Classes

Explore all classes offered by the Department  — use the filters in the right column below to view classes by discipline groups or by semester.

The Department of Architecture is “Course 4.” The method of assigning numbers to classes is to write the course number in Arabic numerals followed by a period and three digits, which are used to differentiate courses. Most classes retain the same number from year to year. Architecture groups its numbers by discipline group.

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11.S940

Joy & Grief Workshop

How do we design places that reflect and elicit joy? How about places that allow us to acknowledge or express grief? We will examine the role of care in architecture and design and how it finds expression through joy and grief as expressed by interventions in public space. We will look at memorials, playgrounds, parks, promenades, and a variety of places of gathering and solitude. Students will be invited to engage with essayists, poets, artists, psychologists, and musicians—some of whom will be guests—along with urban planners and architects; expect to read Zadie Smith, Carolina Miranda, Alexandra Lange, Layli Long Soldier, Edwidge Danticat, and Rita Dove, and to look at the work of Roy DeCarava, Tyler Mitchell, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Felandus Thames, David Adjaye, Rachel Whiterhead, Tadao Ando, Kara Walker, and others. Students will be invited to design a public space that invites joy and (or?) another that wrestles with grief. (No prior design experience necessary).

Garnette Cadogan
Spring
2022
3-0-9
G
Schedule
W 9-12
Location
9-450Ai
Prerequisites
Application Letter Required: Submit a letter of no more than 500wds that explains your interest in the course and give an example of a design or artwork that invites joy and of another that helps people confront grief. Permission of Instructor.
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
4.021

Design Studio: How to Design

Introduces fundamental design principles as a way to demystify design and provide a basic introduction to all aspects of the process. Stimulates creativity, abstract thinking, representation, iteration, and design development. Equips students with skills to have more effective communication with designers, and develops their ability to apply the foundations of design to any discipline.

Fall
2022
3-3-6
U
Schedule
MW 2-5
Location
N52-342C
Prerequisites
None
Required Of
BSA, BSAD and Architecture Minor
HASS
A
Preference Given To
BSA, BSAD, Arch minor; 1st- and 2nd-year students
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads
4.022

Design Studio: Introduction to Design Techniques and Technologies: Thinking through Making

Introduces the tools, techniques and technologies of design across a range of projects in a studio environment. Explores concepts related to form, function, materials, tools, and physical environments through project-based exercises. Develops familiarity with design process, critical observation, and the translation of design concepts into digital and physical reality. Utilizing traditional and contemporary techniques and tools, faculty across various design disciplines expose students to a unique cross-section of inquiry.

Spring
2022
3-3-6
U
Schedule
MW 2-5
Location
studio
Prerequisites
4.021 or 4.02A
Required Of
BSA, BSAD, Architecture Minor
Preference Given To
Course 4 and 4B majors; Design/Arch minors; and 1st- and 2nd-year students
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
4.022

Design Studio: Introduction to Design Techniques and Technologies: Thinking through Making

Introduces the tools, techniques and technologies of design across a range of projects in a studio environment. Explores concepts related to form, function, materials, tools, and physical environments through project-based exercises. Develops familiarity with design process, critical observation, and the translation of design concepts into digital and physical reality. Utilizing traditional and contemporary techniques and tools, faculty across various design disciplines expose students to a unique cross-section of inquiry.

Fall
2022
3-3-6
U
Schedule
MW 2-5
Location
studio 7-434
Prerequisites
4.021 or 4.02A
Required Of
BSA, BSAD, Architecture Minor
Preference Given To
Course 4 and 4B majors; Design/Arch minors; and 1st- and 2nd-year students
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads
4.023

Architecture Design Studio I

Provides instruction in architectural design and project development within design constraints including architectural program and site. Students engage the design process through various 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional media. Working directly with representational and model making techniques, students gain experience in the conceptual, formal, spatial and material aspects of architecture. Instruction and practice in oral and written communication provided.

Cherie Abbanat
Fall
2022
0-12-12
U
Schedule
TRF 1-5
Location
studio 7-434
Prerequisites
4.022
Required Of
BSA
Restricted Elective
Architecture Minor
Preference Given To
Course 4 majors and minors
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
4.025

Architecture Design Studio III

Cancelled

Class canceled for Fall 2022.

Fall
2022
0-12-12
U
Prerequisites
4.024, 4.440
Required Of
BSA
Preference Given To
Course 4 majors
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
4.031

Design Studio: Objects and Interaction

Overview of design as the giving of form, order, and interactivity to the objects that define our daily life. Follows the path from project to interactive product. Covers the overall design process, preparing students for work in a hands-on studio learning environment. Emphasizes design development and constraints. Topics include the analysis of objects; interaction design and user experience; design methodologies, current dialogues in design; economies of scale vs. means; and the role of technology in design. Provides a foundation in prototyping skills such as carpentry, casting, digital fabrication, electronics, and coding.

