Architecture

Courses

  • Fall 2015

    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 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.

    GALAPAGOS

    Inspired by the Galapagos Archipelago and the knowledge transformations brought about as a consequence of Darwin's five-week experience within their dense biodiversity, the seminar will emerge from the first principle of the theory of evolution: When individual agents are brought into proximity they interact, building new linkages, under the right circumstances these interactions create transformation, developing new forms. The proximity and interaction of a great diversity of agency is fundamental to the emergence of new forms; knowledge evolves, comprehension evolves, new forms emerge. Recognizing these diverse forms of agency as a diversity of 'ways of knowing' brought in to close proximity, we begin to understand a living system of knowledge transformation.
    The structure of the seminar is situated between the questions of artifice and theatricality within the urban condition and the collective embodied process of constructing dynamic actions and interactions within the City of Providence.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $30.00 - $50.00
    Open to juniors and above

    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.

    OUTSIDE THE GUIDELINES

    This interdisciplinary workshop is understood primarily as a protected time and space within the Architecture Department for an improvisational investigation of space. It will be taught from year to year by a faculty from a rotating team of architects, visual artists, dancers, scientists, etc. who have invested their life's work in the medium of space. Questions regarding spatial phenomena, scale, place etc., will be addressed through the language that the visiting faculty's work employs: it could be a material language for an artist,a tectonic language for an architect, a language of movement for a dancer, mathematical for a scientist, or musical for a musician. The presumption is that there is a unique learning experience when students are asking questions not of their teacher, but with them; and that the individual faculty's discipline and nature can influence the content and improvisational development of each iteration of this workshop.
    All participants are invited to challenge what they think they know, to expand their language of practice, to extend their understanding of space beyond the culture, practices and lens of their own disciplines,to inquire by doing and to engage the purpose that the visiting faculty brings.
    Please contact the Architecture Department to learn more about this year's iteration of this course including information on the visiting faculty who will be teaching it.
    This workshop course provides an opportunity for the exploration of spatial concepts through observation and experience of phenomena. Using the infrastructure and environment of Providence as a laboratory, we will investigate how the ordinary can be transformed into the extraordinary and how the invisible can be rendered visible. Memory, time, light, vibration and metaphor will be examined in relation to the experience of architecture, installation and event.

    Students' participation and individual interests will shape the direction of the workshop. The idea is to investigate and invent, pushing the parameters of what is known by applying new ideas and materials. An ongoing series of experimental drawings, constructions and installation projects will be reinforced by discussions and selected readings. The semester will be punctuated with multimedia presentations and site visits. Instruction will be individualized, with an emphasis on group critiques. Guest speakers will share their work and challenge the process. Visiting critics will participate in final reviews.

    The course begins with individual projects and will encourage collaboration. Site-specific, ephemeral installations will focus on magnifying a sense of place and present.

    Students will record the environmental stimuli that inform our experience of place and time; Identify conditions, influences, and social forces that influence our built environment; consider spectacle, surprise and wonder as artistic devices; question your own aesthetics and instincts; engage in the work of significant figures in contemporary architecture and art; and develop critical skills that support and encourage the learning process.

    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 2016

    MATERIAL POTENTIAL

    In this course we will research and discuss a variety of materials, their physical properties and their applications. Using furniture as our vehicle, we will explore how these materials might be utilized, beyond their original intent. We will also examine how the manipulation of these materials can create new ideas in furniture. In the first half of the course students will research, view, handle, and discuss a variety of materials. In the second half, students will model and construct, either a 1/4 scale model, or a full scale detail of a piece of furniture using a material selected from the research done in the first half of the course.

    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 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.

    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.

    CODING ARCHITECTURE

    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

    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.

    DEGREE 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.

    DIGITAL SENSE

    How can timeless human activities such as drawing and painting, relegated to the realm of the analogue, meaningfully engage 3D modeling platforms like Rhino/Grasshopper and contemporary output methods such as 3D printing? How can we learn to intuit in the realm of the virtual and what are the boundaries of this experience? This course will allow new ways of "seeing" and "feeling" and use a computational framework in the design process. Rather than take a conventional approach based on the technical aspects of a specific software program, students will be exposed to a rich diversity of potential work flows. The goal of this course is enhancing personal craft and technique through these digital tools while exploring new potential approaches to advanced technology. The explanation of textile structures and the architecture of cloth will serve as a starting point for ideas.

    Estimated Material Cost: TBD (base on Model Shop Fee Structure)
    Also offered as TEXT-4705. Register for course in which credit is desired.
    Open to Sophomore and Above.

    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.

    READING THE CITY

    Cities are complex artifacts shaped by powerful forces such as history, geography, culture, building and landscape. In turn, they become a stage for human drama, shaping the very life of people connected with them. This course understands cities as both physical and cultural constructions that can be subject to a variety of readings. Lectures, presentations, assignments and discussions will focus on individual cities--such as Havana, Vienna, Lisbon, Istanbul and Beijing--looking at their physical form and history, as well as some of their major cultural figures, materials, including maps, aerials, historic documents, fiction and non-fiction readings, theatre, film, visual arts, music, dance and food.
    Graduate elective
    ARCH majors must register by the Department of Architecture to satisfy the prerequisite for Degree Project ARCH 2175

    RETHINKING GREEN URBANISM

    As over half the world's population has come to live in cities, urbanization has moved to the center of the environmental debate. This course will provide an interdisciplinary engagement between Sociology and Architecture to reflect on the past, present and future of ecological urbanism. Co-taught by professors from Architecture and Liberal Arts, the seminar will interrogate the ways in which green urban design has been conceptualized to date. It will explore cutting edge contemporary debates around the future of the green urban project and ask students to think forward into the future.
    Also offered as HPSS S151. Register in the course for which credit is desired.
    Permission of Instructor Required
    Sophomore and above

    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