Fall 2022

  1. 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. Once assigned to an advanced studio, a student may not drop studio. Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00 - $200.00 Major requirement; Architecture 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.
  2. 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. Estimated Materials Cost: $20.00 - $100.00 Major elective Restricted to Architecture majors junior and above; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of Instructor.
  3. 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. Major elective Restricted to Architecture majors junior and above; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of Instructor. Also offered as IDISC-2352; Register in the course for which credit is desired.
  4. 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). Estimated Materials Cost: $20.00 - $100.00 Major requirement; Architecture majors only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  5. ARCH-2199 is the required summer internship. It may be completed in any summer prior to entering the final year. Total hours required are 280. This internship can count for NCARB Architectural Experience Program AX-P. The internship hours for ARCH-2199 can be used towards architecture licensure through the NCARB Internship. Student's intent upon becoming registered architects in the USA after graduation should enroll in the AXP as soon as possible. AXP is the internship program required by all registration jurisdictions. The work experience accomplished during ARCH-2199, the department's minimum Internship experience (280 hours) can be recorded as acceptable experience in the AXP (3740 hours) and thus accelerate one's pace towards architectural licensure. Website: http://www.ncarb.org/Experience-Through-Internship s.aspx To register, go to www.risdcareers.com (ArtWorks) Course not available via web registration.
  6. A Collaborative Study Project (CSP) allows two students to work collaboratively to complete a faculty supervised project of independent study. Usually, a CSP is supervised by two faculty members, but with approval it may be supervised by one faculty member. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses, though it is not a substitute for a course if that course is regularly offered.
  7. This seminar will utilize the content, topic, and conceit of measure as a pinhole through which to see the world of Directed Design Research. Directed Design Research is an alternative to Thesis, which lays out a specific territory of inquiry and encourages students to identify the topic and scope of their work, emanating from this specific point of departure. The seminar will lay out a series of methods, techniques, and exercises related to the exploration of measure, asking each student to then define a territory of inquiry within this delimited field. The deliverables for the Scope Seminar include a thoughtfully delimited and actionable statement of the intended design research, the documentation of a minimum of three methodologies or approaches to be utilized in the design research, and a well-wrought syllabus that includes: a weekly breakdown of tasks and deliverables, relevant references and precedents properly cited, and a concise text (3 pages maximum) describing the research activities to be undertaken. Major requirement; Architecture majors only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  8. 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; Architecture majors only Open to NCSS Concentrators pending seat availability and permission of Instructor. Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  9. The first of three graduate core studios focus on iterative making and critical discourse to challenge disciplinary conventions and learn how to make self-authored design decisions in service of abstract spatial ideas. The agency of architecture lies in its capacity to be enactive. It is occupied, experienced and materialized; it constructs, organizes and extends relations among the many. Its forms, spatial orders, materials, and systems result from the designed consideration of physical and spatial interdependencies with the practices, habits and aspirations of its subjects. Providing a precise and specific set of tools and armatures, this first of three core studios introduces the art of architecture as a design process and language that activates, mediates and politicizes the built environment and its subjects. Estimated Materials Cost: $500.00 Graduate major requirement; M.ARCH only. Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  10. The Core 3 Cities studio uses the lens of housing and housing policy to dissect the ways in which these architectural choices impact residents' access to dignity in their cities. In the market of the built environment, where does architecture start? You may think it is the napkin sketch or AutoCAD but think instead of something more mundane: the government official's zoning map or the development firm's financial projection. In the architectural profession, we often lament our lack of agency in the creation of space. The architect must wait for the client, the request for proposal, or the competition. We are then at the mercy of local, state, and federal policy-responding to regulations, sightlines, zoning, and more. But how can we see the mechanisms of governance and finance as inherent parts of design? The Core 3 Cities studio uses the lens of housing and housing policy to dissect the ways in which these architectural choices impact residents' access to and dignity in their cities. Through assignments, readings, and discussions we will explore what is at stake in the urban environment and endeavor to discover new forms of design intervention that respond with nuance to those stakes. Graduate major requirements; M.ARCH only. Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  11. This course connects the methods, traditions, and conventions of architectural drawing with contemporary technology and representational cultures. This course recognizes that for architects to operate productively, politically, socially, and ethically given the ubiquity of the digital image, both an advanced command of computational techniques and drawing techniques are immediately and primarily necessary. The digital image is the standard by which aesthetic content is transmitted, published and processed. Its pervasive role in contemporary architectural culture-and humanity-is mediated and confronted in this course. Relatedly, material drawing traditions are essential, valuable and provocative. The techniques covered in this studio-taught course include the manual and automated manipulation of digital images and material drawings at dramatically varied scales and dimensions. A structure of creative prompts continually positions the drawing and the image in parallel, with an emphasis on developing students' sensibilities, and capacity for both improvisational and scripted constructions. Students will create from memory, from life, from imagination, and from reference. As a result, students develop an architectural language that can engage multiple media and subjects. Graduate major requirement; M.ARCH only. Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  12. What a Relief investigates the tectonic possibilities of working across digital, automated, and manual fabrication techniques. A series of prototyping exercises will introduce workflows from woodworking, CNC milling, grasshopper, and other means of digital fabrication, building foundational knowledge of formal and/or material constraints, and anticipating potential outputs of serial operations across different programs, platforms, and ways of making. With this grounding established, students will thematize one constraint or workflow transition in order to develop and construct a large artifact: supersized model, installation piece, or apparatus. Note that the final constructed outcomes might be made of a material we typically associate with milling (plywood, foam), but they don't have to be. Frameworks to support other material processes (casting forms or tensile supports) are equally possible outcomes. Major elective; M.ARCH 3-year only.
  13. This is a theoretical seminar course that will be concerned with ideas and architectural knowledge that may be cultivated and tested through discourse. The course discussions will focus on an expansive role of architectural tools. While acknowledging a wealth of disciplinary conventions, histories and theories, this course recognizes that the forms of representation within the discipline of architecture have the capacity to affect the discipline of architecture and are not fixed. Students in this course will be expected to build upon their previous architectural education through a series of directed projects aimed at advancing architectural theories, ideas and methods. Some of the questions that students will be expected to address are: What are the practical, theoretical, and creative implications of a drawing that functions as architecture? How do architects change the way we make and think thanks to digital media? How do architects represent and model natural forces? How do architects express political or social agendas? What is the nature of an architectural contribution to interdisciplinary discourse? How can representation enable new kinds of artistic and research-based practices for architecture? Students will be expected to self-direct their process while framing their work intellectually in a seminar environment. Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00 Graduate major requirement; M.ARCH 2-year only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration. Open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of Instructor.
  14. 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. Major requirement; Architecture majors only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration. Prerequisites: All required technologies courses.
  15. The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses. Register by completing the Independent Study Application available on the Registrar's website; course not available via web registration.
  16. 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 requirement; Architecture majors Art History credit for Architecture majors Liberal Arts elective credit for non-majors pending seat availability.
  17. As artists and designers our understanding of the physical universe can be a fundamental part of our engagement with our context and in production of our creative work. This course includes an introduction to selected fundamentals of physics: momentum, thermodynamics, and waves and optics - all part of the basis for Architectural Technology. These fundamental phenomena are to be considered both through their mathematical application and expression as concepts in contemporary art. Content to be examined through mathematical problem solving, critical reading, and lab sessions using both physical measurement and digital simulation in Python programming language. Major requirement; Architecture majors only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration. Open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  18. ARCH-8960 is an optional off campus internship, which may be taken during the summer or in wintersession. Depending on the nature of the work, the internship may count for major elective credit within the department or for non-major elective credit. Total hours required are 180.
  19. 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 end 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; Architecture majors only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  20. 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. Estimated Materials Cost: $50 - $200 Major requirement; Architecture majors only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  21. We begin work on your Thesis 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. Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00 - $200.00 This course satisfies the prerequisite requirement for Thesis Project.