Fall
2022
3-3-6
U
Schedule
T 7-9
R 2-5
Location
N52-342C
Prerequisites
4.022
Required Of
BSAD
Restricted Elective
BSAD, Design minor
Preference Given To
BSAD, Design minor
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads
4.032
4.033

Design Studio: Information and Visualization

Provides an introduction to working with information, data and visualization in a hands-on studio learning environment. Studies the history and theory of information, followed by a series of projects in which students apply the ideas directly. Progresses though basic data analysis, visual design and presentation, and more sophisticated interaction techniques. Topics include storytelling and narrative, choosing representations, understanding audiences, and the role of designers working with data. 

Graduate students are expected to complete additional assignments.

Spring
2022
3-3-6
U
2-4-6
G
Schedule
WF 9:30-11
Location
N52-337
Required Of
BSA, Design Minor
Preference Given To
BSA, Design Minor
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads
4.041

Design Studio: Advanced Product Design

Focuses on producing a small series of manufactured products. Students develop products that address specific user needs, propose novel design concepts, iteratively prototype, test functionality, and ultimately exhibit their work in a retail context. Stemming from new research and technological developments around MIT, students try to imagine the future products that emerge from new materials and machine intelligence. Provides an in-depth exploration of the design and manufacturing of products, through narrative, form, function, fabrication, and their relationship to customers. 

Spring
2022
3-3-6
U
Schedule
TR 2-5
Location
N52-342C
Prerequisites
4.031 or permission of instructor
Required Of
Design Minor
Restricted Elective
BSAD
Preference Given To
Course 4B Majors, Design Minor
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads
4.051

The Human Factor in Innovation and Design Strategy

Cancelled

Canceled for Fall 2022

Fall
2022
2-2-8
U
Prerequisites
permission of instructor
Restricted Elective
BSAD, Design minor
Preference Given To
BSAD, Design minor
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
4.053

Visual Communication Fundamentals

Provides an introduction to visual communication, emphasizing the development of a visual and verbal vocabulary. Presents the fundamentals of line, shape, color, composition, visual hierarchy, word/image relationships and typography as building blocks for communicating with clarity, emotion, and meaning. Students develop their ability to analyze, discuss and critique their work and the work of the designed world. 

Bo-Won Keum
Fall
2022
3-3-6
U
Schedule
Lecture: T 9-12
Lab/Recitation: R 7-10
Location
N52-337
Restricted Elective
BSAD, Design minor
Preference Given To
BSAD, Design minor
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads
4.105

Geometric Disciplines and Architecture Skills

Intensive introduction to architectural design tools and process, taught through a series of short exercises. Covers a broad range of topics relating to the discourse of geometry as the basis of architectural design process. Focuses on projective drawings, explicit 3D modeling, and the reciprocity between representation and materialization. Lectures, workshops, and pin-ups address the architectural arguments intrinsic to geometry and its representation. 

Fall
2022
2-2-5
G
Schedule
R 10-1
Location
1-246
Required Of
MArch
Open Only To
1st-year MArch
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads
4.110

Design Across Scales

Inspired by Charles and Ray Eames' canonical Powers of Ten, explores the relationship between science and engineering through the lens of design. Examines how transformations in science and technology have influenced design thinking and vice versa. Provides interdisciplinary skills and methods to represent, model, design and fabricate objects, machines, and systems using new computational and fabrication tools. Aims to develop methodologies for design research of interdisciplinary problems.

Jessica Helfand
Spring
2022
3-2-8
U
Schedule
M 10-12
W 7-9
Location
7-429
1-379
Required Of
BSAD
Restricted Elective
Architecture and Design Minors
HASS
A
Preference Given To
BSAD, Course 4 Minors
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads
4.117
4.118

Creative Computation

Dedicated to bridging the gap between the virtual and physical world, the subject embraces modes of computation that hold resonance with materials and methods that beg to be computed. Students engage in bi-weekly exercises to solve complex design problems. Each exercise is dedicated to a different computation approach (recursion, parametric, genetic algorithms, particle-spring systems, etc.) that is married to a physical challenge, thereby learning the advantages and disadvantages to each approach while verifying the results in physical and digitally fabricated prototypes. Through the tools of computation and fabrication, it empowers students to design as architects, engineers and craftspeople.

Additional work required of students taking for graduate credit.

