Structure Coursework Meaning

What is coursework

Coursework is a practical work or study done by a student in partial fulfillment of a degree or training. Projects, field work, design studies, long essays etc constitutes a coursework. The nature of work which requires to be carried out depends on the course. It is largely a part of learning exercise and a step to prepare you to handle the required work/ task effectively and efficiently. 

  • folios of essays

  • art and craft items

  • speaking tests

  • practical work

  • assignments and experiments undertaken and assessed during the course

As per Oxford dictionary “Coursework” is defined as 

Written or practical work done by a student during a course of study, usually assessed in order to count towards a final mark or grade.

Who assigns coursework and why?

Coursework can be assigned by your teacher or mentor. The reason can be an assessment by the teacher but in most of the cases it’s a requirement as per course structure. A coursework is meant to reflect understanding of what has been taught. How well you understand it and apply it in different situations. Your own thoughts and way of thinking about a topic is reflected in your final work. As mentioned earlier nature of coursework is very diverse. Institutions may make you to write (essays, paper, term paper, thesis etc) or make something (sculpture, are & craft related things) or take some form of test. All these activities done as a coursework award you marks or grades which are counted to evaluate your overall grade for a particular course or purpose. Your creativity, understanding, innovative aspect, talent etc are reflected in the work done by you. Some of the most widely used form of coursework include thesis, dissertations, research paper & term paper as far as writing is concerned. Model making, crafts and other similar activity is generally given when creativity aspect is to be assessed. There may be a combination of these in few cases. The whole purpose largely depends on what your course and what it prepares you to be. 

Major types of coursework & how to go about them?

Students have different and mix reaction when coursework is given. Some are excited as it gives them an option to put in effort and bring out something new. They are happy and confident to present their viewpoint and grasp of the topic. While some feels it is a burden and unnecessary task and just want to get away with it. Whatever the case may be there are few guidelines and rules while writing coursework which everyone should follow. Writing a coursework can also be fun!

Some of the steps to help you get started includes:

Coursework for academic topics which require writing:

  • Do some research about your topic of interest or assigned topic
  • Finalize your topic 
  • Prepare a structure especially for long writing coursework such as thesis
  • Write an abstract or summary for approval from mentor/teacher.
  • Do a thorough research for collecting data, facts.
  • Start writing and keep on doing the required research
  • Check for plagiarism (if any) and work to remove it
  • Give credits & references
What makes a good and effective content 

A good and effective content is easy to read and understand by readers. Some of the points while writing a content to improve its quality are 

  • Relevant
  • Precise
  • Complete
  • Concise
  • Well- structured
  • Well Illustrated
  • Accessible
  • Predictable


Coursework requiring you to make something like model, sculpture or artwork

  • Find something which you appreciate (its design, concept, through, history, significance) 
  • Come up with what remains the focus area for your coursework
  • Decide what you wish to make and in what form eg. model (scaled or not to scale), sculpture or some craftwork
  • Finalize the materials to be used such as waste materials, wax, wood, metal, plastic etc
  • Collect all the required stuff for making your masterpiece
  • Have a mental image prepared and preferably a rough sketch 
  • Get working! 

Key points to be kept in mind while working on coursework

  • Originality – Your topic/ idea should be original. Originality of idea is given significant importance and can be a deal breaker. This is not just of the requirement in most of the cases but also a scoring parameter. There are countless number of students and scholars doing research so having an original idea keeps you on positive side.
  • Need – If you coursework is solution oriented then you must clearly identify the key problems and issues which you aim to cover under your work. A good solution cannot be provided unless the problem has been understood well
  • Uniqueness – Uniqueness in terms of idea and work. Preparing good questionnaires and conducting surveys adds to uniqueness and originality of content. Not only your topic and but also content should be unique. Avoid plagiarism, copying is a strict “NO”. Any form and extent of plagiarism is dealt seriously if caught and can even disqualify your submission.
  • Your Input – This is the most crucial aspect. Your inputs will reflect the understanding and applicability of topic by you. This is the whole purpose of having a coursework. Try your best and put best foot forward. Having a well structured and presented work is something a teacher and mentor is looking for.
  • Outcomes & way forward – Having worked and making lots of efforts doesn’t have much value unless useful outcomes are shown. Having a good & meaningful analysis and presentation of data is essential These can be in form of proposals or problem identification. Your work might conclude your topic or pave a path for others to continue working. Depending on the work and nature of coursework give a conclusion to your study and propose what can be done next or how it can be used. 

