In course titles, a designates fall term, b designates spring term, and c designates summer. [Bracketed courses are not offered in 2020–2021.] The School reserves the right to change the prescribed course of study as necessary.
Design and Visualization
Brennan Buck and Mark Foster Gage, Study Area Coordinators
This study area encompasses required studios, elective advanced studios, and courses that concentrate on design logic and skills and that support design thinking and representation.
For the M.Arch. I program, required courses in this study area include a core sequence of four design studios, two advanced studios, and two visualization elective courses; one of these visualization electives must be completed in the fall term of the first year. The core studio sequence progresses from spatially abstract exercises to more complex programs that require integrative thinking at various scales and situated on sites of increased complexity, while integrating ecological, landscape, and tectonic demands. The first course (1221a/1000c) is a summer course required for entering students who have not had significant prior architectural training; in 2020–2021, this course will be offered during the fall term. A further visualization course (1019c)—in the early summer of the first year—is required of all M.Arch. I students.
For the M.Arch. II program, required courses in this study area include three advanced studios.
1221a/1000c, Architectural Foundations 3 credits. (Required of incoming M.Arch. I students with little or no academic background in architecture.) This summer course is an intensive, five-week immersion into the language of architectural representation and visualization, offering a shared inventory and basic framework upon which to build subsequent studies. Students are introduced to techniques and conventions for describing the space and substance of buildings and urban environments, including orthographic drawing, axonometric projection, perspective, architectural diagramming, vignette sketching, and physical modeling. Students work in freehand, hard-line, and digital formats. In parallel to the visualization portion of this course, an introduction to architectural history and theory focuses on principal turning points of thought and practice through to the eighteenth century. In 2020–2021, this course is offered during the fall term. Miroslava Brooks, Nikole Bouchard
1011a, Architectural Design: First M.Arch. I Core Studio 9 credits. (Required of first-year M.Arch. I students.) This studio is the first of four core design studios where beginning students bring to the School a wide range of experience and backgrounds. Exercises introduce the complexity of architectural design by engaging problems that are limited in scale but not in the issues they provoke. Experiential, social, and material concerns are introduced together with formal and conceptual issues. Brennan Buck, coordinator; Nikole Bouchard, Miroslava Brooks, Jaffer Kolb, Bika Rebek, Michael Szivos
1012b, Architectural Design: Second M.Arch. I Core Studio 9 credits. (Required of first-year M.Arch. I students.) This second core studio continues to extend spatial exploration into the conception and design of a building through studies of scale, site, program, and materiality. The term is organized by a series of projects that culminate with the design of a building that engages both public and private space. Prerequisite: 1011a. Katherine (Trattie) Davis, coordinator; Sunil Bald, Joeb Moore, Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen, Miriam Peterson
1019c, Visualization and Computation 3 credits. (Required of first-year M.Arch. I students, early summer. No waivers allowed.) This seven-week intensive course covers the fundamentals and implications of four specific sets of digital software and skills: building information modeling (BIM); virtual realities; image making; and scripting and algorithmic design. Each section is taught by a different instructor who brings specific experience to both tutorials and discussions on the broader impact of computation on the field. For 2021 the dates of instruction are forthcoming. Faculty
1021a, Architectural Design: Third M.Arch. I Core Studio 6 credits. (Required of second-year M.Arch. I students.) This third core studio concentrates on a medium-scale public building, focusing on the integration of composition, site, program, mass, and form in relation to structure, and methods of construction. Interior spaces are studied in detail. Large-scale models and drawings are developed to explore design issues. Prerequisite: 1012b. Emily Abruzzo, coordinator; Stella Betts, Iñaqui Carnicero, Peter de Bretteville, Mark Foster Gage
1022b, Architectural Design: Fourth M.Arch. I Core Studio 9 credits. (Required of second-year M.Arch. I students.) This fourth and final M.Arch I core studio expands on the fundamental architectural skills introduced in the previous three terms to examine the role of architecture and the architect at the scale of the city. Extending beyond the bounds of a building, this course examines a variety of forces—architectural, urban, social, economic, ecological, political, and other—that shape and order our built environment, emphasizing and cultivating a range of architectural themes and skills. Prerequisite: 1021a. Aniket Shahane, coordinator; Anthony Acciavatti, Peter de Bretteville, Elisa Iturbe, Bimal Mendis
[1121b, Design Research IV: Research Studio 3 credits. (Required of and limited to second-year M.Arch. II students.) This course is the culmination of the post-professional curriculum and allows students the opportunity to build on individual and group work around contemporary issues by proposing a final design thesis project. Not offered in 2020–2021. Joel Sanders]
Advanced Design Studios (Fall)
Advanced studios are limited in enrollment. Selection for studios is determined by lottery.
1101a, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Peter Eisenman and Elisa Iturbe
1102a, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Keller Easterling
1103a, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Abby Hamlin, Bass Distinguished Visiting Architecture Fellow, and Dana Tang
1104a, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Kevin Carmody and Andy Groarke, Bishop Visiting Professors
1105a, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Marc Tsurumaki, Davenport Visiting Professor
1106a, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Hitoshi Abe, Foster Visiting Professor
1107a, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Gwathmey Professors in Practice
1108a, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Luis Callejas and Charlotte Hansson, Kahn Visiting Assistant Professors
1109a, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Deborah Saunt, Saarinen Visiting Professor
Advanced Design Studios (Spring)
Advanced studios are limited in enrollment. Selection for studios is determined by lottery.
1111b, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Alan J. Plattus
1112b, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Brigitte Shim, Davenport Visiting Professor
1113b, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Tatiana Bilbao, Foster Visiting Professor
1114b, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Pier Vittorio Aureli, Gwathmey Professor in Practice
1115b, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Marlon Blackwell, Kahn Visiting Professor
1116b, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Christopher Cornelius, Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor
1117b, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Melissa DelVecchio, Stern Visiting Professor
1118b, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Faculty
1119b, Advanced Design Studio 9 credits. Faculty
[1211a, Drawing and Architectural Form 3 credits. With the emergence of increasingly sophisticated digital technologies, the practice of architecture is undergoing the most comprehensive transformation in centuries. Drawing, historically the primary means of generation, presentation, and interrogation of design ideas, is currently ill-defined and under stress. This course examines the historical and theoretical development of descriptive geometry and perspective through the practice of rigorous constructed architectural drawings. The methods and concepts studied serve as a foundation for the development of drawings that consider the relationship between a drawing’s production and its conceptual objectives. Weekly readings, discussions, and drawing exercises investigate the work of key figures in the development of orthographic and three-dimensional projection. Ultimately, the goal is to engage in a focused dialogue about the practice of drawing and different methods of spatial inquiry. Limited enrollment. Not offered in 2020–2021. Victor Agran]
1213b, Books and Architecture 3 credits. For architects, the book has been a necessary (if not essential) tool for clarifying, extending, and promoting their ideas and projects. This seminar examines the phenomenon of the book in architecture as both an array of organizational techniques (what it is) and as a mediator (what it does). Arguably, outside of the artifice and material fact of the building itself, the book has been the preferred mode of discourse that architects have chosen to express their intellectual project. This seminar is part lecture, part workshop where the experience of making a series of books helps to inform the development of ideas about the projective capacity of the book. Through case studies, this seminar examines the relationship book production has with a selection of contemporary and historical practices, including each project’s physical and conceptual composition as well as how each project acts as an agent of the architect within a larger world of communication. The second part of the seminar asks students to apply ideas in a series of three book projects that emphasize the book as an instrument of architectural thinking. Most projects are individual efforts, but work in pairs or groups is also explored. Limited enrollment. Luke Bulman
[1217a, Architectural Product Design 3 credits. This course attempts to broaden the design experience by concentrating on the design and innovation of three-dimensional architectural objects not usually found in architectural building commissions. Students are required to design and fabricate full-size, working prototypes of four small objects, such as weather vanes, andirons, step stools, mailboxes, birdhouses, etc. Emphasis is on wood and metal, but all materials are considered. Issues of detail, scale, proportion, aesthetics, manufacturing, and commercial viability are explored. Limited enrollment. Not offered in 2020–2021. John D. Jacobson]
