30 August Introductory Workshop A
Attack! Students will hit the ground running on this first day of 200c with a prepared model fabrication exercise and Woodshop Orientation.
3 September Introductory Workshop B
In this truncated workshop session, students will be introduced to two ways to create digital representations of 3-dimensional complex physical forms cast in plaster. After this workshop, students will be expected to be able to construct and manipulate three-dimensional forms with precision.
5 September Course Introduction & Fabrication Workshop
Today we'll do a quick introduction and overview of the course, including a run-through the syllabus, a discussion of pedagogical goals and teaching methods, and a presentation of projects and deliverables. In Introductory Workshop C, students will learn how to prepare a 3d digital model for physical production via two methods.

Topic 1 - Projecting

10 September Topic One Lecture & Workshop 1a
Our first topic lecture on the fundamentals of graphic projection in general, and orthographic projection in particular. Workshop 1a, guides students through the production of their first hard-line 3-view drawing and plan-oblique axonometric. After this workshop, students will be expected to have a clear understanding of fundamental techniques in orthographic projection, including drawing in plan, section, elevation, and axonometric; the procedures of producing these drawings by hand from drawing setup to producing a finished drawing; and the appropriate use of construction lines, guide lines, and drawing using layers of trace.
12 September Workshop 1b
In Workshop 1b, students will learn to extract information from a digital model to serve as an underlay in the production of hand-drawn orthographic views using pencil and vellum.
17 September Workshop 1c
This workshop covers the conventions of scaled architectural drawings. In it, we'll be discussing the more technical aspects of architectural drawing, including drawing to scale, standard architectural notation for section cuts, program and floor labels, graphic scales and north arrows. We'll also discuss how to read topographic lines, how to place plan and section cut lines, when it's okay to "lie" in a drawing (when we can deviate from strict graphic projection techniques), how to depict stairs, ramps, elevators and mechanical spaces, and how to choose the appropriate level of detail for walls, roofs, and floors in section and elevation.

Topic 2 - Mapping

19 September Workshop 2a
Concurrent with a redlining session of drawings produced for 200a, Workshop 2a will present techniques in Illustrator for the production of notational mappings.
24 September Topic Two Lecture & Problem Set
Today we'll enjoy our second topic lecture on Mapping and Diagramming, which presents efforts to move beyond the limitations inherent to descriptive geometric techniques. We'll also tackle our first problem set covering everything we've discussed in topic 1.
26 September Reading Discussion & Workshop 2b
After a quick review of Problem Set One, we move into our first discussion of readings on orthographic projection and the traditional uses of drawing in architecture. Students will lead this 40m discussion, which will be followed by a workshop on moving between Rhino and Illustrator with an emphasis on perspectival techniques.
1 October Workshop 2c
In this workshop students will learn how to realistically turn a building photo taken in the day into a night photo with rain, reflection, and additional scene elements. Emphasis will be placed on the use of layer masks as essential editing tools that overlay rather than corrupt the original image.

Topic 3 - Modeling

3 October Workshop 3a
Concurrent with a redlining session of drawings produced for 200a, Workshop 3a will serve as an introduction to 3d computer modeling in general, and a survey of practices associated with NURBS surface modeling in particular. A technical history of the development of NURBS - from Bezier splines to contemporary implementations - serves as a backdrop for a discussion of common approaches to modeling in three dimensions.
8 October Topic Three Lecture & Problem Set
Our third topic lecture on Modeling is today, which discusses the ways in which computer technology has challenged and transformed traditional modes of architectural drawing. Our second of four problem sets is also today, which covers techniques in moving between CAD environments and other modes of graphic production.
10 October Reading Discussion & Workshop 3b
After a quick review of Problem Set Two, we move into our second discussion of readings on how traditional orthographic projection techniques have been transformed and displaced by the introduction of the computer into the design studio. Students will lead this 40m discussion, which will be followed by a survey of general practices in 3d modeling covering an array of software. We extract three rough approaches from this survey - solid-body, wireframe-to-surface, and 2d-to-3d - and give examples of each approach as applied in Rhino.
15 October Workshop 3c
This workshop introduces a range of techniques for modeling detailed building assemblies.
17 October Workshop 3d
This workshop will dive into drawing extraction as a means to utilize your 3d models in the generation of 2d drawings. We'll be moving from 3d to 2d and back again, all the while laying out various plans, sections, elevations and axons. We conclude with a discussion on creating exploded axonometric drawings from 3D models in Rhino.
18 October Workshop 3e
An informal workshop on working with contours in 2d and 3d, this class was rescheduled to a Friday.