Stephen R. Lee, AIA, LEED AP, Head
Office: CFA 201

The School of Architecture (SoA) provides deep immersion in the discipline of architecture, intensified by the broader Carnegie Mellon culture of interdisciplinary innovation and creative inquiry.

We define the discipline of architecture as the integrated pursuit of design creativity, historical perspective, social responsibility, technical expertise, and global environmental leadership. Our undergraduate and graduate degree programs prepare students to be excellent, discipline-defining design thinkers in diverse global contexts.

This world-class architecture education is enhanced by our position within one of the world’s leading research and entrepreneurship institutions, and by the foundational premise that architectural excellence demands both rigorous training in fundamentals and the development of unique specializations. Students may extend their core knowledge either through concentration in architecture subdisciplines like sustainable design or computational design, or through interdisciplinary interaction with CMU’s other renowned programs—whether the sciences, the humanities, business, or robotics. Though every School of Architecture student graduates with intensive architecture knowledge, no two graduates leave with the same education.

In the twenty-first century, few architecture problems are straightforward. Graduates of SoA excel in the roles architects have performed for centuries—and in new roles catalyzed by the depth and breadth of their education—to create and execute innovative solutions to a huge range of emerging global challenges.

Bachelor of Architecture Program

The NAAB-accredited five-year Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) program prepares students to be design-thought leaders in a variety of fields, as well as to continue on their path to licensure in the profession of architecture. The B.Arch program begins with three largely scripted years of studio and coursework, providing students a strong, multifaceted foundation in architectural principles and methods. In the fourth and fifth years, students tailor their studio and course choices to the interests they’ve honed in their first three years: they may choose to continue a general-studies approach or may concentrate their work more heavily in a specific architectural subdiscipline. All B.Arch graduates are thoroughly prepared to continue toward professional licensure, but the tone of their education is distinctly personal.

Each course required for the B.Arch program falls into one of seven categories, each pursuing a set of specific objectives for student learning:

  • Studio (168 units): Architectural design studio (prescribed for the first three years and selective thereafter) is the backbone of every semester in the B.Arch program. Students learn to combine rigorously rational and resourcefully creative techniques to identify design problems, collect and analyze data, apply theoretical and practical strategies in creation of a design solution, and evaluate its results through extensive testing; and to describe and work at various points along the continuum between form-finding and form-making. (Courses: Foundation I & II, Elaboration I & II, Integration I & II, Advanced Synthesis Options Thesis/Studio I & II)

  • Critical Practice (42 units): A multifaceted field of practice, architecture interacts with dynamic social, organizational, economic, professional, and cognitive contexts. In this sequence, students learn to use methods from cognitive psychology to analyze the influence of human factors on design, construction and occupancy; to resolve ethical dilemmas with adjudication strategies based in architectural case study; to demonstrate critical awareness and broad understanding of the factors informing the intelligent resolution of architecture and construction; and to identify the roles of architects, urban designers and planners in shaping the built environment in a global context. (Courses: First Year Seminar: Architecture Edition I & II, Case Studies in Architecture and Urban Studies, Human Factors in Architecture, Real Estate Design and Development, Issue of Practice)