1219a, Designing Social Equality: The Politics of Matter 3 credits. Through the act of design, students explore ideas from contemporary thought leaders including Michelle Alexander, Ibram Kendi, Jacques Rancière, Robin DiAngelo, Steven Shaviro, Angela Davis, Justin Jennings, Stacey Abrams, the Laboria Cuboniks Xenofeminist Collective, and others. Concepts and movements addressed include, but are not limited to, the tangible, physical, and designed aspects of equality philosophy, environmental justice, colonialization, anti-racism and white privilege, the geographies of voter suppression, mass incarceration, immigrant detention, virtue signaling, the contemporary status of hagiography through monuments and canon, and the relationship between protest and form. This seminar can also fulfill the History and Theory elective requirement through the optional writing of a fifteen-page paper done in association with, or possibly instead of, the final project, pending approval of the instructor. Limited enrollment. Mark Foster Gage
1223a, Formal Analysis I 3 credits. The goal of this class is to learn to see and read as an architect through a weekly series of texts and comparative analyses that move from the theocentric late-medieval, to the humanism and anthropocentricity of the early Renaissance, to the beginning of the Enlightenment of the late eighteenth century. This survey is not intended historically but as an introduction to the seeing and reading of architecture through time. An architect must learn to see beyond the facts of perception and must see as an expert, different from the average user. This expertise implies being able to see, as a form of close reading, that which is not present—the unseen. We look at architects who have animated discourse—from Brunelleschi to Piranesi—providing an example of disciplinary change over time. Limited enrollment. Peter Eisenman
[1224a, The Chair 3 credits. The chair has been a crucible for architectural ideas and their design throughout the trajectory of modern architecture. The chair is both a model for understanding architecture and a laboratory for the concise expression of idea, material, fabrication, and form. As individual as its authors, the chair provides a medium that is a controllable minimum structure, ripe for material and conceptual experiments. In this seminar, students develop their design and fabrication skills through exploration of the conceptual, aesthetic, and structural issues involved in the design and construction of a full-scale prototype chair. Limited enrollment. Not offered in 2020–2021. Timothy Newton, Nathan Burnell]
1225b, Formal Analysis II 3 credits. This course examines two questions: what was the modern and what was the postmodern? Through a series of weekly texts and comparative analyses, the nature of that difference, for instance universalizing or contradicting, is explored with the intention of reconsidering the modern in a contemporary context. The course is divided into two halves, one concerned with modernism from 1914 to 1939 and the second with postmodernism from 1968 to 1988. Considering architects from Le Corbusier to Robert Venturi, the class pursues the skill of close reading, which moves from the idealism of the modern to the criticality of the postmodern. 1223a, Formal Analysis I, is not a prerequisite. Limited enrollment. Peter Eisenman
[1226b, Site + Building 3 credits. This seminar investigates buildings and their sites. Conceived as a vehicle for understanding the relationship between site and building through critical analysis, the course examines ancient, historic, and contemporary works of architecture and landscape architecture. Material includes works by Hadrian, Diocletian, Michelangelo, Raphael, Palladio, Durand, Schinkel, Lutyens, Asplund, Aalto, Wright, Mies, Kahn, Neutra, Saarinen, Scarpa, Bawa, Krier, Eisenman, Ando, and Gehry. The seminar focuses on site organization strategies and philosophies of site manipulation in terms of topography; urban, suburban, and rural context; ecology; typology; spectacle; and other form-giving imperatives. Methods of site plan representation are also scrutinized. Requirements include three significant readings, one major class presentation, and the keeping of individual class notebooks. Limited enrollment. Not offered in 2020–2021. Steven Harris]
[1227b, Drawing Projects 3 credits. Each student admitted to the course comes prepared with a particular subject that is investigated through the media of drawing for the entire term. There is a weekly evening pin-up with group discussion of the work in progress. Limited enrollment. Not offered in 2020–2021. Turner Brooks]
1228b, Disheveled Geometries: Ruins and Ruination 3 credits. Architectural ruins index the total failure of individual buildings, technologies, economies, or, at times, entire civilizations. This course researches the topics of ruination and architectural ruins—what produces them, what defines them, and how they impact individuals, cities, and civilizations on levels from the visual and formal to the philosophical and psychological. The formal and visual materials of this course emerge from the study of ruins from not only the past and present, but also the future, through research into the speculative territories of online “ruin porn,” new genres of art practice, and in particular dystopian television and film projects that reveal an intense contemporary cultural interest in apocalyptic themes. While significant nineteenth-century theories of architectural ruination, including those of John Ruskin (anti-restoration) and Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (pro-restoration), are addressed, the primary intellectual position of the course emerges from readings and discussions of the philosophical methodology of “ruination.” Student projects involve the philosophical and aesthetic ruination of iconic architectural projects to determine not only their essential qualities, but hidden, latent ones as well. Subsequent group discussion of this work vacillates between philosophical and aesthetic poles in an attempt to tease out new observations on these projects as well as on the nature of ruins and ruination. The self-designed final project is determined pending consultation between the students and instructor, but involves photorealistic failure of past, present, or future architectural or urban projects; dystopic visual speculations; fabrication experiments that test actual material decay and failure; or attempts to reproduce the aesthetic ambitions of ruin porn through the manipulation of existing, or the design of new, projects. The goal of the course is not to convey an existing body of architectural knowledge, but to unearth a new architectural discourse that considers architecture in reverse—emphasizing its decay rather than its creation in an effort to reveal new territories of architectural agency. Limited enrollment. Mark Foster Gage
1233a, Composition and Form 3 credits. This seminar addresses issues of architectural composition and form in four three-week exercises titled Form, Structure, Section, and Elevation. Leaving aside demands of program and site in order to concentrate on formal relationships and the impact of alternative strategies, these exercises are intended to develop techniques by which words, briefs, written descriptions, intentions, and requirements can be translated into three dimensions. Each subject is introduced by a one-hour lecture on organizational paradigms in works of architecture from many periods and a variety of cultures. The medium is both physical and 3-D digital models. Multiple iterations emerging from the first-week sketches and finalized in the following week are the basis for the generation of multiple, radically differing strategies, each to be analyzed and understood for its own unique possibilities and consequences. Limited enrollment. Peter de Bretteville
[1239a, Theory through Objects: Activist Form 3 credits. This seminar seeks to address the increasing expectation that architecture more directly address the social and political problems of today: income inequality, racial division, religious persecution, gender identity and rights, and ecological crisis, to name a few. Students speculate on ways in which the design of buildings and objects can be more socially and politically impactful and if there are other ways to discuss these issues rather than relying on standard critical-theory tropes that have governed architecture’s social ambitions for decades. Instead of relying on dry PowerPoint presentations or abstract, intangible discussions, in this seminar all presentations, brainstorming, ideation, and think-tank-style discussions are done exclusively by engaging with physical objects. Students conduct preliminary research on historic examples of the politicization of objects, largely using the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Disobedient Objects exhibition (2014–15) as a collective starting point, to position subsequent discussions related to selected writings by Jacques Rancière, Graham Harman, Elaine Scarry, Steven Shaviro, the Laboria Cuboniks Xenofeminist Collective, and others. Concepts and movements addressed include, but are not limited to, Dissensus/Aisthesis, Xenofeminism, Object-Oriented Ontology, Accelerationism, and Afrofuturism. All assignments involve the production of physical objects with the exception of students who opt to fulfill the History and Theory elective requirement through the writing of a fifteen-page paper instead of the production of a final object. Enrollment limited to ten. Not offered in 2020–2021. Mark Foster Gage]
1241b, Rendered: Art, Architecture, and Contemporary Image Culture 3 credits. This course addresses the role of digital production and image making in art and architecture at a time when consumers of culture, including architects, are inundated by digital images. Contemporary image culture has profound effects on how we understand authorship, materiality, and representation. The course examines the impact of the Internet on contemporary art and recent writing on aesthetic concepts, including post-digital, post-medium, and the new aesthetic. Students are asked to speculate on the current and future role of the image as an architectural medium in this context. The final project is a hybrid image-object situated in both a physical and an online context. Limited enrollment. Brennan Buck
1289a, Space, Time, Form 3 credits. This seminar explores key concepts, techniques, and media that have affected the design, discussion, and representation of architecture in the twentieth century. The seminar aims to develop a particular type of disciplinary knowledge by crossing experience and act with historical and theoretical engagement. The class foregrounds reciprocity of practice and context, believing the exchange provides an invaluable tool for understanding the origin of ideas and thereby capitalizing on their full potential. Each class is organized around a single concept (form, structure, space, time); technique (drawing, material, color); or media (typography, photography, weaving). Sessions require both a visual/material exercise and close reading of seminal texts. Particular attention is paid to working with different tools and techniques, registering, observing, and analyzing formal and material techniques and effects. Limited enrollment. Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen
1291c, Rome: Continuity and Change 3 credits. (Open only to M.Arch. I second-year and M.Arch. II first-year students. Enrollment subject to the permission of the instructors and satisfactory completion of all required preparatory course work.) This intensive five-week summer workshop takes place in Rome and is designed to provide a broad overview of that city’s major architectural sites, topography, and systems of urban organization. Examples from antiquity to the present day are studied as part of the context of an ever-changing city with its sequence of layered accretions. The seminar examines historical continuity and change as well as the ways in which and the reasons why some elements and approaches were maintained over time and others abandoned. Hand drawing is used as a primary tool of discovery during explorations of buildings, landscapes, and gardens, both within and outside the city. Students devote the final week to an intensive independent analysis of a building or place. M.Arch. I students are eligible to enroll in this course after completing at least three terms. This course does not fulfill either the History and Theory or the Urbanism and Landscape elective requirements. All program travel plans will be made in accordance with University and national travel policies. Limited enrollment. Bimal Mendis, coordinator; Miroslava Brooks, Bryan Fuermann, Joyce Hsiang, George Knight
1299a or b, Independent Course Work 3 or 6 credits. Program to be determined with a faculty adviser of the student’s choice and submitted, with the endorsement of the study area coordinator, to the Rules Committee for confirmation of the student’s eligibility under the rules. (See the School’s Academic Rules and Regulations.)
Electives outside of School of Architecture
Courses offered elsewhere in the University may be taken for credit with permission of the instructor. Unless otherwise indicated, at the School of Architecture full-term courses are typically assigned 3 credits; half-term courses are assigned 1.5 credits. Students must have the permission of the Design and Visualization Study Area coordinators in order for a course to count as a visualization elective.
Technology and Practice
Martin Finio and Kyoung Sun Moon, Study Area Coordinators
This study area explores fundamental theories and methods of building technologies and the relationships among these technologies, architectural design, and the larger natural environment. Courses examine materials, construction, structural systems, and the environmental technologies that provide healthy, productive, sustainable, and comfortable environments. This area also covers professional practice and examines the relationship between methods of construction, procurement, and management. Advanced courses investigate specific technical systems in greater detail, survey emerging methods and technologies, and explore the relationship between building technologies and architectural design in current practice and writings.
For the M.Arch. I program, requirements in this study area include six courses that survey common technical systems used in buildings and integrate the consideration of these technical systems into architectural design through a series of projects of increasing complexity. In addition, there is a required course on architectural practice.
2011a, Structures I 3 credits. (Required of first-year M.Arch. I students.) An introduction to the analysis and design of building structural systems and the evolution and impact of these systems on architectural form. Lectures and homework assignments cover structural classifications, fundamental principles of mechanics, computational methods, and the behavior and case studies of truss, cable, arch, and simple framework systems. Discussion sections explore the applications of structural theory to the design of wood and steel systems for gravity loads through laboratory and computational exercises and design projects. Homework, design projects, and midterm and final examinations are required. Kyoung Sun Moon
2012b, Structures II 3 credits. (Required of first-year M.Arch. I students.) This course is a continuation of introductory analysis and design of building structural systems. The course introduces materials and design methods of timber, steel, and reinforced concrete. Structural behavior, ductility concepts, movement, and failure modes are emphasized. Geometric properties of structural shapes, resistances to stresses, serviceability, column analysis, stability, seismic, wind load, and lateral force resisting systems are presented. Homework involves calculations, descriptive analysis, and the building and testing of structural models. Midterm and final examinations are required. Prerequisite: 2011a. Erleen Hatfield
2016b, Building Project I: Research, Analysis, Design 3 credits. (Required of first-year M.Arch. I students.) This course explores the conception and construction of dwelling space in the city. Through a term-long process of collaborative research, analysis, design, and technical documentation, student teams examine the specific relationship of the human body to its environment, the elemental concerns of inhabitation, and the physical, spatial, and technical formation of building. A series of iterative analytical exercises, conducted at a range of scales using various analytical tools and design media, address the building site, its enclosure, apertures, interior surfaces, and its fixtures and fittings, and their roles in mediating our experience of private and social space, of weather, and of climate. This collaborative process begins at the start of the term with the formation of design teams and the introduction of our Building Project partners: our clients at Columbus House of New Haven, a New Haven-based shelter and permanent supportive housing provider for the homeless, and the New Haven city officials who administer the city’s zoning, building, and life-safety laws and regulations under the auspices of New Haven’s Livable City Initiative. Over the course of the term and in conjunction with a series of lectures, field trips, and workshops, each student team develops and documents a distinct and technically detailed design proposal for a two-family house, one of which is selected at the end of the term. This work sets the stage for the second phase of the course and the subsequent work of the summer: the construction of the Jim Vlock Building Project house in New Haven’s Hill neighborhood. Faculty
2017c, Building Project II: Construction 3 credits. (Required of first-year M.Arch. I students, early summer.) This course examines the materialization of a building, whereby students are required to physically participate in the construction of a structure that they have designed. By engaging in the act of making, students are exposed to the material, procedural, and technical demands that shape architecture. Construction documents are generated and subsequently put to the test in the field. Students engage in collaboration with each other, and with a client, as they reconcile budgetary, scheduling, and labor constraints, and negotiate myriad regulatory, political, and community agencies. The course seeks to demonstrate the multiplicity of forces that come to influence the execution of an architectural intention, all the while fostering an architecture of social responsibility, providing structures for an underserved and marginalized segment of the community. For 2021, dates of instruction are forthcoming. For more information, see the section on the Building Project online at http://architecture.yale.edu/academics/building-project. Prerequisites: 1011a, 1012b. Adam Hopfner, director; Faculty
2018a, Advanced Building Envelope Design 3 credits. (Required of second-year M.Arch. I students who waive 2021a, Environmental Design.) This course is geared toward graduate students in Architecture who already have an advanced background in bioclimatic analysis and design and who wish to pursue an area of design research in conjunction with their studio projects. The core content of the course is a hybrid lecture/seminar format that focuses on an overview of emerging critical theory and technology in the areas of environmental and energy systems. The deliverable is a design research project that runs in parallel to design studio and considers an aspect of the studio project that gets pushed in a highly developed and experimental direction toward new methods of metabolizing energy, water, air, or living systems through the building envelope. We reconsider fundamentally novel ways of redirecting energy and water flows toward the fulfillment of various social mandates to transform the relationship between the built environment and extended ecosystems. Anna Dyson, Mohamed Aly Etman
2021a, Environmental Design 3 credits. (Required of second-year M.Arch. I students.) This course examines the fundamental scientific principles governing the thermal, luminous, and acoustic environments of buildings, and introduces students to the methods and technologies for creating and controlling the interior environment. Beginning with an overview of the Laws of Thermodynamics and the principles of Heat Transfer, the course investigates the application of these principles in the determination of building behavior, and explores the design variables, including climate, for mitigating that behavior. The basic characteristics of HVAC systems are discussed, as are alternative systems such as natural ventilation. The second half of the term draws on the basic laws of physics for optics and sound and examines the application of these laws in creating the visual and auditory environments of a building. Material properties are explored in detail, and students are exposed to the various technologies for producing and controlling light, from daylighting to fiber optics. The overarching premise of the course is that the understanding and application of the physical principles by the architect must respond to and address the larger issues surrounding energy and the environment at multiple scales and in domains beyond a single building. The course is presented in a lecture format. Homework, computational labs, design projects, short quizzes, and a final exam are required. Anna Dyson, Naomi Keena
2022b, Systems Integration and Development in Design 3 credits. (Required of second-year M.Arch. I students.) This course is an integrated workshop and lecture series in which students learn to develop the technical systems of preliminary design proposals from earlier studio work. The careful advancement of structural form and detail, environmental systems, egress and accessibility, and envelope design, as well as an understanding of the constructive processes from which a building emerges, are all approached systematically, as elements of design used not only to achieve technical and performance goals but also to reinforce and reinform the conceptual origins of the work. The workshop is complemented by a series of lectures from leading structural, environmental, and envelope consultants. Detailed technical drawings and analyses, along with the sustained use of BIM software, are required. Prerequisites: 1021a, 2011a, 2012b, 2021a. Martin Finio, coordinator; Anibal Bellomio, Kristen Butts, Alastair Elliott, Erleen Hatfield, Robert Haughney, Kristin Hawkins, John D. Jacobson, Laurence Jones, Jennifer Lan, Aaron Martin, Gina Narracci, Laura Pirie, Victoria Ponce de Leon, Craig Razza, Edward M. Stanley, Celia Toché, Adam Trojanowski, and faculty