  22. The Urban Ecologies core studio introduces students to the city as a designed environment with an emphasis on sustainability, giving them the tools to work through impressions, analysis and design operations as ways to understand the relationship between naturally formed and culturally constructed landscapes and strategies for urban ecological development.". 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. Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00 - $200.00 Major requirement; Architecture majors only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.

Wintersession 2023

  1. An introduction to the principles of architectural design beginning with a close examination of materials, forces and the human body. The examination will progressively widen in scope to include issues of form, space, structure, program and site. This condensed architectural studio is intended for freshmen and students outside the Division of Architecture and Design.
  2. ARCH-2199 is the required summer internship. It may be completed in any summer prior to entering the final year. Total hours required are 280. This internship can count for NCARB Architectural Experience Program AX-P. The internship hours for ARCH-2199 can be used towards architecture licensure through the NCARB Internship. Student's intent upon becoming registered architects in the USA after graduation should enroll in the AXP as soon as possible. AXP is the internship program required by all registration jurisdictions. The work experience accomplished during ARCH-2199, the department's minimum Internship experience (280 hours) can be recorded as acceptable experience in the AXP (3740 hours) and thus accelerate one's pace towards architectural licensure. Website: http://www.ncarb.org/Experience-Through-Internship s.aspx To register, go to www.risdcareers.com (ArtWorks) Course not available via web registration.
  3. Contingent Cartographies is an investigation into the realm of representation, visualization and [de]construction. We will sample, grow and observe aspects of worlds undetectable by the human eye. We will author visions of existing and concealed systems that grasp at new modes of thought, and coexistence that begins to decompose the rigid genetics of architecture. The work will be in dialogue with the realities of how landscapes, cities, and bodies are formed. We will create fields of communication and entanglement through mapping interactions of bacteria and fungi that occur in water bodies, soil biomes, and of the body. In doing so, we will reflect on our own relationships within the "natural" and built environment. We'll make connections between bodies and the worlds we inhabit, and consider every body-especially the architectural body-as its own world. To accomplish this, we'll need to address some fundamental questions/ Who are we, and what unseen forces make up our bustling bodies? What is the role of the image, the drawing, the animation, and the model as representations of worlds and bodies or as bodies themselves? How can scientific methods of measure and capture be turned to artistic and creative pursuits? The students will zoom in to peer into microscopic dimensions (with the aid of research grade visualization equipment, accessed through the RISD Nature Lab) and zoom out to cartographic realms to connect and suspend layers of information, articulating how to see these forces. Through a multi-scalar investigation of the microbial world in conjunction with traditional and contemporary methods of map making, a series of [De]composition exercises will direct the student to weave connected thoughts and datasets to create a map of entangled forces. We will consider and explore spaces of the mind, of the earth, and hidden realms out of human sight. Students are encouraged to bring their own skills, ideas, research, passions, and methods of making to the course as a catalyst to engage with the work asked of the studio. This studio will provide students with an introduction to the discourse of drawing and cartography as a tool of describing earthly delights, but also as a means for uncovering, revealing, and expressing the biases, positions, and values in one's own situated work. In tandem with each project, students will analyze, cultivate, and study a diverse collection of drawings, mapping strategies, and text, in an effort to understand the contingencies that span across time and delineate the spaces we inhabit today. Estimated Materials Cost: $0 - $100.00