  • Design Tools (24 units): Drawing and modeling both by hand and with the computer are core skills for developing powers of observation, the ability to think in three dimensions, and the communication of architectural ideas. By using a range of analog and digital design tools to engage in the act of making, students will be able to explore, analyze, formulate, fabricate, and represent ideas about the built environment. (Courses: Analog and Digital Media I, Analog and Digital Media II)

  • Environmental Science (27 units): Environmental education is one of our highest priorities. In this sequence, students learn to describe first principles of and computational approaches to the lighting and thermal performance of buildings; to demonstrate qualitative and quantitative climate- and environment-responsive strategies (energy conservation, passive heating/cooling, daylighting, natural ventilation); to select, configure, and represent building service systems; and to maintain global awareness of high-performance systems-integration strategies. (Courses: Building Physics, Environment I: Climate & Energy, Environment II: Mechanical Systems for Buildings)

  • History (27 units): In architectural history courses, students learn to identify chronologically and geographically diverse building styles, building types, and urban plans; to describe the cultural, intellectual and aesthetic contexts surrounding the creation of those buildings and sites; to write clearly and persuasively about the historic built environment; and to demonstrate critical thinking, quality research, and effective information management. In addition to the two-semester Historical Survey of World Architecture, each student completes one elective course on architectural history within the School of Architecture. A minor in architectural history is available to students completing four additional, approved, nine-unit architectural history courses beyond these three required courses. (Courses: Historical Survey of World Architecture and Urbanism, Modern Architecture, Architectural History III)

  • Building Technology (18 units): We understand technical knowledge as design knowledge and place major emphasis on understanding the state-of-the-art and innovative building structure, enclosure, mechanical, lighting, and interior systems. Students learn to design gravity- and lateral load-resisting systems for buildings; to select, configure and size construction systems in wood, masonry, steel, and concrete; and to distinguish among construction materials with regard to their process of manufacture, their physical properties, their environmental performance, and their methods of selection and specification. (Courses: Materials and Assembly, Structures/Statics)

  • General Studies (135 units): University coursework in mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, writing, and history are prerequisite to the School’s own offerings. (Courses: Exploring Pittsburgh, Interpretation and Argument, Computing @ Carnegie Mellon, Descriptive Geometry, Generative Modeling, Fundamentals of Computational Design, University Electives)


Minimum units required for Bachelor of Architecture

First Year: Foundation

48-100Architecture Design Studio: Foundation I12
48-025First Year Seminar: Architecture Edition I3
48-120Digital Media I6
48-121Drawing I6
76-101Interpretation and Argument9
99-101Computing @ Carnegie Mellon3
62-105Exploring Pittsburgh6
48-105Architecture Design Studio: Foundation II12
48-026First Year Seminar: Architecture Edition II3
48-125Digital Media II6
48-126Drawing II6
48-240Historical Survey of World Architecture and Urbanism I9
48-116Building Physics9

Second Year: Elaboration

48-200Architecture Design Studio: Elaboration I18
48-241Modern Architecture9
48-250Case Studies in Architecture and Cities9
62-275Fundamentals of Computational Design9
48-205Architecture Design Studio: Elaboration II18
48-215Materials and Assembly9
48-351Human Factors in Architecture9
62-225Generative Modeling9

Third Year: Integration

48-300Architecture Design Studio: Integration I18
48-315Environment I: Climate & Energy9
48-305Architecture Design Studio: Integration II18
48-380Real Estate Design and Development6
48-381Ethics and Practice12

Fourth Year: Advanced Topics

48-400Advanced Synthesis Options Studio I18
48-432Environment II: Design Integration of Active Building Systems9
48-405Advanced Synthesis Options Studio II18
48-497Thesis Prep

Fifth Year: Advanced Topics

48-500Advanced Synthesis Options Studio III
48-509Architecture Design Studio: Thesis I/ Independent Project18
48-505Advanced Synthesis Options Studio III
48-519Architecture Design Studio: Thesis II/ Independent Project18

Minors in Architecture

Undergraduate students in the School of Architecture can also qualify to earn one of three minors within the subject of architecture.  These are the Minor in Architectural History, the Minor in Building Science, and the minor in Architectural Representation and Media.