2031a, Architectural Practice and Management 3 credits. (Required of third-year M.Arch. I students. No waivers allowed. Available as an elective for M.Arch.II students who obtain permission of the instructor.) The process by which an architectural design becomes a building requires the architect to control many variables beyond the purely aesthetic, and understanding how to control that process is key to successful practice. This course provides an understanding of the fundamentals of the structure and organization of the profession and the mechanisms and systems within which it works as well as the organization, management, and execution of architectural projects. Lectures explore the role and function of the architect, the legal environment, models of practice and office operations, fees and compensation, project delivery models and technology, and project management in the context of the evolution of architectural practice in the delivery of buildings. Phillip G. Bernstein, John Apicella
2207b, Architectural Writing and Journalism 3 credits. This seminar is based on three major areas in the practice of writing: voice, craft, and platform. Students build mastery in some of the architecture profession’s most common forms of written communication including the personal statement, project statement, press release, and exhibition catalog. Weekly course work includes readings, written projects, and in-class workshopping. The course culminates in a final project. Limited enrollment. A.J. Artemel
2211b, Technology and Design of Tall Buildings 3 credits. This seminar investigates the dynamic interrelationship between technology and architecture in tall buildings. Among the various technologies involved, emphasis is placed on structural and facade systems, recognizing the significance of these systems, the separation of which in terms of their function led to modern architecture, and allowed the emergence of tall buildings. This seminar reviews contemporary design practice of tall buildings through a series of lectures and case study analyses. While most representative technologies for tall buildings are studied, particular emphasis is placed on more recent trends such as diagrid structures and double-skin facades. Further, this seminar investigates emerging technologies for tall buildings and explores their architectural potentials. Finally, this course culminates in a tall building design project and presentation. Limited enrollment. Kyoung Sun Moon
2222a, The Mechanical Eye 3 credits. This class examines the human relationship to mechanized perception in art and architecture. Mechanical eyes, such as satellites, rovers, computer vision, and autonomous sensing devices, give us unprecedented access to nonhuman and superhuman views into known and unknown environments. But the technology of automatic observation alienates human observers and fools them into thinking that this is an unemotional, inhuman point of view due to its existence in a numeric or digital domain. The observer is looking at seemingly trustworthy data that has been “flattened” or distilled from the real world. But this face-value acceptance should be rejected; interpreters of this device data should interrogate the motives, biases, or perspectives informing the “artist” in this case (that is, the developer/programmer/engineer who created the devices). Despite the displacement of direct human observation, mechanical eyes present in remote sensing, LiDAR scanning, trail-cams, metagenomic sequencing, urban informatics, and hyperspectral imaging have become fundamental to spatial analysis. But as these become standard practice, observers should also be trained in cracking open the data to understand the human perspective that originally informed it. In this class, students investigate the impact of the mechanical eye on cultural and aesthetic inquiry into a specific site. They conceptually consider their role as interpreter for the machine and create a series of site analysis experiments across a range of mediums. The experiments are based on themes of inversion, mirroring, portraiture, memory, calibration, and foregrounding to “unflatten” data into structure and form. Limited enrollment. Dana Karwas
2223b, Structuring Architecture: Form and Space 3 credits. Through case and design studies, this seminar investigates the performance of structures as what fundamentally defines the form and space of architecture. Limited enrollment. Dana Karwas
2226b, Design Computation 3 credits. The capabilities and limitations of architects’ tools influence directly the spaces architects design. Computational machines, tools once considered only more efficient versions of paper-based media, have a demonstrated potential beyond mere imitation. This potential is revealed through design computation, the creative application of the processes and reasoning underlying all digital technology, from e-mail to artificial intelligence. Just as geometry is fundamental to drawing, computation affords a fundamental understanding of how data works, which is essential to advance the development of BIM, performative design, and other emerging methodologies. This seminar introduces design computation as a means to enable architects to operate exempt from limitations of generalized commercial software; to devise problem-specific tools, techniques, and workflows; to control the growing complexities of contemporary architectural design; and to explore forms generated only by computation itself. Topics include data manipulation and translation, algorithms, information visualization, computational geometry, human-computer interaction, custom tooling, generative form-finding, emergent behavior, simulation, and system modeling. Using Processing, students develop computational toolsets and models through short, directed assignments ultimately comprising a unified, term-long project. Limited enrollment. Michael Szivos
2230b, Exploring New Value in Design Practice 3 credits. How do we make design a more profitable practice? Design business has traditionally positioned building as a commodity in the delivery supply chain, valued by clients like other products and services purchased at lowest first cost. Despite the fact that the building sector in its entirety operates in large capital pools where significant value is created, intense market competition, sole focus on differentiation by design quality, and lack of innovation in project delivery and business models have resulted in a profession that is grossly underpaid and marginally profitable. The profession must explore new techniques for correlating the real value of an architect’s services to clients and thereby break the downward pressure on design compensation. This seminar redesigns the value proposition of architecture practice, explores strategies used by better-compensated adjacent professions and markets, and investigates methods by which architects can deliver—and be paid for—the value they bring to the building industry. Prerequisite: 2031a or equivalent strongly recommended. Limited enrollment. Phillip G. Bernstein
[2234b, Material Case Studies 3 credits. This seminar focuses on the intuition for material use in both the execution and generation of design. Students are exposed to a broad overview of the role of materials in the formation and execution of a spatial concept, as well as provided a venue for intensive work with specific materials. Structured along lines of research, experimentation, and design, the course is an intensive investigation into the relationship between a material’s substance and its performance metrics and qualities. In addition to looking at materials typically used in the production of built space, the course explores whether the investigation of materials not traditionally used in architecture can further the profession. Research and discussions, in parallel, look at how material decisions affect the environment and human health. Physical material samples are used throughout the term. A site-specific, design-build spatial proposal serves as the course’s final project. Limited enrollment. Not offered in 2020–2021. Emily Abruzzo]
[2236b, Design/Data/Biology 3 credits. This seminar explores the frontiers that are opening up across multiple design disciplines as a result of the ongoing revolution in biotechnology, bioinformatics, and related fields. In the first half of the course, the seminar studies the relationships that have been historically established with living systems throughout the development of architectural technology and culture. Examined are some of the critical ways in which architecture, agriculture, and urbanism have shaped our own genetics as well as those of other plant and animal species since the origins of social organization. It is within this context that the course challenges several entrenched conventions within architectural and environmental control systems design that have sought to separate built environments from the complex interdependency of surrounding ecosystems. In the second half of the course, using each student’s current or prior studio work as a use case, students extend an aspect of the design intentions of the project into a particular experimental area of interest, one that is aligned with emerging biotechnical methods, in terms of how the architecture might process either energy, water, waste, materials, or living systems in a radically different way from conventional expectations. Limited enrollment. Not offered in 2020–2021. Anna Dyson]
2239a, Building Project III 3 credits. (Available as an elective to second-year M.Arch. I students, and to other students based on enrollment.) Limited enrollment. Adam Hopfner
2241b, Building Disasters 3 credits. This seminar explores accidents, failures, and catastrophes, large and small, in buildings and—whether caused by bad luck, bad design, bad management, or miscalculation—how such incidents have impacted users, owners, and designers. Limited enrollment. John D. Jacobson
2242a, Fighting Slavery in the Building Supply Chain 3 credits. This seminar operationalizes recent statutory and regulatory changes in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia that extend enforcement of laws against forced and child labor into company supply chains. Drawing on law, business, and sustainability practices, we seek to incorporate an anti-slavery ethos into the architectural design process for the first time. Multidisciplinary teams of students from across Yale’s professional and graduate schools “slavery-proof” a particular input or process in projects that the architecture students are working on in their studio classes. Limited enrollment. Phillip G. Bernstein, Luis C.deBaca
2299a or b, Independent Course Work 3 or 6 credits. Program to be determined with a faculty adviser of the student’s choice and submitted, with the endorsement of the study area coordinators, to the Rules Committee for confirmation of the student’s eligibility under the rules. (See the School’s Academic Rules and Regulations.)