  4. Memory is the invisible fabric of our society, of perception, and knowledge. It ties us to our culture, nationality and achievements, as an archive of tragedy, trauma, and diaspora. When tasked with making a memory visible and permanent, designers often construct a monument or memorial. These structures can fail for multiple reasons. They can be reductive, biased, or extremely tone-deaf in design and execution. Their stylization and abstraction can be misinterpreted and lose meaning. Inaccurate or white-washed memorialization of past events can cause long term harm to our society and further widen the divide between communities. Memorials can be tools of propaganda, control, and oppression. Dominant groups often craft historical narratives sympathetic to their actions. Grand monumental statues or false mythologies around nationhood and civil liberties are common tools of an oppressor. It is necessary that today's designers explore non-monumental methods of memory-making that can fill our cities, campuses, homes, and landscapes with new and productive conversations about our shared histories. Students will engage with readings on a variety of counter-monuments and counter-memorials. These are constructions or interventions that deal with memory and invite discourse yet do not contain monumental or traditional memorial-like qualities. They may even directly oppose or critique existing monuments and memorials. In-class discussions will cover a short history of counter-memorial design and performance, as well as why people feel called to create them. Students will individually select an event, crisis, movement, or tragedy, which they feel has personally affected, changed, or challenged themselves or their community. Students will have the choice to work in groups (if dealing with the same event) or alone and will conduct research and analysis on their event. They will create reflections, drawings, models, and collect perspectives and memories from those involved. Interviews are encouraged and students will be taught ethical interviewing practices for anecdote gathering. The final 2 weeks are allocated for the development of a counter-memorial proposal that will engage a community in the remembrance of an event, generate productive discourse, and challenge the traditional role of monuments and memorials in America. Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00
  5. Living through the Global Pandemic caused many to create spaces of comfort to deal with heightened stress and anxiety in an altered world. In doing so, we disrupted some long-established norms of use with the built environment around function, quality, and type. These shifts point to some related questions: what influence or connection does architecture have with coziness? How does coziness intersect with the disciplinary needs for safety and health as well as broader concepts like happiness, luxury, capitalism, and commercialization? Coziness is both an abstract and concrete term that allows one to consider introductory architectural concepts ranging from safety and wellness to more theoretical provocations of character and quality in representation In this course, students will be introduced to foundational architectural elements, curation methods, and architectural drawing methodologies as a means of studying coziness' connection to architecture. Through the creation of a curatorial research catalog, a conclusionary thesis will be the starting point for the design of a cozy space. Class will consist of frequent desk critiques, small group and class pin-ups, research, and class discussions. Beyond research and making, this course will be supplemented with readings/lectures/films/podcasts featuring a broad rang of architects, designers, and other outside the design field who will expand on our understanding of coziness. Students should leave this course with a heightened understanding of architectural elements, drawing methodologies and in-depth examination of coziness' implications on architecture.
  6. Starting with Gloria Anzaldua's text, we will explore the "in between," "third culture," or "border culture" that happens when two worlds or two binaries merge and create an edge. As borders and binaries are a very present reality of our global frameworks of territories, properties, countries, homes, communities and institutions, it is important to consider what is happening at the convergence of two spaces. When these two binaries meet, especially if the two sides are in social, cultural or political distinction from one another, a borderland occurs. This space is, paradoxically, in between and among the other spaces. A line and an area. An edge condition. Richard Sennet explores the potential of edges and distinguishes between their existence as boundary or border in his text Edges: Self and City, stating, "I would like to maintain that certain spaces in the city for politics intersect with certain psychological strengths- put simply, that where we are and what we feel combine. This potent combination occurs, I will argue, as an edge condition, in the city and within the self." This edge condition can function as a boundary or as a border. Sennet uses the analogy of a cell wall to describe a boundary. It holds as much material as possible within its confines and it divides and encourages segregation. Borders on the other hand, function as cell membranes, more open to exchange and can operate as porous, but still resistant, membranes where intersection, flow, and cooperation can happen. What elements of architecture can articulate a border without merely constructing a boundary? How can art/architecture in this 'third culture' or 'in between' edge space, be used to encourage a porous border and weaken divisive boundaries? How can subversive architectural systems undermine existing boundary conditions? We will begin by interrogating charged borders and use these findings to locate and operate on borders that are personally meaningful and individualized. As we