The Minor in Architectural History is intended for those students that want to deepen their knowledge in architectural history.  It is earned by completing the three required architectural history courses and then an additional four elective courses in architectural history.

The Minor in Building Science is intended for those students that want to deepen their knowledge in the building sciences and for those who are interested in gaining advanced placement (AMP) in the M.S. programs offered by the School in the areas of Building Performance & Diagnostics and Sustainable Design.  It is earned by completing the two required building technology and three environmental science courses and then an additional three elective courses in the building sciences.  

The Minor in Architectural Representation and Media is intended for those students that want to deepen their knowledge in architectural representation and media and for those who are interested in gaining advanced placement (AMP) in the M.S. programs offered by the School in the areas of Computational Design, Tangible Interaction Design and/ or Emerging Media. It is earned by completing the four required media courses and then an additional three elective courses in these areas.

The Minor in Architectural Design Fabrication is intended for those who wish to develop focused, disciplinary expertise in both analog and digital material methods for shaping the built environment and become involved in a community of practice dedicated to a rigorous pursuit of making as a mode of architectural research and cultural expression. It is also for students interested in gaining advanced placement in the SoA's Master of Advanced Architectural Design (MAAD) program.

Minors in Other Disciplines

Undergraduate architecture students may also earn minors in many of the departments or schools on campus. Generally, a student must take six courses within a specific department or concentration to receive a minor. Students interested in minors must contact the school or department of interest to determine specific requirements or prerequisites. Since students of architecture are required to take fifteen electives (135 units), students can easily complete a minor without adding additional coursework to their curriculum.

Graduate Degree Programs

Carnegie Mellon University is recognized for outstanding contributions to science, technology, management, policy, and the fine arts.  The School of Architecture builds on a tradition of interdisciplinary study.

Our faculty's diverse set of backgrounds and commitment to professional practice and scholarly research make for a rich learning experience.

Our graduates hold positions in innovative design practices, research organizations, federal and municipal governments, the building and manufacturing industries, and at leading universities both in the US and abroad. 

Our programs reflect a commitment to excellence.  Students with motivation and ability receive an outstanding educational opportunity at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Architecture. 

The School of Architecture offers one (1) first professional Master's degree, seven (7) post-professional Master's degrees, and three (3) Doctoral degrees in the following areas of study:

Master of Architecture (new!)

The Master of Architecture (M. Arch) is a studio-based, first professional degree program. It combines CMU’s 100-year tradition of training architects in the broad core competencies and the opportunity to engage with the SoA’s long-standing expertise in sustainable, computational, and public interest design. In July 2016, the National Architecture Accreditation Board (NAAB) determined that the M.Arch program was eligible for initial candidacy. Because NAAB “Initial Accreditation” is retroactive, subject to fulfillment of the “Plan for Achieving Initial Accreditation” for the M.Arch, CMU currently anticipates (but does not represent or guarantee) that the degrees awarded in May 2019 to the inaugural M.Arch class will be accredited. 

Master of Science in Computational Design and Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Design

One of the first and best-known Computational Design programs in the US, our legacy continues today.  Under the direction of dedicated faculty and in collaboration with other departments in the University, (e.g.. School of Computer Sciences and the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering), our visionary students continue to push for innovation and evolution of the state-of-the art in design technology.

Master of Science in Building Performance and Diagnostics and Doctor of Philosophy in Building Performance and Diagnostics

Building Performance & Diagnostics deals with the comprehensive integration of building design and advanced technology, as a means of producing high performance architecture.  Led by the Center for Building Performance & Diagnostics (CBPD) and housed within the Robert L. Preger Intelligent Workplace, students have the opportunity to gain both diversity and depth of knowledge from world-renowned an experienced faculty.   

