Geometric Disciplines and Architecture Skills I

Open only to: 
Level one MArch students
Required of: 
MArch students

This subject is an intensive introduction to the architectural design process, learned primarily through a series of weekly or bi-weekly exercises. Given that architects have always taken drawing as their central task, this course aims to ask and answer an essential question: How do we draw, well, today

In seeking an answer to this question, we have to parse the phrase ‘draw, well, today’ into its components. First, we embrace the most expansive possible definition of draw, to include conventional orthographic drawing, 3d modeling, making, computation and the myriad other new tools for forming that the discipline employs today. Drawing well means acknowledging the representational aspects of our processes, while cultivating a deep understanding of the geometry that underlies those tools. Drawing well today demands cross-pollinating those core ideas with other qualifiers that are unique to our moment. We reckon with computational, simulative, scripting, and digital fabrication environments that condition how we design and figure. 

This subject is  part of a larger arc (together with a selection of Computation electives of the Spring), dedicated to establishing a common set of terms for the precise description of architectural objects. The exercises, lectures and workshops are designed to impart specific skills associated with their generation and representation. The conceptual basis of each exercise is in the interrogation of the geometric principles that lie at the core of each technique, thus “generalizing” the specific technique in order to display its wider generative possibilities. This process will also serve to exhibit the biases inherent in all drawing techniques. Instances of representation throughout the history of architecture will illustrate the relationship between specific techniques and the kinds of architecture they engender. Pin-ups will address the entire range of issues associated with presenting architecture through drawings, including conceptual clarity, presentation manner and legibility. These exercises establish a reciprocal relationship with studio, and anticipate the instruments necessary to approach studio design problems.

Exercises will require 3-8 hours of work (outside class meeting times) each week to adequately complete. 4.105 is conceived as a course which serves design studio rather than interferes with it, therefore students should not exceed 8 hours of work per week on the exercises. In general, each class meeting will include a pin-up, assignment presentation, and workshop. See attached course schedule for more information.