when visiting the city of Kyoto and the island of Naoshima in Japan. Yet, both locations are also places of new things and ideas giving rise to laboratories of innovation in the arts.

    In recent years, there has been a movement to renovate and preserve the historical "machiya" townhouses (the traditional Kyoto merchant houses) and convert them to other uses and programs. These transformations have added a new face to the city landscape. Likewise, the island of Naoshima has promoted the work of emerging architects and artists without losing sight of the strong connection with traditional elements of Japanese culture.

    Observations made in Kyoto and Naoshima become catalysts towards the formation of two proposals for the Setouchi Triennale, one of Japan's largest international art festivals where selected projects are constructed for the duration of at least three years.

    The course is open to architecture students, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels interested in working on these proposals. The core studio sequence needs to be completed as a prerequisite for enrollment. The idea is to open a dialogue with Aichi University of the Arts since this institution has participated in the design and execution of a permanent project within a converted traditional house in one of the art island of the Seto Inland Sea. The course would take place in Japan during the five weeks of wintersession. Three weeks would take place in Kyoto and surroundings, and two weeks on the island of Naoshima. From Naoshima other "art islands" would be visited.

    All students are required to remain in good academic standing in order to participate in the WS travel course/studio. Failure to remain in good academic standing can lead to removal from the course, either before or during the course. Also in cases where WS travel courses and studios do not reach student capacity, the course may be cancelled after the last day of Wintersession travel course registration. As such, all students are advised not to purchase flights for participation in Wintersession travel courses until the course is confirmed to run, which happens within the week after the final Wintersession travel course registration period.

    Registration begins in October at a time to be announced.
    Permission of instructor required; Open to first year students.
    Estimated Travel Cost: $2,881.00 - airfare not included.
    ***Off-Campus Study***

    ADVANCED TOPICS IN ARCHITECTURAL THEORY

    Theory offerings in the architecture department are deliberately consistent or complementary with our pedagogy, born and raised in an arts college. Theory based courses have a basis in empiricism, direct observation and experience of creative processes. Recognizing that discovery and invention often come between existing matrices of thought, offerings may be from disciplines other than architecture or branches of knowledge other than art and design.
    Objectives of the theory component of our curriculum are to:
    1. Expand the capacity to speculate productively.
    2. Develop the skeptic's eye and mind.
    3. Equip the ability to recognize connections that trigger discovery and invention.
    There is an optional field trip planned to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during spring break, for an additional cost of approximately $2200. Although it is highly recommended, students' inability to travel will not limit their potential to fully participate in the course. Field trip to be confirmed.
    Major elective
    Open to junior and above

    ASH MOUNTAINS

    This research seminar focuses on volcanoes as a medium to examine crossroads between architecture, landscape and geology. An increase in defensive urbanism from sea walls to riverine containment boundaries has accompanied the advance of climate adaption strategies in recent years. While visions of protective design promote the idea of keeping things out, volcanic phenomena, recalibrates our understanding that we in fact live above, amidst, and below moving matter in intermittent shift. Aimed at provoking new ways of associating design within and not against environmental change, the course will experiment with alternative relations between deep time and everyday life.

    Students are invited to survey and inquire a volcanic scale of interest. Scales can range across time and space, from the volcanic slopes of Pinatubo, Philippines to Mauna Loa, Hawaii, all the way to the volcanic materiality of the Pantheon in Rome or Luis Barragan's urban development atop the lava fields of Mexico City. Through a series of workshops, discussions and tasks, students will combine and produce mixed media narratives to propose projective scenarios for inhabiting active grounds.

    The research methodology will be divided into two parts: Substrate and Imagination. The first part consists of detailing what a substrate is and can be, as an expansion of site in a specific geographical, geomorphological, and cultural context. As the Substrate has been defined, student's will proceeded to propose alternative futures. Rigorous speculation and a critical stake on colonial modes of representation will inform the process behind these projective environments.

    Computer skills such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are mandatory. Basic instruction in GIS will be provided.
    Estimated Material Cost: $100-$250

    PROFESSIONAL INTERNSHIP

    An eight week Professional Internship is required of all B.Arch and M.Arch candidates. The curriculum outline notes that the Internship occurs during the summer following the 3rd year of the B.Arch program and following the 1st year of the M.Arch and Advanced Transfer program. However, the Internship may be taken during any summer with Department approval. Waivers are available for students with prior professional experience matching the Department's requirements.
    To register, go to www.risdcareers.com (ArtWorks)
    Course not available via web registration.

