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Heading titleDesign Studios (DS)

DS1100

The 1GA studio introduces students to the central problems of architecture—geometry, form, and space—through the technologies of their description—diagramming, drawing, and model making.

Introductory exercises emphasize the role of drawing and analysis as both descriptive and generative. Students pay close attention to the development of ideas that inform an iterative and creative process for working with many different media: from physical models, to two-dimensional drawings, to digital interfaces. The course culminates in the design of a small public building in Los Angeles.

DS1101

The 1GB studio is a continuation and expansion of the fundamental issues of architecture that were introduced in 1GA, the first studio of the core sequence.

The emphasis of 1GB will therefore be to continue to develop both knowledge of the discipline and sophisticated techniques for thinking about and creating architecture. The studio will begin with studies of a set of overarching conceptual, formal, and organizational strategies in significant architectural precedents. The studio will focus on the interaction between two and three dimensions, as well as various methods for the derivation of architectural form. Following analyses of precedents, site, program and type, the semester will culminate in a well-drawn and highly articulate project for a house (a duplex). The project should aim for intelligible conceptual relationships between form, siting, diagram, program and tectonics.

DS1120

The first term in the second year of the core M.Arch 1 sequence builds upon the awareness of the discipline and knowledge of architectural production by focusing on issues of Integrative Design. 

The 2GA studio is structured to hone each student’s awareness of issues involved in a complex architectural project. Elemental spatial constructs and organizational systems are seen as resulting from and reacting to site conditions, program distribution, structural systems, building envelope systems and assemblies, environmental factors, and building regulations. These influences are considered physical and virtual, permanent and ephemeral, situational and circumstantial. Qualities of site, situation and environment, as well as cultural contexts, are considered as potential tools with which to challenge conventional approaches to architectural design.

DS1121

This studio examines the relationship between architecture and the city, deepening students’ understanding of the ways in which architecture can both inform, and be informed by, the city into which it intervenes.

This studio examines the relationship between architecture and the city, deepening students’ understanding of the ways in which architecture can both inform, and be informed by, the city into which it intervenes. Through both the in-depth study of relevant examples and site research, models of formal, infrastructural and ecological approaches to architecture’s interface with cities are considered and applied. Tasked with developing proposals for a large, mixed use project, students are encouraged to design into existing urban conditions with an understanding of the dynamic and interdependent forces of economics, planning, ecology, politics, and infrastructure that have shaped the contemporary city.

The Portfolio Workshop facilitates the production of the mandatory gateway portfolio.

The Portfolio Workshop facilitates the production of the mandatory gateway portfolio. It will introduce and reinforce the fundamental concepts and techniques essential to the design of a contemporary architectural portfolio of student work. It is meant to help establish within each student an awareness of the role of the portfolio in their own development and the essential nature of portfolio culture within the school and the discipline. 

The culmination of the master curriculum and it is the most significant test of the students' and school’s ability to synthesize and produce critical and rigorous architecture.

The Graduate Thesis Program at SCI-Arc represents the culmination of the master curriculum and it is the most significant test of the students' and school’s ability to synthesize and produce critical and rigorous architecture. Graduate thesis fosters a broad culture of ideas, inquiry and position-taking. At the crossroads between independent researches and the rich culture of the broad architectural domain, SCI- Arc's thesis is structured to promote an open-ended spirit of inquiry, responding to shifts in society, technology and culture that define our contemporary architectural field. Divided into two semesters long -Thesis Research during spring and a Design Thesis Studio during summer- thesis at SCI- Arc is the place in the curriculum where students are asked to produce a personal and original contribution to the discipline of architecture, a contribution that advances the realm of architectural research and ideas rather than one that simply revisits existing paradigms. 

Heading titleHistory + Theory of Architecture (HT)

HT2100

This course introduces and contextualizes key concepts and ideas in 20th-century and contemporary architecture to provide a foundation for the study of both the discipline and practice of architecture.

This course introduces and contextualizes key concepts and ideas in 20th-century and contemporary architecture to provide a foundation for the study of both the discipline and practice of architecture. After introducing fundamental concepts related to architectural form and composition, lectures will focus on major 20th-century movements including modernism and postmodernism, will review major projects and polemics of the periods, and unpack salient theoretical arguments associated with them. The course will devote significant attention to specific relationships between the organization, configuration, and articulation of buildings and the historical, conceptual, and cultural arguments with which they are associated. The course will also emphasize the use of historical precedents by architects and the cultural and social implications of design decisions, particularly those related to issues of diversity and social equity.