Electives outside of School of Architecture
Courses offered elsewhere in the University may be taken for credit with permission of the instructor. Unless otherwise indicated, at the School of Architecture full-term courses are typically assigned 3 credits; half-term courses are assigned 1.5 credits.
History and Theory
Keller Easterling and Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen, Study Area Coordinators
This study area explores the relationship between design, history, and theory through a broad range of courses in which the analysis of buildings, cities, landscapes, and texts supports the articulation and criticism of fundamental concepts, methods, and issues. Historical and contemporary projects and writings are studied in context and as part of the theoretical discourse of architecture.
For entering M.Arch. I students who have not had significant prior architectural training, the pre-first-year visualization course (1221a/1000c) includes a broad survey of Western architectural history to the nineteenth century. For all M.Arch. I students, there is a first-year required survey course of nineteenth- and twentieth-century architectural history (3011a) followed in the second term by a required course on architectural theory (3012b).
In addition, M.Arch. I students must satisfactorily complete two elective courses from this study area that require at least a fifteen-page research paper. With the exception of courses in which a student elects to do a project in lieu of a research paper, or courses whose descriptions specifically indicate that they do not fulfill the History and Theory elective requirement, all elective courses in this study area fulfill this requirement. Provided a fifteen-page research paper is required, the elective courses 4222a and 4223b also fulfill this History and Theory elective requirement, although those listed from the Urbanism and Landscape study area cannot be used to satisfy both the History and Theory and the Urbanism and Landscape elective requirements. Courses in other study areas as well as courses offered at the University outside of the School of Architecture that include a research paper and cover an architectural history and theory topic may fulfill the History and Theory elective requirement provided a student requests and receives permission from one of the History and Theory study area coordinators qualifying that course to fulfill the requirement. One of the two required History and Theory electives should be in a non-Western subject.
For the M.Arch. II program, a sequence of three post-professional design research seminars is required (3072a, 3073b, 3074a). These focus on design as research and build to an individual project within a larger themed symposium in the final term of the program.
3011a, Modern Architecture and Society 3 credits. (Required of first-year M.Arch. I students; available as an elective for M.Arch. II and M.E.D. students.) The course embraces the last century and a half’s history of architecture, when traditional fables began to yield to more scientifically conceived ideas of architecture’s role in the creation of civilizations. As architecture gained importance in advancing social and industrial agendas, it also built a basis for theoretical reflection and visionary aesthetics. The expanding print and media culture accelerated the migration of ideas and propelled architecture beyond its traditional confines. Discussion of major centers of urban culture and their characteristic buildings alternates with attention to individual concepts and their impact in an increasingly interconnected culture of design. Craig Buckley
3012b, Architectural Theory 3 credits. (Required of first-year M.Arch. I and M.E.D. students; available as an elective for M.Arch. II students.) This course explores the history of Western architectural theory, from 1750 to the present, through the close reading of primary texts. Lectures place the readings in the context of architectural history; the texts are discussed in required discussion sections. Topics include theories of origin, type and character, the picturesque, questions of style and ornament, standardization and functionalism, critiques of modernism, as well as more contemporary debates on historicism, technology, and environmentalism. Marta Caldeira
3072a, Design Research I: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives 3 credits. (Required of and limited to first-year M.Arch. II students.) This introductory class familiarizes student with a new skill set: how to conduct applied design research seen through the lens of each of the research perspectives taught in the program. In the process, students gain a general background in some of the key humanitarian challenges where designers can make a difference in the next century. Joel Sanders
3073b, Design Research II: Challenging the Built Environment 3 credits. (Required of and limited to first-year M.Arch. II students.) This seminar requires students to explore an assigned theme based on urgent contemporary issues in architecture and urbanism, both through individual projects and as a group. Students also select thesis projects adjacent to the course theme to take into the subsequent post-professional seminar and post-professional design studio. Joel Sanders
3074a, Design Research III: Methods Workshop 3 credits. (Required of and limited to second-year M.Arch. II students.) Sunil Bald, Aniket Shahane
3091a, Methods and Research Workshop 3 credits. (Required of first-year M.E.D. students; available as an elective for M.Arch. I and M.Arch. II students with permission of instructor.) This course introduces students to methods of architectural writing and research, laying the groundwork for an advanced research project. By investigating various text genres, such as surveys, journalism, manifestos, scholarly essays, critical essays, and narratives, this course studies ways of writing about architecture, urbanism, and the environment. Recent debates concerning the relationship between architectural history and theory and the questions about disciplinary and interdisciplinary boundaries are explored. Working toward a substantial research paper requirement, students are introduced to hands-on research through a series of library and archival workshops. Limited enrollment. Keller Easterling
3092a or b, Independent M.E.D. Research 3–6 credits first year, fall term; variable credits remaining terms, determined in consultation with the director of M.E.D. Studies. (Required of and limited to M.E.D. students in each term.) The proposal submitted with the admissions application is the basis for each student’s study plan, which is developed in consultation with faculty advisers. Independent research is undertaken for credit each term, under the direction of a principal adviser, for preparation and completion of a written thesis. The thesis, which details and summarizes the independent research, is to be completed for approval by the M.E.D. committee by the end of the fourth term. Keller Easterling
3100a, The Plan 3 credits. Limited enrollment. Brennan Buck
3101a, Textile Architectures 3 credits. The seminar explores the intersection between textile arts and architecture, beginning with Gottfried Semper’s inquiry into architecture’s tectonic origins in textile arts. The course is organized in three parts. The first part mines different techniques, typologies, and geographies born out of that intersection and considers them in tangent with issues of colonialism, geopolitics, and labor through a broad historical and geographic scope from prehistory to the present. Tents, textile factories, and weaving techniques are studied in tandem with primary readings that range from Marco Polo’s The Travels (1298) to Mahatma Gandhi’s Wheels of Fortune (1921). The second part surveys the role of textiles in twentieth-century modern architecture through case studies of collaborative projects by Mies van der Rohe, Lilly Reich, Eero Saarinen, and Alexandre Girard; Kevin Roche, Sheila Hicks, Rem Koolhaas, and Petra Blaisse; and others; and pays particular attention to the boundary between architecture and interior design by highlighting the role gender has played in that division. The third part focuses on the role textiles play in conversations about sustainability and looks into material innovation in that area. Limited enrollment. Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen
3102a, Topics in the History of Architecture after WWII 3 credits. This seminar is concerned with the culture and practice of architecture in the second half of the twentieth century, from World War II to the end of the Cold War. In a period of major cultural and technological transformations, social shifts, ideological conflicts, and political upheavals, the theory and practice of architecture underwent important changes. Members of the seminar undertake a term-long individual research project on a topic of their choosing, culminating in a twenty-page term paper. Possible topics for investigation include the postwar critique of modern architecture; debates on monumentality, humanism, regionalism; architectural phenomena related to consumer society, corporate capitalism, mass media; the consequences of new urban dimensions, changing demographics, suburbanization; the impact of decolonization and the search for postcolonial identities; the pursuit of radical and experimental forms of design practice; the coalescence of postmodernism; architectural responses to issues of race and gender; the rise of environmental and planetary awareness; the inception of digital technology and culture; and much else. Class sessions alternate lectures, discussions, and presentations of research-in-progress, reflecting the collective interests of the class and focusing on topics of particular relevance today. Students are assumed to have some previous knowledge of the history of the period. Limited enrollment. Joan Ockman