    THESIS RESEARCH

    Serious research and a specific preparation begins in this course, forming the theoretical basis for the creative development of the Degree Project (Spring, 6 credits). This is a period in which the nature of the work is clarified, a process is developed, possibilities are examined, and research and information gathering completed. The research from this course acts as an armature, establishing the attitude, objectives, and significance of the thesis as an exploration of architectural ideas, and forming the underpinnings for the work of the coming semester. The result of this effort, begun in the fall with DP prep and completed in the spring, is gathered together and reflected in the DP Book as part of the requirements for completion of Degree Project. The work is reviewed at the end of Wintersession; satisfactory completion of this course is a prerequisite for the Degree Project in the Spring semester.
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture department; course not available via web registration
    Schedule to be determined with Advisor
    Permission of instructor required

    Spring 2017

    ADVANCED STUDIO

    These studios, three of which are required for graduation, are offered by individual instructors to students who have successfully completed the core curriculum. They are assigned by lottery on the first day of classes. Once assigned to an advanced studio, a student may not drop studio.
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture department, course not available via web registration
    Fee: Some advanced studio sections have a fee for course supplies or field trips. The fee is announced during the registration lottery held in the Department.

    ADVANCED TOPICS IN ARCHITECTURAL COMPUTATION

    This seminar addresses ideas, theories, and practices relating to computation in architecture and design. The course begins with the roots of computation long before the "personal computer" was conceived. The emphasis then shifts toward the present and a study of the canonical written contributions by design computation theorists and researchers (Knight, McCullough, Mitchell, Negroponte, Stiny, and others) as well related architectural, artistic, philosophical, and epistemological positions (Dewey, Evans, Klee, Lynn, Petherbridge, Schon, and others). In addition to reading and writing, the course is peppered with computational instruction so that students can confront and explore computation as makers as well as theorists. The seminar oscillates between reading/writing one week, then projecting the following week. Reading/writing weeks task students with a close reading of two texts and the composition of a written, critical, and analytic response. Project weeks follow, and call upon students to conceive, execute, and document a related experiment, prototype, or work of art.
    Open to Junior and above
    Major elective,open to non-majors and Brown students by permission

    ADVANCED TOPICS IN ARCHITECTURAL TECHNOLOGY

    This 3 credit advanced seminar offers students the opportunity to focus on advanced applications of technology in architecture. Students will explore the relationship between design and technology within topics such as advanced energy modeling, advanced structural analysis, high performance structures, high performance building facades, and sustainable design. These seminars are designed to strengthen students' ability to conduct research, explore material performance and enable validation of design concepts based on applied technology.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $30.00 - $50.00
    Open to Architecture seniors, graduate students. Permission of instructor required.

    ADVANCED TOPICS IN ARCHITECTURAL THEORY

    Theory offerings in the architecture department are deliberately consistent or complementary with our pedagogy, born and raised in an arts college. Theory based courses have a basis in empiricism, direct observation and experience of creative processes. Recognizing that discovery and invention often come between existing matrices of thought, offerings may be from disciplines other than architecture or branches of knowledge other than art and design.
    Objectives of the theory component of our curriculum are to:
    1. Expand the capacity to speculate productively.
    2. Develop the skeptic's eye and mind.
    3. Equip the ability to recognize connections that trigger discovery and invention.
    There is an optional field trip planned to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during spring break, for an additional cost of approximately $2200. Although it is highly recommended, students' inability to travel will not limit their potential to fully participate in the course. Field trip to be confirmed.
    Major elective
    Open to junior and above

    ARCHITECTURAL ANALYSIS

    This course will develop one's ability to critically read and understand architecture through formal, geometric, tectonic and spatial analytic processes. Analysis acts as an intermediary between observation, expression, and understanding, offering deep insights into works of architecture. The course builds upon the processes introduced in Architectural Projection. Through various conceptual and representational frameworks, the issues of mapping-layers. Point of view, scale, morphology, topography and tectonics will be explored as part of a larger creative process, embracing visual imagination, communication and critique.