Master of Urban Design

Building on our legacy of Urban Design, and in partnership with the Remaking Cities Institute (RCI), this 12-month, Studio-based Master of Urban Design program emphasizes environmental, economic, social and cultural issues affecting the contemporary metropolis, while providing a comprehensive foundation in design, theory, history, policy, management and technical skill. 

Master of Science of Tangible Interaction Design

The Master of Tangible Interaction Design (MTID) is truly an interdisciplinary program that integrates computational intelligence and the physical world.  MTID students make interaction tangible by building and programming working prototypes.  Housed in the Computation Design (CoDe) Lab, and leveraging our state-of-the-art Digital Fabrication (dFab) Lab, the program cultivates experimentation and collaboration in an intimate studio setting. 

Master of Science in Sustainable Design

At the forefront of research in sustainable design and technology for over 35 years, Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture is recognized internationally for its large core of dedicated faculty, providing a solid foundation from which students can learn how to positively and sustainably affect the future of the built environment.  This is a post-professional degree program that integrates Design and Technology to provide a comprehensive knowledge base for professional practice. 

Master of Science/Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture-Engineering Construction Management

A joint effort between the School of Architecture and the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, the Architecture-Engineering-Construction Management (AECM) programs prepare building delivery professionals for careers in capital project delivery. Graduates are educated to become effective decision makers who can positively impact economic, environmental, and ethical aspects of the built environment through professional management strategies. AECM programs deal with the entire life-cycle of capital projects, from pre-design, to design, construction, commissioning, operation, and maintenance stages. They focus on the integration of design and technology, in particular, advanced information systems, as a means of improving building performance, and eliminating negative environmental impact.

Master of Advanced Architectural Design

The Master of Advanced Architectural Design (MAAD) is a post-professional, design-based program that engages emerging methods of computational design, simulation, data processing, and fabrication to speculate upon future modes of architectural practice, enhanced construction methods, and alternative material manifestations within the built environment.

Advanced Standing in Master Degree Programs

The School of Architecture offers a unique opportunity to undergraduate students who wish to pursue a Masters degree in an architecture-related field through the Accelerated Masters Program (AMP).  Undergraduate students may apply to the AMP in their 4th year of their architecture education, and if accepted, can apply units earned in their 5th year of their undergraduate architecture degree to their graduate degree.  This allows students to graduate with a Masters degree in an accelerated period of time. 

Student Advising

At the end of each semester, the faculty reviews each student’s progress in all courses. Reviews during the first year are intended to determine a student’s capabilities in relation to the study of architecture at Carnegie Mellon University and the School works with each student to ensure placement within the university if a change is desired. Subsequent reviews monitor and ensure continued progress in all sequences of the program.

Students are urged to meet with their assigned faculty mentor, first-year faculty advisor, and/or senior academic advisor to review their academic progress and plans before each semester. Such meetings are important to take full advantage of elective possibilities within the curriculum, general progress toward graduation, and professional goal setting. Students may also check their progress using the online academic audit in the Student Information Online (SIO) and should review the audit results with the senior academic advisor.

Study Abroad

The School of Architecture strongly encourages students to study abroad. The perspective gained through immersion in another culture and language is invaluable. Study abroad can fall into four categories: University Direct Exchanges, University Sponsored Programs, External Programs, and Departmental Summer Programs. 

To receive credit for courses taken away, the student must have a C or better (not C-) in the course and have an official translated transcript sent to the School of Architecture. Studio work conducted abroad must be presented to the School Head and Studio Coordinator for approval.

Students should make the decision to study away by the fall of their third year so they can plan their courses accordingly. Students are allowed one semester away for which they receive studio credit except for those students at approved yearlong direct exchange programs. To qualify for study away, a student must have completed the third-year of their program, have a minimum overall QPA of a 3.00 (or 2.75 for SoA summer study abroad) and be in good academic standing.