Spring
2022
3-0-6
G
3-0-9
U
Schedule
W 2-5
Location
3-442
Prerequisites
permission of instructor
Required Of
Design Minor, MArch
Preference Given To
MArch
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads
4.120

Furniture Making Workshop

Provides instruction in designing and building a functional piece of furniture from an original design. Develops woodworking techniques from use of traditional hand tools to digital fabrication. Gives students the opportunity to practice design without using a building program or code. Surveys the history of furniture making. 

Additional work required of students taking for graduate credit. 

Sasha McKinlay
Spring
2023
2-2-5
G
Schedule
WF 9:30-11
Location
N51-160
Prerequisites
permission of instructor
Preference Given To
Course 4 students
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads
4.123

Architectural Assemblies

Fosters a holistic understanding of the architectural-building cycle, enabling students to build upon the history of design and construction to make informed decisions towards developing innovative building systems. Includes an overview of materials, processing methods, and their formation into building systems across cultures. Looks at developing innovative architectural systems focusing on the building envelope. Seeks to adapt processes from the aerospace and automotive industries to investigate buildings as prefabricated design and engineering assemblies. Synthesizes knowledge in building design and construction systems, environmental and structural design, and geometric and computational approaches.

Spring
2022
2-2-5
G
Schedule
F 9-12
Location
3-133
Required Of
MArch
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads
4.130

Architectural Design Theory and Methodologies

Cancelled

Note: Subject 4.228 will fulfill the requirement for 4.130 for Fall 2022.

Fall
2022
3-3-6
G
Required Of
SMArchS Design
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
4.140
MAS.863
6.9020

How to Make (Almost) Anything

Provides a practical hands-on introduction to digital fabrication, including CAD/CAM/CAE, NC machining, 3-D printing and scanning, molding and casting, composites, laser and waterjet cutting, PCB design and fabrication; sensors and actuators; mixed-signal instrumentation, embedded processing, and wired and wireless communications. Develops an understanding of these capabilities through projects using them individually and jointly to create functional systems.

Neil Gershenfeld
Jen O'Brien
Fall
2022
3-9-6
U
Schedule
Lecture: W 1-4
Lab/Recitation: R 5-9
Location
E14-633
Prerequisites
permission of instructor
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
4.151

Architecture Design Core Studio I

Explores the foundations of design through a series of bracketed methods of production. These methods exercise topics such as form, space, organization, structure, circulation, use, tectonics, temporality, and experience. Students develop methods of representation that span from manual to virtual and from canonical to experimental. Each method is evaluated for what it offers and privileges, supplying a survey of approaches for design exercises to follow. First in a sequence of design subjects, which must be taken in order.

Myles Sampson
Carrie Norman
Zhicheng Xu
Fall
2022
0-12-9
G
Schedule
TRF 1-5
Location
studio
Prerequisites
permission of instructor
Required Of
MArch
Open Only To
1st-year MArch
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads
4.152

Architecture Design Core Studio II

Builds on Core I skills and expands the constraints of the architectural problem to include issues of urban site logistics, cultural and programmatic material (inhabitation and human factors), and long span structures. Two related projects introduce a range of disciplinary issues, such as working with precedents, site, sectional and spatial proposition of the building, and the performance of the outer envelope. Emphasizes the clarity of intentions and the development of appropriate architectural and representational solutions.

Anda French
Silvia Illia Sheldahl
Cristina Parreno
Spring
2022
0-12-9
G
Schedule
TRF 1-5
Location
studio 7-434
Prerequisites
4.151
Required Of
1st-year MArch
Open Only To
1st-year MArch
Can Be Repeated for Credit
Yes
Document Uploads
4.153

Architecture Design Core Studio III

Interdisciplinary approach to design through studio design problems that engage the domains of building technology, computation, and the cultural/historical geographies of energy. Uses different modalities of thought to examine architectural agendas for 'sustainability'; students position their work with respect to a broader understanding of the environment and its relationship to society and technology. Students develop a project with a comprehensive approach to programmatic organization, energy load considerations, building material assemblies, exterior envelope and structure systems.

Fall
2022
0-12-9
G
Schedule
TRF 1-5
Location
studio
Prerequisites
4.152
Open Only To
2nd-year MArch
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads
4.154

Architecture Design Option Studio — Serra da Capivara (Bucci/Salgueiro Barrio)

The proposal of the studio builds upon Amazonia Studio 1, carried out last year, which engaged the archaeological site of Monte Alegre in the State of Pará in the Amazon region. That previous studio relied on the participation of archeologist Edithe Pereira, who has been researching Monte Alegre for three decades, and Raoni do Vale, who researches rupestrian inscriptions (rock markings) with an anthropological lens and indigenous researchers. In addition, we had the support of the University of Manaus, through Professor Marcos Cereto.