examine dualities or binaries in expression, identity, experience, upbringing, location, etc. we will source and share architectural precedents to interrogate what boundaries they cement and offer design changes that begin to posit a border narrative. The class will culminate in a final project where students develop an interactive art/architectural form that weakens boundaries and strengthens borders at an existing 'edge' site of one's choice. The site scale and location is free to interpret,(i.e, edge of a neighborhood, edge of a hometown, edge between states, or countries, or regions, etc.) with the freedom to think as zoomed in or out as one chooses. The requirement for the chosen site will be that the argument for its 'edge' condition is apparent and the proposed intervention is a physical one. Students will then create and present a design proposal to convey a "border" intervention at the chosen site. Weekly classes will begin with a lecture and include a variety of guest lecturers, and feedback and critique will be given based on the ability to effectively research, create, and present the imagined reality. Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00
  7. Urban expansion in pursuit of land that promises ample possibilities, yet massive human displacement has been a common practice across the world. A recent example is the 2014 Addis Ababa Master plan proposal that aimed at expanding the capital of Ethiopia by 1.1 million hectares. Mass protests resulting in many casualties reflected a widespread reaction, voices not having been heard nor lives considered. Here comes public participation. It is the process of involving the public in the design process, in theory giving everyone input on how they live and work. In practice, the process has a variety of techniques in which some have resulted in successful intent, planning, and execution. However some have failed in either their performative intent, flawed planning and execution or a combination. In this class, we will critically investigate these processes and develop work that learns from the content we discuss. This course aims to answer these questions: Who is the public? What do we mean by public participation? How do artists and designers engage the public in the work they produce? What are the repercussions of designs that do not engage the public? How do we measure success in a participatory design process? How can we develop a design process that allows for iteration, small-scale failure, improvisation and experimentation while also engaging public communities? This course is a part seminar and part studio that will critically analyze the various methods of public engagement in the world of design. Students learn about previous approaches towards projects of various scales along with their positive and negative outcomes. Students further develop their understanding of public participation by developing a project. The project will be conducted through a series of exercises that investigate an area that is historically significant yet economically challenged. The first exercise will be on using mapping as a technique to represent a set of hard data students find. The second exercise will be a soft data driven project where students will document human behaviors, opinions, and activities to develop diagrams that illustrate the data. Finally, the third and longest exercise will be focused on developing a design of a small pavilion that is informed through the first set of exercises. Estimated Materials Cost: $30.00
  8. Thesis Discursive Workshop utilizes Wintersession to hone students' discursive skills, both written and oral, so that they can choreograph a robust discussion around their work. This course establishes a consistent discursive trajectory to the ongoing individual design development of the thesis project that begins in the Fall. In addition to providing a forum in which students might draw out, articulate, and position some of the central claims and aims of their thesis work, this course also aims to instigate careful thought about the written component of the eventual thesis book and the way that this written component might inform or be informed by design work. The assignments of the course are designed to create the infrastructure of a student's eventual thesis book, the elements of any/many book(s). They are not the book content itself, but organize, clarify, define, contextualize, reference, etc. the work contained therein. These elements, for the purposes of this course, are: synopsis (back page/cover flap summary), "cover art", bibliography, table of contents, title, index, and appendix/appendices. In this five-week intensive workshop, students will develop and refine the following skills, relating each development to a component of their eventual book via an assignment: 1. Crafting the thesis polemic or narrative; 2. Positioning the thesis; 3. Contextualizing and formatting the thesis; 4. Curating and editing the thesis; 5. Persuasively articulating the thesis. Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00 - $200.00 Major requirement; Architecture majors only Permission of Instructor required. Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration. Schedule to be determined with Advisor.