Summer Courses

Students can receive credit for passing comparable courses at other institutions with advanced approval from the School. A Transfer Credit Evaluation form must be completed by the Academic Advisor prior to enrollment at the other institution for a course to be considered for transfer.

Course Descriptions

Note on Course Numbers

Each Carnegie Mellon course number begins with a two-digit prefix which designates the department offering the course (76-xxx courses are offered by the Department of English, etc.). Although each department maintains its own course numbering practices, typically the first digit after the prefix indicates the class level: xx-1xx courses are freshmen-level, xx-2xx courses are sophomore level, etc. xx-6xx courses may be either undergraduate senior-level or graduate-level, depending on the department. xx-7xx courses and higher are graduate-level. Please consult the Schedule of Classes each semester for course offerings and for any necessary pre-requisites or co-requisites.

48-025 First Year Seminar: Architecture Edition I
Fall: 3 units
In this course, students will learn about effective strategies for teaching architecture and the built environment. Topics include the cognitive differences between novices and experts, instructional techniques, and goal alignment. As part of the coursework, each student will implement these teaching strategies to design and teach a lesson. Elements of developmental psychology, learning theories, and classroom practices will inform the architectural education lesson. Teaching and learning techniques can be generalized for communication with clients, practice, and the community.
48-026 First Year Seminar: Architecture Edition II
Spring: 3 units
The first year seminar (part 2) introduces students to opportunities at Carnegie Mellon University and beyond. The goal of this course is to encourage students to pursue their interests inside and outside of the School of Architecture by introducing a range of opportunities, including study abroad experiences, internships, academic minors/additional majors, and graduate study. The introduction of the study abroad process and travel options will encourage students to consider a study away experience into their academic curriculum. Students will explore their additional academic interests by identifying their psychological preferences through the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and matching these preferences with academic minors/additional majors at CMU. The presentation of the Intern Development Program (IDP) will engage students in considering future plans for earning IDP hours and understanding the process of securing an architectural internship. Students will be introduced to the process of developing an independent research project. Additional topical areas to be covered in the seminar will include an evaluation of the previous semester, scholarship/academic funding opportunities, graduate studies, and schedule planning for upcoming semesters.
48-065 Architectural Rapid Prototyping for Non-Architects
Intermittent: 9 units
The continuing development of rapid prototyping technologies has expanded the range of applications?and their accessibility. The ubiquity of the three dimensional printer is only a matter of time: today?s availability of the desktop 3D printer has made it conceivable that they will soon become as common as their two-dimensional counterparts. This course will test the current capabilities of the desktop 3D printer, and explore the ways in which it can be used to develop architectural massings and details. Through the iterative process, we will test your original designs at a number of scales, from site context to the building to the component. While there is no prerequisite for this course per se, it is expected that students understand the basic fundamentals of architectural drawing conventions (plans, sections, elevations), and/or are conversant in 3-D modeling programs (Sketchup, Revit, Rhino, etc). Preference will be given to those intending to graduate with a minor in Architecture.
48-095 Spatial Concepts for Non-Architects I
Fall and Spring
This course serves as an introduction to the spatial concepts of architecture for students from other disciplines. The course is focused entirely on project design work (this is not an historical survey, technical or lecture course). This course is very hands-on Projects will explore the design and experience of spatial environments through a series of creative investigations. The semester will be broken in to 3 parts:Intro/Exploration and a long term project. In Intro/Exploration, students will have many hands on opportunities to start to build a common language to describe spacial investigations as well as creating them. This will consist of short projects, with each design investigation progressively building upon the previous exploration; these early projects will consist of both individual and group work. They will focus on Making. The second half of the semester will consist of one long term project to be created individually, incorporating students? personal theories of architecture based on an overarching question. Studio work will be supported by group discussion based upon critical review of student work, readings, slide presentations, videos and films. There will also be a few field trips. Students are encouraged to explore their own areas of interest with respect to their work in class. Self-motivation, class attendance and an open mind is mandatory, however, no prior architectural, engineering or artistic experience is required. Students are expected to perform work both inside and outside of class. Students should be prepared to purchase various supplies throughout the course. This course is in partial fulfillment of requirements for an Architecture Minor.