3211b, Abstraction and Architecture: A Critical History 3 credits. Within an urban space increasingly governed by financial capital and its algorithms, abstraction is everywhere hypostatized into the material and immaterial spaces of our daily existence. Piet Mondrian’s utopian vision of a world ruled by the aesthetics of abstraction is now finally realized. The course traces the history of abstraction in architecture from the advent of sedentary societies to today by focusing on pivotal moments: the rise of calculus; geometry and architectural drawing; the building of large-scale structures such as Egyptian pyramids and European cathedrals; the planning of monasteries and the engineering of infrastructure; the building of houses, glass houses, factories, and data centers. Limited enrollment. Pier Vittorio Aureli
[3223a, Parallel Moderns: Crosscurrents in European and American Architecture, 1880–1940 3 credits. This seminar puts forward the argument that what many have accepted as the mutually exclusive discourses of tradition and innovation in the modern architecture of the first half of the twentieth century—respectively identified as the “New Tradition” and the “New Pioneers” by Henry-Russell Hitchcock in two articles in Architectural Record in 1928, and more elaborately in his Modern Architecture: Romanticism and Reintegration (1929)—in fact share common genealogy and are integral to an understanding of modern architecture as a whole. Lectures by the instructor develop this argument with reference to a diverse group of architects—some well-known and others less familiar. Limited enrollment. Not offered in 2020–2021. Robert A.M. Stern]
[3229b, Sustainability: A Critical View from the Urban History of Amazonia 3 credits. The urban frontier in Amazonia is among the fastest growing in the world: 80 percent of it is “informal.” Under export-oriented, neo-extractivist policies, this trend is unlikely to revert. Nevertheless, scarce research has focused on the urban phenomenon in Amazonia. How can burgeoning forest cities be retrofitted/designed? Could urbanization be allied with forest resurgence in the region? Can environmental history and archaeology influence the way in which we approach Amazonian settlements? What can we learn from local communities? Could their ancestral knowledge be adapted to current needs and illuminate design? In this seminar, we critically probe current approaches to sustainability, aware that “green solutions” being advanced by the global north often demand further extraction of natural resources in the global south. We analyze the complex intertwining between global capitalism and Amazonia, as well as the critical role both are called to play in lieu of climate change. Limited enrollment. Not offered in 2020–2021. Ana María Durán Calisto]
3240a, Spatial Concepts of Japan: Their Origins and Development in Architecture and Urbanism 3 credits. The seminar explores the origins and developments of Japanese spatial concepts and surveys how they help form the contemporary architecture, ways of life, and cities of the country. Many Japanese spatial concepts, such as ma, are about creating time-space distances and relationship between objects, people, space, and experiences. These concepts go beyond the fabric of a built structure and encompass architecture, landscape, and city. Each class is designed around one or two Japanese words that signify particular design concepts. Each week, a lecture on the word(s) with its design features, backgrounds, historical examples, and contemporary application is followed by student discussion. Contemporary works studied include those by Maki, Isozaki, Ando, Ito, SANAA, and Fujimoto. The urbanism and landscape of Tokyo and Kyoto are discussed. Students are required to make in-class presentations and write a final paper. Limited enrollment. Yoko Kawai
3256b, Renaissance and Modern 3 credits. This course seeks to confront historical knowledge with speculation about the intentions of architectural designs and the nature of their realization. Drawing as much on the modern interest in cognitive processes as on selective reconstruction of historic moments, the course expects students to contribute to the debate between Peter Eisenman and Kurt Forster, read a limited series of texts, and focus their attention on the buildings that command center stage. The challenge resides in the effort to understand the beginnings of new ideas during the Renaissance, to grow aware of their evolution and consequences, without distorting their historical nature. The course continues in the spring term by taking a broad look at the twentieth century and then organizes itself around a few key phases in the formation of architectural consciousness, moving through the postwar debates to current dilemmas. The two terms are closely choreographed, but the courses can be taken separately. Students are expected to prepare for each session by studying the posted readings, the principal buildings and images that will be discussed, and preparing questions to be raised during the session. Students each submit a succinct account of their thinking on a building that is key to an understanding of Renaissance architecture. Limited enrollment. Peter Eisenman, Kurt W. Forster
3267a/FILM 833a, Semiotics 3 credits. The seminar discusses the most relevant concepts and categories elaborated by semiotics in order to provide analytical tools for “close readings” of verbal or visual texts, cultural objects, artifacts, events, and social situations. Semiotics’s foundational goal consisted in retracing how meaning emerges and circulates in connection with a variety of objects, from literary works to social rituals, from natural phenomena to artificial languages. To revamp semiotics’s main tasks, the seminar discusses three issues: the structure of semiotic objects, in particular their internal organization and their ideological connotations; the narrative strategies that semiotic objects display, with their capacity to establish a subtle parallel with a theory of human action; and the process of semiosis, and the ways in which a semiotic object becomes “meaningful” in the framework of a culture. Analytical tools are tested in class through close readings of a great variety of objects and situations, spanning from celebrities’ depictions to Genesis, from social encounters to urban design. Further examples are proposed by students. These close readings will imply the collective work of the whole class. Limited enrollment. Francesco Casetti
3272b, Exhibitionism: Politics of Display 3 credits. Since their inception in the eighteenth century, art museums—prestigious buildings commissioned by those who wield power and influence—have behaved like cultural barometers registering changing attitudes about the role cultural institutions play in society. Looking at museum buildings from the inside out, this seminar traces the evolution of this building type through an in-depth analysis of its key architectural elements: gallery, interstitial (circulation, assembly, retail) and infrastructure (security/climate control) spaces, and site. This seminar explores how the spatial and material development of these tectonic components both mirrors and perpetuates changing cultural attitudes about aesthetics, class, power, wealth, nature, leisure, gender, body, and the senses as seen through the eyes of artists, architects, critics, collectors, and politicians. Topics include gallery spectatorship from the Renaissance picture frame to the modernist white cube; shifting sites from palace to park to repurposed industrial structures; urban renewal, gentrification, and the postwar museum; starchitecture and the trophy museum; cruising: museums as social condensers to see and be seen; multimedia artistic practices and information technologies; and new typologies, such as biennials, art fairs, private collections, and retail hybrids. Limited enrollment. Joel Sanders
3280b Medium Design 3 credits. While usually focused on designing buildings, designers might also design the medium in which those buildings are suspended. Beyond associations with communication technologies, medium, in this context, means middle or milieu. Considering ground instead of figure, or field instead of object, medium design inverts some dominant cultural logics and offers additional aesthetic and political capacities for addressing intractable problems. Medium is assessed for latent properties that unfold over time and territory, propensities within a context, potentials in relative position, or the agency in arrangement, and like an operating system or a growth medium, it decides what will live or die. In this matrix of activity where it is easier to detect discrepancy, latency, temperament, and indeterminacy, right answers are less important than unfolding or branching sequences of response. Benefiting from an artistic curiosity about reagents and spatial mixtures or spatial wiring, medium design suggests different organs of design or different ways to register the design imagination. Beyond buildings, master plans, declarations, laws, or standards, it deploys multipliers, switches, or time-released organs of interplay like bargains and chain reactions. While not dominant, this habit of mind is ever-present in many disciplines and leads to readings that include Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, Gilbert Ryle, Gilles Deleuze, Bruno Latour, J.J. Gibson, Marshall McLuhan, Harold Innis, Jacques Rancière, Walter Benjamin, Gregory Bateson, Vilem Flusser, Dunne and Raby, and John Durham Peters. An in-class presentation and final paper complete the requirements of the course. Limited enrollment. Keller Easterling