The accumulation of information gathered in the last year, primarily through our guests' lectures, as well as the collection of projects developed by the students during the studio for the Monte Alegre site, combined with the wealth of archaeological information organized by the Museu do Homem Americano, FUMDHAM in Serra da Capivara, make it now possible to advance the elaboration of architectural propositions in this significant frontier between artifacts and landscapearchitecture and geomorphology, between the vastness of archaeological time and the immediacy of our environmental urgencies.

Site

The Serra da Capivara National Park — created in 1979 and expanded in 1990 — is located in the south of the state of Piauí, on the eastern margin of the Brazilian Amazon, just outside the Amazon biome. With an area of 135,000 hectares, the park is surrounded by the municipalities of São Raimundo Nonato, to the south, Coronel José Dias, to the southeast, João Costa, to the northeast, and Brejo do Piauí, to the northwest. The park is located between two important hydrographic basins, 100km north of the Sobradinho dam lake, on the São Francisco river in state of Bahia and 250km south of the Nova Esperança dam lake, on the Parnaíba river on the border between the states of Piauí and Maranhao.

Roi Salgueiro Barrio
Spring
2022
0-10-11
G
Schedule
RF 1-5
Location
3-415 studio
Prerequisites
4.153
Required Of
MArch
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
4.154

Architecture Design Option Studio — 36 Chambers: Exploring Deep Knowledge of Site, and Implementing Audio Technologies in Architectural Representation (D. Garcia)

This studio will design audio-focused building interventions, focusing on sites near or around the traditional territory of the Wampanoag Nation. We will consider site and landscape as narrative mediums. In the same way that we think of museums, galleries, monuments and archives as vessels of knowledge, we will equally acknowledge the stories that exist outside of them. We will inquire into the existence of counter-narratives in the land around us that require new forms of interpretation, display, and communication. This studio will emphasize site analysis, the development of building drawings, and the expression of an architectural character that intervenes in the physical environment, while incorporating an education in the fundamentals of electronics and acoustics. Students will learn how sound reproduction works, how to build circuits, and design and build loud-speaking architectural models. The studio will be divided into weekly topics including soundscape ecology, acoustic epistemology, oral history, digital materiality, and others. Screenings, readings, and discussion are supported by hands-on workshops in capturing, manipulating, and reproducing sound for integration into architectural models. The live remix, as both media state and storytelling technique, will be employed as a presentation methodology as the studio will culminate in a listening party of architecture’s ghost stories.

Spring
2022
0-10-11
G
Schedule
TR 1-5
Location
3-415 studio
Prerequisites
4.153
Required Of
MArch
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads
4.154

Architecture Design Option Studio — CARBONFJORD: Center for Biogeochemistry in the Anthropocene (CBA) — Re-thinking Materials + Modes of Habitation for a Despoiled Planet: Friluftsliv + Dugnad (Goulthorpe)

Studio Focus
Carbon Cycle , Bio Systems, Dwelling, Hydrogen, Composite Production, Energy/Climate Policy/Principle, Carbon Nanotube, Carbon Foam, Numeric Command Machining, Finite Element Analysis, Life Cycle Analysis, Parametric Modeling, Automated Production, Integrated Services, Anti-Tectonics, More from Less

CarbonHouse is an on-going research initiative funded by ARPA-e (the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the US Dept of Energy) that involves MIT and 9 groups of international scientists, researchers, composite fabricators, all focused on emerging forms of Carbon for their holistic use in benign, high-performance buildings. The lead MIT architecture team is tasked with inventing a new material/production potential as a means to supplement hydrogen production at vast scale: only the building sector is held to be able to absorb carbon at the scale of C21 projected global energy production, with renewables seen as falling well short of global demand. 

In Towards a New Architecture, le Corbusier gave vision to steel and concrete buildings, evidenced in elegant pioneering prototypes (Villa Savoie, Phillips Pavilion, etc). The studio will be tasked with imagining a now-carbon material paradigm, similarly learning from boats and planes, but deploying the brilliant 6th element for its full architect potential, uniquely polyvalent and vividly polyfunctional. 

The site will be the arctic coastline of Norway's stunning but desolate Lotofen archipelago, recently subject to a government moratorium on exploratory drilling for oil owing to the environmental activism of young Norwegian activists, yet poised atop the vast oil and gas reserves that have supplemented the enviable lifestyle of the small Scandinavian populace. The history of the region is animated by successive commercial exploitation of natural resources, from fish to timber to whales and now to hydrocarbons, each time facing economic hardship as reserves have been depleted, often being forced to innovate to remain competitive. Here we seek innovation well in advance of depletion in response to the looming environmental threat posed by hydrocarbons: we seek to build-with rather than burn the precious organic legacy.  

