Special Subject: Architecture Design — Notes on Architectural Representation

4.151, 4.152
Limited to 10

Course Description

Architectural representation is effectively everything in Architecture. It is the way that the individual/ collective architectural imagination gets uttered into the world. It is the way that an architectural design idea gets cultivated and tested. It is the way that an architectural experience is first understood, evaluated, and subsequently tuned. It is the way that an architectural practice conveys its intentionality to a myriad of audiences—including disciplinary audiences, professional audiences, a multitude of different types of audiences across the construction industry, and of course, the broader audiences through the social and political lenses of the world at large.

The elective, Notes on Architectural Representation, has been developed around a seemingly-paradoxical dual ambition. The pedagogy underpinning the course aims to, on the one hand, (A) carve out time and space to pore over a reduced number of fundamental aspects of architectural representation, while on the other hand, it aims to (B) contextualize the widening range of formats necessary for impactful communication with an ever-expanding/ diversifying network of collaborators and audience members in the architectural design process.


The course will utilize a format that will be articulated by way of two different types of class meetings during the week. Thursday sessions will be dedicated to the introduction of topics; these sessions will take the format of instructor-lead discussions, presentations, guest lectures/ workshops, and “wild-card” in-class exercises. Wednesday sessions will be dedicated to the review of the representation assignment that will have been developed during the week prior. The expectation is that students will be working approximately three hours outside of the class time in order to prepare for the Wednesday review sessions.

Content and Coordination

The course will be run in close coordination with the Core 3 Studio. Much of the content that we will be using as our material to manipulate representationally will be from selections of work being developed in the context of that studio. This is a course on architectural representation in its own right, although it will leverage the students' design work from their Core 3 studio to a substantial degree.