    Estimated Material Cost: $50.00
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture department, course not available via web registration

    ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

    Design principles presented in the first semester are further developed through a series of projects involving actual sites with their concomitant physical and historic-cultural conditions. Issues of context, methodology, program and construction are explored for their possible interrelated meanings and influences on the making of architectural form.
    Estimated Cost of Materials: $55.00
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture department.
    Course not available via web registration.

    CONCRETE STRUCTURES

    This course reviews the fundamentals of concrete and masonry in architecture with a focus on materials, structural analysis and design. The analysis and design includes concrete structures, reinforced and pre-stressed concrete members, concrete foundations and reinforced masonry. The student will proportion concrete and masonry structures using ultimate strength design. The longer class time on Tuesday allows students to design, make a concrete mix and create a concrete object. By the end of the course, the students will be able to design and detail simple concrete and masonry systems such as footings, basement walls, beams and slabs; proportion these systems to resist the moment and shear demands determined through structural analysis; develop an understanding of proper detailing of architectural concrete and masonry veneers by understanding thermal movements, waterproofing, and construction techniques.
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture department.
    Course not available via web registration.

    ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN II

    This equally distributed three part course will continue with the principles from "Physics", the application of electric energy, lighting and sound to building environs. Building technology continues to demand a larger percentage of the building's budget and thus should receive a greater degree of time and understanding by the Architect. Topics and principles to be included are: electronic generation, distribution, and building systems; electronic and communication systems; lighting fundamentals, design and control; and enviro-acoustical fundamentals, sound transmission, amplification, and absorption principles.
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture department.
    Course not available via web registration.

    MODERN ARCHITECTURE

    The course will focus on the diverse new roles encountered by the architect in the 20th century: form maker, administrator of urban development, social theorist, cultural interpreter, ideologue. Emphasis will be placed upon the increasing interdependence of architecture and the city, and the recurrent conflicts between mind and hand, modernity and locality, expressionism and universality.
    Major requirementfor Architecture majors
    Art History credit for Architecture majors
    Liberal Arts elective credit for nonmajors on a space available basis.

    PRINCIPLES OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

    This is a course about becoming a licensed architect, a business professional and an active, engaged and responsible citizen. It is intended to help prepare students for the challenges and opportunities confronted by a life in Architecture. Lectures are organized around four themes: The architect as a trained and certified "Professional" in traditional and alternative careers; the architect as an operative in the world of business and commerce; the origins of architectural projects; and the detailed work performed through professional Architectural Contracts. Regular panels, composed of RISD alums and other allied professionals provide an external perspective on all elements of the course, and allow students the opportunity to direct discussion in ways appropriate to their needs.
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only.
    Registration by Architecture department.
    Course not available via web registration.

    THESIS PROJECT

    Under the supervision of a faculty advisor, students are responsible for the preparation and completion of an independent thesis project.
    Prerequisites: One of the degree project seminars. See footnotes on the curriculum sheet for a list of these classes or read the course descriptions in the "History and Theory" section which follows.
    Major requirement; ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture department, course not available via web registration
    Permission for this class is based on the student's overall academic record as well as their performance in Wintersession Degree Project Research. If the department recommends against a student undertaking the degree project, two advanced elective studios must be taken instead.

    WOOD STRUCTURES

    This course will review the fundamentals of wood in architecture with a focus on wood materials and construction systems and lumber and timber structural analysis and design. Work includes timber systems consisting of conventional framing trusses, laminates, built-up sections and connections. In addition, this course will review the principles of structural loads; gravity, lateral, live and dead. The concept of lateral resistance through standard wood framing systems will be explored. Manufactured lumber has become a major part of today's wood construction industry and the design and detailing of these materials will be explored in depth. By the end of the course, students will be aware of the role of wood materials in architectural design and construction and be able to design and detail simple Lumber and Timber structural systems. They will be able to proportion these systems to resist the moment and shear demands determined through structural analysis. This course will provide the student with a good understanding of the material and the common structural and architectural systems used in today's practice.
    Major Requirement: ARCH majors only.
    Registration by the Architecture Department.
    Course not available via web registration