28 August Shop Orientation
An introductory meeting and overview of the semester.
29 August Workshop 0a - Casting
Plaster casting workshop. Having completed woodshop orientation, students are now certified to use the general shop facilities. This workshop will meet in the woodshop on the 2nd floor of Wurster Hall, and will walk students through the process of casting plaster forms.


2 September Workshop 0b - Measuring
A 'quickstart' workshop on using Rhino to model 3d forms. 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.
4 September Workshop 0c - Fabrication
A 'quickstart' workshop on fabricating lasercut models that roughly represent complex 3d forms modeled in Rhino.
5 September Workshop 0d - Rendering
A 'quickstart' workshop on producing simple renderings of forms modeled in Rhino using the VRay plugin.
9 September Lecture 1 & Course Introduction
A thorough 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. Our first topic lecture on the fundamentals of graphic projection in general, and orthographic projection in particular.
11 September Workshop 1a
First workshop on orthographic projection. Guides students through the production of their first hard-line 3-view drawing. After this workshop, students will be expected to have a clear understanding of fundamental techniques in orthographic projection, including drawing in plan, section, and elevation; the procedures of producing these drawings digitally in two dimensions from drawing setup to producing a finished drawing; and the appropriate use of construction lines, guide lines, and drawing using layers.
16 September Workshop 1b
Second workshop on orthographic projection using AutoCAD. 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 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.
18 September Workshop 1c
The third workshop on graphic projection using 2d AutoCAD. This workshop covers the production of oblique and perspective views of three-dimensional scenes using two-dimensional processes.
23 September Workshop 2a
A broad-reaching discussion of the instrumentality of digital modeling starting with a discussion of NURBS representation. Moving from foundations to applications, we next present a number of common approaches to producing three-dimensional forms that span multiple softwares and platforms.
25 September Lecture 2 & Graphic Pinup
Our third lecture on the topic of Digital Modeling, discusses the ways in which computer technology has challenged and transformed traditional modes of architectural drawing. Following this, a broad-reaching discussion of the instrumentality of digital modeling and an overview of data structures typically employed in architectural design, from 2d vector and raster drawings to 3d representations of form.
30 September Problem Set & Postgame
A review of work presented in 200a, and the first problem set covering everything we've discussed in topic 1. Review the content linked to on this page, and come to class prepared to demonstrate your proficiency in the aspects of the canon of architectural techniques described therein.


2 October Workshop 2b
A survey of modeling aids in Rhino, understood to include any method for moving beyond the compositional placement of individual design elements and toward the definition of more abstract generative structures. These include methodological practices, such as the "CAD Factory" approach to modeling, as well as inbuit commands in software, such as CAD blocks, arrays, and selection mechanisms.
7 October Workshop 2c
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.
9 October Lecture 3 & Graphic Pinup
A lecture on Mapping and Diagramming in architecture, presenting efforts to move beyond the limitations inherent to descriptive geometric techniques.
14 October Problem Set & Postgame
A review of work presented in 200a, and the second problem set covering everything discussed in topic 2. Review the content linked to on this page, and come to class prepared to demonstrate your proficiency in the aspects of the canon of architectural techniques described therein.
16 October Workshop 3a
First workshop on vector and raster based techniques, centering on the suite of Adobe products. Understanding the nature of raster and vector data structures, and the benefits and drawbacks of employing each, is fundamental to the effective use of computing in design. Also discussed are strategies for organizing Illustrator documents, and techniques for working with vector-based tone and texture to add spatial depth to pure line drawings
21 October Workshop 3b
The second workshop on raster techniques, demonstrating the use of entourage, texture, and rendered effects in Photoshop. Also covers the preparation of image-based data in other software for manipulation in Photoshop, for example, aligning rendered images with photographs and working between vector line drawings and image files.
23 October Workshop 3c
Final workshop on combining vector and raster based techniques to produce composite drawings. The in-class exercise for the day demonstrates the application of techniques critical to producing composite drawings in orthogonal, oblique, and perspective views.
28 October Workshop 4a & Graphic Pinup
A review of work presented in 200a, and an introductory workshop on architectural visualization using VRay. The basic VRay workflow will be reviewed and expanded upon. Basic lighting controls will be covered. By the conclusion of this workshop, students will be expected to be able to produce simple daylight renderings of 3d models with basic materials and textures applied.
30 October Workshop 4b & Postgame
Intermediate topics in architectural visualization. This workshop presents an in-depth treatment of materials and textures in VRay. Emphasis is placed on the authoring of bespoke over generic textures, and the application of these textures to 3d surfaces using color, opacity, and displacement channels.


4 November Powerpoint Rehersal
A workshop focusing on architectural presentation in oral, visual, and written forms. We will review the evolution of the manifesto presentations as they transition from statements on theoretical positions to an articulation of the intent driving a specific design proposal. A dry-run of the powerpoint presentations you'll be presenting for the Nov 6th studio presentation.
6 November Canon Presentation
A joint session of 200a, 200c and 270. We will review the second draft of the canon & manifesto assignment – integrating design philosophy with the contingencies of design practice (as represented by the studio’s architectural commission)
13 November The Moving Image and Problem Set
A problem set on visualization and a discussion of the role of the 'moving image' in architectural representation.
18 November Workshop 5a - Keyframe Animation
A review of work presented in 200a, and our last problem set covering everything discussed in topics 3 and 4. Review the content linked to on this page, and come to class prepared to demonstrate your proficiency in the aspects of the canon of architectural techniques described therein.
20 November Workshop 5b - Animated Vector Graphics
This workflow introduces the basic operations for animating line work in Adobe After Effects. The process involves file preparation in Rhino and Illustrator and finally, animation followed by text description in After Effects.
25 November Grasshopper Quickstart


2 December InDesign Presentation Workshop
InDesign will be presented as an instrument for the authoring of architectural design portfolios.
4 December Graphic Pinup
A class session dedicated to a 'graphic dress rehearsal' of final work for 200a.

Course Overview

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.