  9. What will we leave behind in our geological layer? In this studio, students are called to speculate answers to this question by contemplating humanity's relationship with nature and architecture. We will evaluate the role of this fluctuating relationship as a contributor to the geological epoch known as the Anthropocene, digging through the earth's stratigraphy to uncover non-human myths of the past that can position us toward potential futures. Recognizing architecture as a human-centered discipline, we will pay special attention to the way humans design and build their societies and systems, discussing the changing expressions and representations of the human-nature-architecture relationship throughout history, from first societies in Africa, to today's systems, to hypothetical futures. We will analyze the implications of these methods and perspectives through the lens of human and geological time scales, with an emphasis on different environmental philosophies, starting with models of sustainability, and working toward models of deep ecology and tentacular thinking that care for all of earth's inhabitants. Using the interdisciplinary nature of architecture as a means of asking fundamental questions about how we engage with the planet, this course will prompt students to think critically through representation. How can drawings and other creative methods tie us to the past, ground us in the present, and direct us to the future? With an introduction to digital drawing and collage techniques, students will entertain architecture as a speculative discipline that delves into complex interconnected systems beyond the design of buildings and as a method of inquiry into alternate ways of being in the world. In order to implement layering techniques as experimental modes of representing site as time in the context of stratigraphy, students will be guided through a series of collage drawing exercises as well as a three-dimensional object-material layering exercise. In engaging with these experiments, students will have the space to expand skills in their preferred ways of making and explore their own creative impulses. Through readings, discussions, and the representational exercises, we are called to grapple with the fact that we are leaving our own permanent mark on the world we inhabit in the form of geological layers. In taking this course, students will gain a strong awareness of the complexities that form the world around them and develop critical, analytical, and visual skills necessary to verbally and visually communicate such abstract modes of thought. Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00

Spring 2023

  1. 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. Once assigned to an advanced studio, a student may not drop studio. Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00 - $200.00 Major requirement; Architecture 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.
  2. 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. Estimated Materials Cost: $20.00 - $100.00 Major elective Restricted to Architecture majors junior and above; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of Instructor.
  3. 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. Major elective Restricted to Architecture majors junior and above; open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of Instructor. Also offered as IDISC-2352; Register in the course for which credit is desired.
  4. 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 Materials Cost: $20.00 - $100.00 Major requirement; Architecture majors only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  5. Introduction to technical building systems - Structure, Environmental and Enclosure - and their integration with an emphasis on quantifying performance and increasing sustainability. Content includes survey of these three system types - typical components, basis of performance, and analysis of performance - and introduction to related conventions of construction and architectural detailing to realize them. Major requirement; Architecture majors only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  6. 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 Materials Cost: $50.00 - $200.00 Major requirement; Architecture majors only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  7. This course brings together printmaking and architecture, with their respective modes of working and sensibilities. There is long tradition connecting the two disciplines; here we will focus on a fundamental, physical connection, experimenting with materials and ways of assembling them to make prints. We will think of the press bed almost as a construction site. Collecting materials from everyday life, we will explore their characteristics and qualities--textures, patterns, opacities and translucencies--in the process of transferring them onto paper. The main technique of the course will be monotype, but we may also employ other techniques, such as soft ground, collagraph, and laser etching depending of students' experience and interest. We will start with simple monochrome prints, progressively moving to more open-ended, elaborate and ambitious experiments, including multicolor prints and three-dimensional assemblages. Students will produce weekly sets of prints exploring themes and variations. Above all, the work of the course should be thought of as an opportunity to develop careful experimental habits. Estimated Materials Cost: $60.00 Elective Open to sophomore and above. Please follow the below registration availability: ARCH-2080: Open to Architecture majors only. PRINT-2080: Open to Printmaking majors only. IDISC-2080: Open to all other majors.