3283b, After the Modern Movement: An Atlas of the Postmodern, 1945–1989 3 credits. This course aims to answer the questions: What was and what is postmodernism in architecture? Postmodernism should not be seen as a style, but rather as a condition that arose out of the ahistorical, acontextual, self-referential, materialistic modernism that prevailed in the post-WWII era. By pushing aside history, context, and social concerns, modernism of that period exhausted itself of its potential, and restive architects incorporated figuration and representation as they sought to make the discipline more responsive to the wide expanse of popular culture. However, postmodernism was not intended as a repudiation of modernism, but as an evolution and corrective action. The course is primarily concerned with architecture (as chronicled by Charles Jencks in his 1977 book, The Language of Post-Modern Architecture) and key texts by architects, such as Robert Venturi, Aldo Rossi, and James Stirling. Students explore a number of architects who have been overlooked and deserve renewed consideration. This seminar is motivated by conditions in contemporary practice, including the renewed interest in the postmodernism of the previous generation and in the return of precedent to the design process. Limited enrollment. Robert A.M. Stern
3290a, Body Politics: Environmental Justice and COVID-19 3 credits. COVID-19 underscores how public health and environmental justice are intimately related. This seminar explores the urgent need for transdisciplinary teams representing design, science, and the humanities to create safe, hygienic, accessible, and inclusive spaces that accommodate all bodies, including people of different races, genders, religions, and abilities that fall out of the cultural mainstream. Through in-depth analysis of everyday spaces—homes, workplaces, hospitals, museums—we look at how the conventions of architecture, transmitted through building typologies, standards, and codes, have marginalized or excluded persons who fall outside white, masculine, heterosexual, able-bodied norms. After analyzing each of these sites in their cultural and historical context, students generate innovative design proposals that allow a spectrum of differently embodied and culturally identified people to productively mix in a post-pandemic world. Limited enrollment. Joel Sanders
3299a or b, Independent Course Work 3 or 6 credits. Program to be determined with a faculty adviser of the student’s choice and submitted, with the endorsement of the study area coordinator, to the Rules Committee for confirmation of the student’s eligibility under the rules. (See the School’s Academic Rules and Regulations.)
Electives outside of School of Architecture
Courses offered elsewhere in the University may be taken for credit with permission of the instructor. Unless otherwise indicated, at the School of Architecture full-term courses are typically assigned 3 credits; half-term courses are assigned 1.5 credits. Students must have the permission of the History and Theory Study Area coordinators in order for a course to count as a history/theory elective.
Urbanism and Landscape
Alan J. Plattus and Elihu Rubin, Study Area Coordinators
In this study area, a broad range of courses explore the aesthetic, economic, social, and political influences on the spatial form of urban places and the urban, suburban, and rural landscapes that form our design ecology.
For the M.Arch. I program, required courses in this study area include an introduction to urban design (4011a) and the satisfactory completion of one of the elective seminar courses from this study area. Courses offered outside the School not listed below may fulfill this elective requirement provided permission from the study area coordinators has been granted.
4011a/345a, Introduction to Urban Design 3 credits. (Required of first-year M.Arch. I students.) This course is an introduction to the history, analysis, and design of the urban landscape presented with weekly lectures and discussion sections. Emphasis is placed on understanding the principles, processes, and contemporary theories of urban design, and the relations between individual buildings, groups of buildings, and the larger physical and cultural contexts in which they are created and with which they interact. Case studies are drawn from cities around the world and throughout history and focus on the role of public space and public art in shaping the form, use, and identity of cities and regions. Alan J. Plattus
4042a, Introduction to Planning and Development 3 credits. This course demonstrates the ways in which financial and political feasibility determine the design of buildings and the character of the built environment. Students propose projects and then adjust them to the conflicting interests of financial institutions, real estate developers, civic organizations, community groups, public officials, and the widest variety of participants in the planning process. Subjects covered include housing, commercial development, zoning, historic preservation, parks and public open space, suburban subdivisions, and comprehensive plans. Alexander Garvin
4209a, Territorial Cities of Pre-Colonial America 3 credits. Civilizations have independently blossomed in seven distinct regions at different moments in time: in Mesopotamia, the Nile River Valley, the Indus Valley, ancient China, the Mediterranean, Mesoamerica, and the Andean coast. Of these seven radiations of civilization, our architectural and urban history courses tend to focus on two or three. The main purpose of this research seminar is to contribute toward a growing study of architectural typologies and urban constellations characteristic of ancient pre-Columbian civilizations, with a focus on the relationships they established with their environment. The central premise of this seminar, to be examined and questioned, is that the characteristic urban model or settlement system that evolved in the Americas was profoundly territorial, intertwining agriculture, settlement, infrastructure, and landscape. These dynamic, dispersed, sometimes migratory urbanisms were structured as geographical networks of exchange, or constellations of cacicazgos, curacazgos, or señoríos (chiefdoms). Their form responded to an animistic and spiritual reading of place and placement, and to the need of managing whole regions, often located in complex ecologies such as the Central or South American rain forests, the arid coasts of Peru, or the rough Andean cordillera. Drawing and writing are our main modes of inquiry. Each student analyzes a particular territorial system and a specific node within it throughout the term. The outcomes of the seminar will be collected into a digital publication. Limited enrollment. Ana María Durán Calisto
[4213a, The City and Carbon Modernity 3 credits. Humanity has moved through three energy paradigms, each of which has produced different built environments and social organizations. At each transition—from nomadic to agricultural and from agricultural to industrial—the productive capacity of human society was transformed, restructuring the existing social order and engendering a corresponding spatial and architectural paradigm. This course studies our current energy paradigm—carbon-intensive fossil fuels—as a driver of urban and architectural form. Rather than studying the technical aspects of energy, however, the course focuses on the social and spatial organizations that arise and are dependent on dense and abundant energy, identifying these as carbon form. Despite increasing awareness of environmental issues, architects continue to replicate carbon form, preventing a transition out of our current energy paradigm. Just as the modern movement proposed a new organization for the city based on the realities of industry, this moment demands new organizations that can respond to an urban system that the climate crisis has shown to be obsolete. Unlike in modernism, however, the energy transition to which we must respond has not yet occurred. And yet, architecture must still declare the death of carbon modernity and seek the means to overcome its material and cultural legacy. In this light, the course interrogates the foundations of contemporary human organization in order to lay new foundations for the oncoming transitions in energy and social form. Students study the theoretical roots of carbon form in the works of Le Corbusier, Hilberseimer, Koolhaas, and others, and speculate on new human settlement patterns by examining the relationship between the energy grid and the urban grid, i.e., between energy and urban form. Assignments include readings, reading responses, as well as drawings at the midterm and final. Limited enrollment. Not offered in 2020–2021. Elisa Iturbe]