Topics 4 - Visualizing + Specifying

24 October Workshop 4a
This workshop will introduce VRay as a tool for rendering. The underpinnings of this rendering software, including settings and material selection/creation will enable you to create specific and variable images of your Rhino3d models. The goals here will not be to create "finished products" directly from VRay, but rather to help you generate a "base" image that will be further refined, edited and contextualized in Photoshop and possibly Illustrator.
29 October Lecture Four - Visualizing + Specifying
After a quick review of Problem Set Three, we'll move into our fourth lecture on a split topic. In the first half, we'll discuss the historic and contemporary uses of the perspectival image in architecture. In the second, we'll examine how recent advances in manufacturing and construction suggest a transformation in the use of representation in design.
31 October Workshop 4b
This Workshop will focus on preparing a base rendering for post-processing in Photoshop and Illustrator. We'll be creating renderings by using the strengths of multiple softwares, trying to make good use of time. It is through the lens of the sectional perspective that we will show how post-processing can offer a wealth of creative and exploratory methods of inquiry.
5 November Reading Discussion & Workshop 4c
Our third discussion of class readings is split between an unpacking of the historic and contemporary uses of perspectival images in architecture, and an account of the ways in which the relationship between design and representation is transformed by advanced manufacturing techniques. Following this discussion, we will move into a workshop on the production of composite drawings using a combination of rendered image and vector linework.
Nov 07
The Moving Image
In this first of three workshops the final animation project will be fully outlined in terms of objectives, basic techniques, and scope. We will watch and discuss several short videos both loosely and tightly related to architectural production. We will also cover texture mapping for the site.
CNC Introduction
Computer Numeric Control (CNC) milling is a subtractive process of using a rotary bit that goes back and forth, up and down, cutting material (wood, foam) away from a base. The CNC milling process can also engrave objects and create relief effects. We will cover the basics of preparing topography files for milling in Rhino and then in RhinoCAM. We will discuss a range of possible uses for the mill.
8 November Capstone Helpdesk 1
For the fabricators, this helpdesk represents an opportunity for individual groups to get feedback on proposals for test cut objects.

For the animators, in the first part of help desk we will take about 45 minutes to discuss / workshop the animation storyboards, and by the end of this session everyone should be relatively clear on how they are conceptually framing their animation and how they plan to represent each of the three components.

12 November Workshop 4d
This workshop presents a birds-eye overview of Grasshopper, the popular parametric modeling plug-in for Rhino. Acquiring even a working knowledge of parametric modeling takes time, and is perhaps worthy of a visual studies seminar. While this single two-hour workshop cannot hope to cover even the basics, it will provide students with exposure to the basic language and workflow in Grasshopper.
Nov 14
Introductory After Effects
This workshop will indroduce Bongo - a animation plugin for Rhino.
Milling Strategies
All processes of fabrication carry constraints. An essential constraint when working with a 3-axis mill is the maximum vertical clearance between the bed and the drill bit, which determines the maximum millable thickness for any material assembly. Given the 4" clearance allowed by the CNC mill in the fabrication shop, and the fact that our site models are likely to violate this thickness in their representation of the highly topographic surface of Pt Bonita, this workshop is dedicated to a thorough discussion of strategies for realizing models that exceed 4" in every dimension.
15 November Capstone Helpdesk 2
For the fabricators,

For the animators - Introduction to Bongo

Nov 19
Intermediate After Effects
The Second of two Adobe After Effects workshops this session will build on foundational knowledge from the first workshop.
3d Printing
In this session we will prepare models for 3D Printing. We'll discuss analysis tools to ensure edges are manifold and not naked. We'll discuss ways to model efficiently and with precision.