  8. 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; Architecture majors only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  9. The course is, effectively, a seminar congruent with a studio, and its ambition is to provide rigorous methodological framing and provocative content scaffolding for the design research activities within the studio. While the studio component will focus on the advancing of the design research questions framed in the fall seminar, the seminar component will consider the best formats and vehicles for the dissemination of the design research. The deliverables for this course will be twofold: a thoroughly researched, documented, and delineated design project; and a textual 'exit document' in which students articulate their research methods, techniques, formats, and outcomes. Major requirement; Architecture majors only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  10. The course is, effectively, a studio congruent with a seminar, and its ambition is to provide rigorous methodological framing and provocative content scaffolding for the design research activities within the studio. While the studio component will focus on the advancing of the design research questions framed in the fall seminar, the seminar component will consider the best formats and vehicles for the dissemination of the design research. The deliverables for this course will be twofold: a thoroughly researched, documented, and delineated design project; and a textual 'exit document' in which students articulate their research methods, techniques, formats, and outcomes. Major requirement; Architecture majors only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  11. Comprehensive design of building enclosures - integrated consideration of structural design, tolerance, detailing, thermal transmission, air transmission, and moisture transmission. Introduce typical and atypical systems of enclosure with emphasis on relative advantages of different systems depending on location, intended performance, and design intent. Graduate major requirement; Architecture majors only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  12. 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; Architecture majors only Open to NCSS Concentrators pending seat availability and permission of Instructor. Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  13. Whether precast or poured-in-place, nearly every concrete structure takes shape with the help of a sacrificial structure: its mold or formwork. Techniques for constructing molds and formworks have evolved countless times over centuries, yet remain a ripe territory for reinvention. Waste-reduction, ease-of-use, and reusability affect both construction costs and sustainability. Our ability to distribute material where it needs to be - and to limit waste where it doesn't - has the potential for even larger impact. As sustainability concerns (and new material technologies) drive concrete into ever-more-nimble, ever-more-slender forms, an opposing desire haunts our discipline: a nostalgic yearning for stereotomic thickness (see proposals for megalithic assemblies like Matter Design's "Patty and Jan" or Barkow Leibingers's "Smart Material House"). In this course, we will attempt to reclaim a stereotomic understanding of surface development towards the production of low-waste, inexpensive and reusable, sheet-derived mold forms. Working with poured plaster and sheet-derived molds of their own design, students will test tectonic, structural, and material variables affecting the form and performance of cast architectural elements (vaults, arches, voussoirs, trompes, and more!). Students can expect to use the first third of the course developing and testing one material or geometric constraint affecting the mold making or pouring process. Leveraging lessons learned form the class as a whole, students will move on to independent or small-group development of an architectonic concept using assembled cast parts. Major elective Restricted to Architecture majors, juniors and above.
  14. The second core studio addresses the agency of the building to simultaneously construct new spatial, social, and material orders in the context of the contemporary city. The second core studio situates architecture as the strategic interplay of spatial and constructive concepts towards specific aesthetic, social, and performative ends. The studio seeks to create a productive friction between abstract orders (form, pattern, organization), technical systems (structure, envelope), and the contingencies of real-world conditions (site, climate, politics). The studio asks students to link disciplinary methods to extra-disciplinary issues, with concentrated forays into the realms of structure, material, and critical preservation. Students iteratively develop architectural concepts, ethical positions, and experimental working methods through a series of focused architectural design projects with increasing degrees of complexity, culminating in the design of a mid-scale public building in an urban context. Graduate major requirement; M.ARCH only. Registration by Architecture Department; course not available via web registration.
  15. This course centers around the digital model as a thing to be built, as a multivalent medium for architectural discourse, and as representation of built form. This course uses abstraction as the common thread between its prerequisite, "Architectural Drawing," and an inquiry into the elements, natures, structures, and forms of the complex, temporal, cultural, material and political construct often referred to as "the building." Operations in the course are the techniques of analysis, translation and synthesis. The contemporary digital model is delimited and constrained by architectural software. This course recognizes that expertise in multiple digital modeling software-from Rhino to Building Information Modeling (BIM)-is as imperative as are skills to manipulate, undermine, link, automate and hack the media that dominate the discipline of architecture. A series of creative prompts engage the computational principles that underpin all digital modeling software. This "under the hood" approach is balanced by "over the hood" approaches that see students designing workflows, automation and output between software and material. The course engages the digital model as sample, system, and database as well as continually interrogates the translational relationship between model and drawing and model and image. Graduate major requirement; M.ARCH only. Registration by Architecture Deparmtent, course not avialable via web registration.