HT2101

This course provides a chronological review of major movements in global architecture and urbanism from pre-history to the 16th-century.

This course provides a chronological review of major movements in global architecture and urbanism from pre-history to the 16th-century. In it, students will analyze major movements and key works in order to understand the cultural, religious, anthropological, and sociological factors involved in the design of buildings and cities throughout the world. Particular attention will be paid to the analysis of specific relationships between the organization, configuration, and articulation of buildings and cities as well as the historical, conceptual, and political contexts with which they are associated.

HT2120

This course provides a chronological review of major movements in global architecture and urbanism from the 16th to the 20th century.

This course provides a chronological review of major movements in global architecture and urbanism from the 16th to the 20th century. In it, students will analyze major movements and key works in order to understand the cultural, religious, anthropological, and sociological factors involved in the design of buildings and cities throughout the world. Particular attention will be paid to the analysis of specific relationships between the organization, configuration, and articulation of buildings and cities as well as the historical, conceptual, and political contexts with which they are associated.

HT2121

This course provides a chronological review of major movements in global architecture and urbanism from the 20th century to the present.

This course provides a chronological review of major movements in global architecture and urbanism from the 20th century to the present. In it, students will analyze major movements and key works in order to understand the cultural, religious, anthropological, and sociological factors involved in the design of buildings and cities throughout the world. Particular attention will be paid to the analysis of specific relationships between the organization, configuration, and articulation of buildings and cities as well as the historical, conceptual, and political contexts with which they are associated.

Heading titleApplied Studies (AS)

AS3100

This class introduces students to fundamental structural principles with a strong emphasis on materials, material properties and industrial processes.

This class introduces students to fundamental structural principles with a strong emphasis on materials, material properties and industrial processes. This course is an investigation into the anatomy of material and its potential use in architec­ture. The goal of the class is to provide students with a thorough understanding of materials, and of the design methods, techniques, and industrial processes by which they acquire meaning in an architectural and building context. By means of direct testing and experimentation, the class explores technical and rational ma­nipulations of traditional as well as novel materials, aiming to develop an expansive understanding of their physical nature, environmental impact and possible reuse.

AS3101

Taking a broad view of structural systems and materials, this course introduces students to the fundamental principles governing structure such as equilibrium, span, stiffness, and load path.

Taking a broad view of structural systems and materials, this course introduces students to the fundamental principles governing structure such as equilibrium, span, stiffness, and load path. The course looks at common building materials - wood, steel, concrete – and their mechanical properties to understand how and when to apply these materials in construction. Through in-class examples and discussion, and homework assign­ments which include exercises in shear and bending moment diagrams and the calculation of equilibrium and internal forces, students develop a practical understanding of structural systems and these systems are deployed in building construction. 

AS3121

This course introduces students with the basic physical principles, design impli­cations and performance of environmental systems by focusing on the behavior of lighting, acoustical and climate modification systems within the built environ­ment.

This course introduces students with the basic physical principles, design impli­cations and performance of environmental systems by focusing on the behavior of lighting, acoustical and climate modification systems within the built environ­ment. The course relies upon the assumption that a careful integration of these elements within an architectural project, especially in the impact these elements have on building envelopes, can contribute significantly to improving the quality of our environment. Life-safety systems are also discussed, with a special em­phasis on movement systems and egress. The class is divided into three inde­pendent modules, each of which addresses a single environmental system and is taught by a professional engineer specializing in the field. 

AS3120

This course aims to provide students with a com­prehensive understanding of structural engineering and of the architect’s role in the creative application of engineering principles.

This course aims to provide students with a com­prehensive understanding of structural engineering and of the architect’s role in the creative application of engineering principles. During the first part of the term, the class examines concepts and definitions of gravity framing systems. The latter half of the course introduces lateral loads and the struc­tural systems used to resist those loads. The class intro­duces students to building code requirements pertaining to lateral load definition and lateral load-resisting systems. 

AS3123

This course focuses on advanced building systems and technologies.

This course focuses on advanced building systems and technologies. With a spe­cial emphasis on high rise construction, students investigate issues pertaining to vertical movement systems, advanced structures and their relation to sur­face and building envelopes. The course also covers other building services such as plumbing, electrical, security and fire protection systems and their effects on architectural design. Through a series of lectures, group presentations and indi­vidual assignments, current typologies and specific architectural precedents are researched and discussed, with a special focus on glass, curtain wall systems, sus­tainable, energy efficient systems, and technologies of construction and assembly.