You will devise a research institute, akin to the Aspen Institute (humanitarian issues), the Rocky Mountain Institute (Energy/CO2 Policy) or the Salk Institute (Biomedical Research) — all serene research retreats that have exerted profound influence on their respective fields. But this will be a Center For Biogeochemistry In The Anthropocene (CBA), looking to instantiate a carbon architecture as a means to lock carbon in solid form to help restore the magisterial but increasingly fragile carbon cycle described by the Norwegian biologist, Dag Olav Hessen, who heads the CBA Center. It is poignantly sited in an evidently fragile and despoiled ecosystem.  

Spring
2022
0-10-11
G
Schedule
TF 1-5
Location
3-415 studio
Prerequisites
4.153
Required Of
MArch
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads
4.154

Architecture Design Option Studio (Aguirre)

AFTERSTUFF
We have made too much stuff. The pervasive production model of more, faster, cheaper has created a counterproductive muchness of simultaneous material excess and environmental precarity. This persistent push for newness makes what is culture today, product tomorrow, trash the next and is contributing to social inequity and climate crisis alike. From sites of extraction to storage units to distribution centers and Pinterest boards, architecture is implicated at all scales of this saturation.

AFTERSTUFF begins from this context of material excess, experimenting with tools and methods that point designers towards less extractive material paradigms, ones that divert resources out of existing commercial loops and towards an approach where resources are gathered, not purchased.

AFTERSTUFF proposes to design by rearranging what we have already made, by putting it towards different uses; by looking at the existing through a lens of newness rather than producing new. Instead of turning culture into a commodity we will use existing commodities and their sites towards the production of culture.

Throughout the term, each student will research the multiscalar world created by a commodity of their choice. From the Commodity itself (object scale) to Container (architectural scale) to Context (landscape scale) to Commerce (economic scale) and finally to Culture (socio-aesthetic scale). Students will pay equal regard to the material as well as the immaterial factors that affect it and our observations will span from the technical and the architectural to the aesthetic and the personal. Students will then design an intervention on a select scale of that research, by rearranging its components to point them towards more culturally beneficial outputs.

To do this, AFTERSTUFF proposes a specific 2 part formula for design which will divide the semester along 2 big exercises: First one titled ‘X1: Arranged (AS IS)’ which will serve mainly as the research portion and the second one titled ‘X2: Rearranged (AS IF)’ which will serve as the design portion.

1. X1: Arranged (AS IS): This phase will focus on mapping out how things are currently. Students will engage in creative research, accumulating not just information but gathering visual content, material samples, anecdotes, building components etc. Each week students will move up a scale with the goal of completing a fuller picture of the forces, sites and architectures that organize the circulation of this commodity. The exercise will ultimately take the shape of an amateur desktop documentary about their learnings, which will require them to develop a number of scenographic and animation skills. Students are expected to use this exercise as a prompt for research, as a time for representational skillbuilding, as a way to find new interests and unlikely sites of intervention towards meaningful change.

2. X2: Rearranged (AS IF): In the second half of the semester, students will select a scale upon which to intervene by rearranging the world of their commodity to serve less predictably commercial ends and instead pointing these resources towards more cultural outputs. Some students might choose to introduce a new way of distributing this commodity, some might choose to resassemble a building’s components while others might choose to introduce a new program to the site. Students may nudge the project towards their existing interests in design by choosing the scale and character of this intervention as long as it follows the commodity pointing towards the culture logics mentioned above. The output of this second exercise will vary from student to student but will all be required to make use of the animation / scenographic tools from the ‘X1: Arrange (AS IS)’ exercise, making the work of the semester cumulative. In addition to the research and design, we will develop a number of ‘low hanging fruit’ XR techniques to augment and further immerse the audience into the student’s final productions.

AFTERSTUFF will foreground designers and thinkers who set their practices in this moment of material reckoning and proposeother modes of operating within material culture. From adaptive reuse projects to those creating recycling tools to those advocating for a commercial antagonism. All in all, AFTERSTUFF focuses on developing creative architectural reuse strategies while using research as a way to get designers away from common sites of intervention and towards less likely candidates for architect’s design efforts.

This cumulative research and eventual design proposals will be published in a multi-year public website.

Fall
2022
0-10-11
G
Schedule
TR 1-5
Location
3-415 studio
Prerequisites
4.153
Required Of
MArch
Can Be Repeated for Credit
No
Document Uploads