  16. Anyone following contemporary debates in architecture knows that there are as many definitions of architecture's disciplinarity as there are people who attempt to define it. In the current spate of publications on this topic, Mark Jarzombek declares architecture to be a failed discipline; Jane Rendell claims that architecture is a 'subject' subsuming several disciplines; Mark Wigley ruminates upon the prosthetic nature of the discipline to the sciences; Bob Somol and Sarah Whiting attempt to recover a Foucaultian disciplinarity in which norms, principles and traditions are supplanted by performative practice; Akos Moravansky argues that the disciplinarity of architecture resists the discursive approach embodied in post-1968 theory; Keller Easterling seeks "the trapdoor into another habit of mind" by eschewing narrow categories of thought for more inclusive ones; Sylvia Lavin uses the analogy of the 'kiss' between an installation and the architecture that houses it as a model of architectural inter-disciplinarity as media interaction; and Hal Foster and Michael Speaks face off on the relative merits of design intelligence and critical distance. How can a student of architecture ever gain a foothold in this complex and confusing debate? At stake in the debates over disciplinarity is the question: how can we identify architecture's categories of knowledge, and how did the categorization of knowledge become a priority? This Disciplinarity seminar will historically situate the circumstances of architecture's emerging disciplinarity, and thematize it through three seemingly disparate but operatively identical lenses: the aesthetic, the historic, and the technological. Although the debates cited above appear unruly at first blush, fundamentally they aggregate around the relative merits of defining disciplinary categories of knowledge either too narrowly or too broadly, focusing either on architecture's autonomy or its extra-disciplinary appropriations. In addition to architecture's various categories of knowledge, the seminar will consider the influence of disciplinarity on our practices, considering how various classifications of architectural knowledge affect its techniques, standards, and formats of dissemination. From its Foucaultian framing to its current incarnations, Disciplinarity will unpack the construction of architecture's disciplinarity, and shed some much-needed light on what it means for architects to be disciplinary. Graduate major requirement; M.ARCH 3-year only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.
  17. 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; Architecture majors only Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration
  18. Under the supervision of a faculty advisor, students are responsible for the preparation and completion of an independent thesis project. Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00 - $200.00 Major requirement; Architecture 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 Thesis Research. If the department recommends against a student undertaking the thesis project, two advanced elective studios must be taken instead. Prerequisites: One of the thesis 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.
  19. This history of architecture course, co-taught by an architectural historian and an architect, introduces key ideas, forces, and techniques that have shaped world architecture through the ages prior to the modern period. The course is based on critical categories, ranging from indigenous and vernacular architecture, to technology, culture, and representation. The lectures and discussions present systems of thought, practice and organization, emphasizing both historical and global interconnectedness, and critical architectural differences and anomalies. Each topic will be presented through case studies accompanied by relevant texts. The students will be expected to engage in the discussion groups, prepare material for these discussions, write about, and be examined on the topics. Major requirement; Architecture majors Art History credit for Architecture majors Liberal Arts elective credit for non-majors pending seat availability and permission of Instructor. Registration by Architecture Department, course not available via web registration.

SS 2022

  1. ARCH-2199 is the required summer internship. It may be completed in any summer prior to entering the final year. Total hours required are 280. This internship can count for NCARB Architectural Experience Program AX-P. The internship hours for ARCH-2199 can be used towards architecture licensure through the NCARB Internship. Student's intent upon becoming registered architects in the USA after graduation should enroll in the AXP as soon as possible. AXP is the internship program required by all registration jurisdictions. The work experience accomplished during ARCH-2199, the department's minimum Internship experience (280 hours) can be recorded as acceptable experience in the AXP (3740 hours) and thus accelerate one's pace towards architectural licensure. Website: http://www.ncarb.org/Experience-Through-Internship s.aspx To register, go to www.risdcareers.com (ArtWorks) Course not available via web registration.
  2. ARCH-8960 is an optional off campus internship, which may be taken during the summer or in wintersession. Depending on the nature of the work, the internship may count for major elective credit within the department or for non-major elective credit. Total hours required are 180.