AS3122

This course focuses on construction systems, building technology, the use of ma­terials and system integration.

This course focuses on construction systems, building technology, the use of ma­terials and system integration. The course includes a review of basic construction methods, analysis of building codes including occupancy and life-safety issues, the design of structural and mechanical systems and familiarizes students with basic principles of sustainable design. Studio projects from the previous se­mester are developed, focusing on the detailed design of a zone of the building in terms of the resolution of its structural system and building envelope using three-dimensional modeling as well as drafting. Drawings at various scales are produced to introduce students to the language and standards of details, wall sections and overall building representations, culminating in a comprehensive package of drawings. The course also introduces student to the basics of cost control including life-cylce costs. Students receive the Emerging Professionals Companion along with updated Intern Development Program (IDP) information

AS3130

This course critically examines the role of professional architectural practices in the development and direction of architectural design, production, and pedago­gy.

This course critically examines the role of professional architectural practices in the development and direction of architectural design, production, and pedago­gy. As its basis, the course comprises a survey of the architectural profession— its licensing and legal requirements, its adherence to the constraints of codes and budgets, and its place among competing professions and financial inter­ests. Attention is placed on student’s understanding of registration law, building codes and regulations, professional service contracts, zoning and sub-division ordinances, environmental regulations, and other licensure concerns. Students gain an understanding of the architect’s administrative role and of issues relat­ing to obtaining commissions, selecting and coordinating consultants, negotiating contracts, providing project management, and overseeing issues of egress, code compliance, and principles of life safety. They also develop the skills necessary to effectively communicate to clients and user groups. Trends such as globalization and outsourcing are analyzed in their capacity to substantially affect the practice of an architect. Students also receive the Emerging Professional’s Companion along with updated Intern Development Program (IDP) information.

AS3140

The course focuses on advanced methods of project delivery and construc­tion documents incorporating digital technologies and investigating new models for linking design and construction processes.

The course focuses on advanced methods of project delivery and construc­tion documents incorporating digital technologies and investigating new models for linking design and construction processes. It introduces Building Information Modeling as one of the tools for realignment of the traditional relationships be­tween the project stakeholders. Using their previous design studio project, a single or multi-unit residence, students will analyze and further develop the residential project by creating a detailed 3d digital BIM model and a set of 2d construction documents specifically tailored for the design challenges of the House. Lectures and site visits to fabricators and construction sites will further inform students of technical documentation methods for projects that are operating on the forefront of design and construction technologies to date.

Heading titleVisual Studies (VS)

VS4100

The 1GA Visual Studies course is structured as an introduction to forms, methods, conventions and approaches to architectural drawing and representation.

The 1GA Visual Studies course is structured as an introduction to forms, methods, conventions and approaches to architectural drawing and representation. Architecture necessarily presumes three-dimensional form and, in particular, material thicknesses. Students will attain familiarity with descriptive geometry, which allows the visualization, analysis and production of complex three-dimensional forms and intersections. Beginning from the fundamentals of orthographic projection, the course sequentially examines sections and cut drawings, oblique and axonometric projections, and various types of curvature, from simple to complex, in both two and three dimensions. Students will be required to constantly work between the construction of drawings and the construction of physical models, gaining familiarity with the constraints and advantages of each. This course is directly coordinated with the 1GA and 1GB Studios in order to provide students with tools and techniques that they will use in those courses.

VS4101

This course forms the continuation of Visual Studies I.

This course forms the continuation of Visual Studies I. It expands on the use of representational tools to emphasize formal legibility through systems of regulation, annotation and scripting. The assignments focus on building precision and intentionality toward architectural drawing and modeling, and developing a critical sensibility to the inherent bias in each medium of representation.

VS4120

This course provides an introduction to advanced techniques in modeling and fabrication processes.

This course provides an introduction to advanced techniques in modeling and fabrication processes by focusing on digital drawing and production tools that enable the development of complex and dynamic surfaces, procedural and para­metric forms, and the development of the relationship between architecture and geometry. Projects include prints of digital models using CNC and laser-cutter devices. 

VS4121

Visual Studies IV offers students a selection of courses that focus on advanced techniques of representation, simulation, and visualization.

Visual Studies IV offers students a selection of courses that focus on advanced techniques of representation, simulation, and visualization. Please note these courses are not offered every semester and are subject to change. Check the latest course schedule for current course offerings, and visit my.sciarc.edu for each semester’s course descriptions.