Topic 5 - Presenting

21 November Lecture Five & Workshop 5a
Our final lecture is on architectural presentation.
22 November Capstone Helpdesk 3
For the fabricators,

For the animators,

26 November Capstone Project Review & Problem Set
200c is wrapping up. Today we'll take on our final problem set covering techniques discussed in Topic Four. We'll also have our final in-house review of the capstone projects, at which time you'll receive your sign-off to shift into full production mode for the Final Exhibition.
3 December Final Presentation Dry Run
Today we'll do a last dry-run of the powerpoint presentations that you'll present at the 200a final review.
5 December Graphic Pinup
Today's class is dedicated to a 'graphic dress rehearsal' of your final work for 200a.

Course Overview

(a full course syllabus may be downloaded here )

Perhaps more than any other professional culture, architects enjoy the application of an enormous diversity of representational devices in the practice of their art. From the rich tradition of graphic projection to the latest experiments in parametric design software, architectural designers are constantly inventing new techniques, reconfiguring their personal application of traditional methods, and liberally appropriating the procedures of related disciplines. Is this fascination with design process and diversity of design method simply a fleeting preoccupation of our profession, or does it reflect a deeper utility?

An exploration of this question quickly leads to a more fundamental one: why do architects draw? What is the act of design, and what role does representation play to help shape and guide it? While opinions differ on this subject, Donald Schön offers us a helpful viewpoint in his characterization of design as a “maker's conversation with the materials of a situation”1. By this, he means that design intelligence does not stem from a prior intellectual operation, but rather arises from spontaneous, tacit processes in action. Following Schön, we may understand design less as a problem-solving activity, and more as a problem-setting one: less about a pre-defined procedure and more about a conversation.

Armed with this nuanced viewpoint on the cognitive structure of the design act, it becomes clear why architects are so invested in drawing methods: we have come to value representational strategies not only for their inherent properties, but also for the cultural framework built up around them. We may notice this in way architects often personify the artifacts of design production, speaking of what a drawing is “saying”, or noting that a model “wants to be” some other way. Far from a preoccupation with method for its own sake, drawings and modes are valued in design for their utility in sparking conversations: both metaphorical conversations between makers and materials and real conversations between stakeholders in the process of design. Rather than focusing on what drawings do for us, architects tend to value representational techniques for what they do to us.

Beginning with the idea of design as an act conversation, this course is structured as an introductory survey of the vast field of representational material and tactics available to the contemporary architect. While not an exhaustive account, this survey aims to define the contours of this terrain in broad strokes and to equip students to navigate their own way through it.

Pedagogical Goals & Learning Objectives

This course will present the following pedagogical goals that address three distinct levels of representational practice in architectural design:

Awareness of Context

To cultivate an understanding of the foundational discourse and diversity of approaches to architectural representation. How does an engagement with forms of representation support and direct design thinking? Progress toward this goal will be reflected in the ability to: Identify a range of existing representational practices, and describe the specific 'windows' they offer onto design.

  • Articulate how each of these practices have historically been deployed in order to stake out distinct authored design positions.
  • Place new or experimental design methods within this critical and historical context.

Proficiency in Technical Canon

To develop a fluency in the canonical methods found in architectural practice. What are the dominant representational modes that architects employ? To what ends are these techniques typically chosen, and for what purposes are they best suited? Progress toward this goal will be reflected in the ability to:

  • Demonstrate a basic competency in canonical drawing and modeling techniques.
  • Follow the commonly understood architectural conventions in order to produce a clear, concise, legible, and complete description of a proposed design.

Capacity for Appropriate Application

To encourage the development of a mature and controlled relationship with a range of representational forms and formats. How can we effectively match the demands of a situated design problem with an appropriate design method? Progress toward this goal will be reflected in the ability to:

  • Display a high degree of fluency in a specific subset of representational methods, selected by the student as most relevant to their area of focus within the discipline.
  • Carefully and willfully pair questions encountered during design problems with specific representational methods that position the designer in an advantageous way.