[4216a, Globalization Space: International Infrastructure and Extrastatecraft 3 credits. This lecture course researches global infrastructure space as a medium of polity. More than networks of pipes and wires under the ground, this infrastructure space is a visible, enveloping urban medium filled with repeatable spatial formulas and spatial products. Lectures visit the networks of trade, communication, tourism, labor, air, rail, highway, oil, hydrology, finance, standard making, and activism. Case studies travel around the world to, for instance, free trade zones in Dubai, IT campuses in South Asia, high-speed rail in Saudi Arabia, cable/satellite networks in Africa, highways in India, a resort in the DPRK, golf courses in China, ISO standards, and automated ports. More than a survey of physical networks and shared protocols, the course also repositions spatial variables in global governance. Infrastructure space may constitute a de facto parliament of decision-making—an intensely spatial extrastatecraft that often spins around irrational desires. Each week, readings, with both evidence and discursive commentary, accompany two lectures and a discussion section. A short midterm paper establishes each student’s research question for the term. A final paper completes the requirements of the course. Limited enrollment. Not offered in 2020–2021. Keller Easterling]
[4219a, Urban Research and Representation 3 credits. Every day, architects and urban designers make proposals that shape the public and private realms of the city. This seminar sets out to contextualize the social and political ramifications of these interventions; to intensify the designer’s tool kit of deep, sociohistorical research of site and place; and to cultivate a reflexive practice that considers seriously the social responsibilities of both the architect and the urban researcher. In the classroom, and in the field, this seminar introduces a diverse set of methods for studying the urban environment, from the archival and visual to the observational and ethnographic. Limited enrollment. Not offered in 2020–2021. Elihu Rubin]
4220b, Port Cities 3 credits. Historically, port cities around the world have played a crucial role as the nodes of connection and exchange for both local and vast global networks of production, trade, culture, and power. Since the industrial revolution, rapid development of new technologies of transport and communication has challenged the planners and developers of these cities to both adapt and innovate, creating new and hybrid spatial typologies and transforming vast areas of urbanized waterfront and rural hinterland. And now, climate change and its impact on coastal and riparian geographies add an additional layer of complexity and challenge. This seminar considers the changing and persistent patterns, functions, and images of port cities, particularly in the context of their regional and global networks, researching, analyzing, and mapping the architectural and spatial manifestations of those systems. Limited enrollment. Alan J. Plattus
4221b, Introduction to Commercial Real Estate 3 credits. This seminar introduces commercial real estate. It does not require any prior knowledge of finance, accounting, or taxation policies. Commercial real estate is income-producing property that is built, financed, and sold for investment. This course examines five basic types of commercial real estate (office, industrial, retail, multifamily, and hotel) from the standpoints of the developer, lender, and investor. Principles of location, financing, timing of market cycles, leasing, ownership structure, and external factors are explored. Students are expected to evaluate assets, partnership interests, and other positions such as debtor interests through valuation measurement, which requires the use of some simple mathematics. An HP-12C calculator or laptop computer with Excel for use in class is required. Students also examine commercial deeds, leases, partnership agreements, and other legal documents. Each student selects a building or development site within New Haven County for a due diligence analysis of zoning, real estate taxes, deeds, liens, market supply and demand, projected income and expenses, and availability of debt. In addition to out-of-class assignments, a brief exercise is included during each class. Limited enrollment. Kevin D. Gray
4222a, History of Landscape Architecture: Antiquity to 1700 in Western Europe 3 credits. This course presents an introductory survey of the history of gardens and the interrelationship of architecture and landscape architecture in Western Europe from antiquity to 1700, focusing primarily on Italy. The course examines chronologically the evolution of several key elements in landscape design: architectural and garden typologies; the boundaries between inside and outside; issues of topography and geography; various uses of water; organization of plant materials; and matters of garden decoration, including sculptural tropes. Specific gardens or representations of landscape in each of the four periods under discussion—Ancient Roman, medieval, early and late Renaissance, and Baroque—are examined and situated within their own cultural context. Throughout the seminar, comparisons of historical material with contemporary landscape design are emphasized. Limited enrollment. Bryan Fuermann
4223b, History of British Landscape Architecture: 1500 to 1900 3 credits. This seminar examines chronologically the history of landscape architecture and country-house architecture in Britain from 1500 to 1900. Topics of discussion include the history of the castle in British architecture and landscape architecture; Italian and French influences on the seventeenth-century British garden; military landscaping; the Palladian country house and British agricultural landscape; Capability Brown’s landscape parks; theories of the picturesque and of the landscape sublime; Romanticism and the psychology of nature; the creation of the public park system; arts and crafts landscape design; and the beginnings of landscape modernism. Comparisons of historical material with contemporary landscape design, where appropriate, are made throughout the term. The collection of the Yale Center for British Art is used for primary visual material, and a trip to England over spring break, partially funded by the School, allows students to visit firsthand the landscape parks studied in this seminar. Limited enrollment. Bryan Fuermann
4224a, Out of Date: Expired Patents and Their Unrealized Histories since the Nineteenth Century 3 credits. What if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had developed “soft infrastructures” and “living systems” for dealing with the changing flows of the Mississippi in and around New Orleans? What if Henry Ford had used soy protein for automotive parts and synthetic meats in the 1940s? Or what if South Asian nation-states had adopted the Ganges Water Machine model in the 1970s to address critical water shortages in urban areas? What do these three seemingly disparate examples all have in common? Each is based on a patent or series of patents that were never adopted for one reason or another. These are just a few of the questions that animate this course. Historians ask the why and the how, but they are rarely trained to visualize what a city, a meal, or a landscape might have looked like had a particular technology or living system been adopted. Rather than shy away from such counterfactuals, this seminar explores and seeks to visualize these historical what-ifs by taking a comparative, global perspective on the history of patents as visual and textual artifacts. Limited enrollment. Anthony Acciavatti
4233b, Ghost Towns 3 credits. This is an advanced, interdisciplinary seminar in architectural history, urban planning, vernacular building, the politics of preservation, collective memory, tourism, and, ultimately, urban sustainability. Looking at a broad spectrum of failed or almost-failed cities in the United States and across the globe, this seminar uses the ghost town and its rhythms of development and disinvestment to establish a conceptual framework for contemporary urban patterns and processes. Students develop skills in urban and architectural research methods, visual and formal analysis, effective writing, and critical reasoning. Limited enrollment. Elihu Rubin
4246a/160a, Introduction to Urban Studies 3 credits. Limited enrollment. Elihu Rubin
4291c, The Urban Atlas: Morphology, Typology, and Thick Space 3 credits. This program, based in the collaboration between the Yale School of Architecture and the Architecture Department at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, introduces Yale students to the rigorous study of urban form and space and their social uses in relation to the context of historic and contemporary architecture and urbanism in the north of Europe. During an intensive month-long residency in Gothenburg, Yale students learn and practice methods and techniques of urban analysis, including graphic and modeling approaches to understanding the interface between building form and typology and larger patterns of urban use and movement. Students live, travel, and work together as an integrated research team, contributing to a new Urban Atlas of North European cities. All program travel plans will be made in accordance with University and national travel policies. Limited enrollment. Alan J. Plattus, Andrei Harwell
4299a or b, Independent Course Work 3 or 6 credits. Program to be determined with a faculty adviser of the student’s choice and submitted, with the endorsement of the study area coordinator, to the Rules Committee for confirmation of the student’s eligibility under the rules. (See the School’s Academic Rules and Regulations. Available for credit to fulfill the M.Arch. I Urbanism and Landscape elective requirement with the approval of the study area coordinators.)
Electives outside of School of Architecture
Courses offered elsewhere in the University may be taken for credit with permission of the instructor. Unless otherwise indicated, at the School of Architecture full-term courses are typically assigned 3 credits; half-term courses are assigned 1.5 credits. Students must have the permission of the Urbanism and Landscape Study Area coordinators in order for a course to count as an urbanism elective.