48-100 Architecture Design Studio: Foundation I
Fall: 12 units
As the first architectural design studio course, the Foundation I studio establishes a fundamental understanding of representation and abstraction to which more of your own thoughts and ideas about spatial thinking can be added. This will involve, by means of the architectural studio, a reiterative investigation into the relationship of technique, form, and meaning through study, invention, testing, and evaluation. During this semester a series of short problems will be given to expose you to the complexities of visual communication and the design act; to develop skills of spatial manipulation; to give you the self-confidence in making valid decisions within set time limits; to develop the skills of graphic presentation necessary for interpreting and communicating your architectural intentions; and above all, to instill the ability to combine insight with the rigorous analytical study in a ?design process? that is efficient, personally effective, and which becomes second nature to you as a working process.
48-105 Architecture Design Studio: Foundation II
Spring: 12 units
The 48-105 studio, called Foundation II, is the second studio in CMU?s professional B.Arch program. It builds on the lessons from 48-100 about clear architectural communication and abstract spatial-definition, but adds a greater emphasis on the material and experiential understanding of how architecture is made and used. We continue to emphasize architectural drawing and models (both analog and digital) as the primary means of architectural communication, but also as a method of creatively exploring and rigorously testing fundamental architectural ideas. We investigate, research, analyze, diagram, and apply lessons from local architecture, and great architecture of the past, in studio, and in the parallel survey of architectural history. We introduce the use of ?systems,? ?computational thinking,? and ?rules? in the design process to create order, deal with a range of parameters, and satisfy specific performance criteria. Beginning with more abstract formal design exercises, and ending with the design of a small building, we explore how tectonics, joinery, materials, as well as site, orientation, context, and human use can be harnessed to inspire great design. The design process is still carefully controlled, but students are encouraged to begin to speculate and take careful risks.
Prerequisite: 48-100 Min. grade C
48-116 Building Physics
All Semesters: 9 units
This course is composed of two parts related to fundamental building physics concepts, namely, the lighting performance of buildings (first part)and the thermal performance of buildings (second part). In the first part, the course will introduce fundamental lighting principles in the context of performance-based architectural design and diagnostics. The course will cover relevant aspects of lighting environment that affect the physiological and psychological experience of buildings, performance metrics, design and benchmarking methods, and contemporary simulation tools. Topics include a review of physiological and psychological response to the visual environment, analytical and numeric methods for the prediction of lighting conditions in interior spaces, lighting engineering and design methods, and application of computer-aided lighting simulation tools in architectural design. In the second part, the course will introduce fundamental thermal principles in the context of performance-based architectural design and diagnostics. The course will cover relevant aspects of thermal environment that affect the physiological and psychological experience of buildings, performance metrics, design and benchmarking methods, and contemporary simulation tools. Topics include a review of basic theory of heat transfer, thermal dynamics, thermal comfort, analytical and numeric methods for the prediction of building thermal load and energy consumption, and application of computer-aided thermal simulation tools for building thermal design. Demonstration of a set of environmental measurement and sensing devices will also be included in the thermal part of this lecture. DIVA-for-Rhino and ArchSim-for-Grasshopper/Rhino software platforms will be used for lighting and thermal performance simulations
48-120 Digital Media I
Fall: 6 units
IDM is a required course for all first year architecture students. The course introduces students to a wide range of digital methods and concepts available to architects for design, representation, and documentation. The coursework is directly coordinated with Studio assignments providing the students with the opportunity to master their digital skills in a meaningful manner. Due to the amount of content covered there is no single text for this course, but the course is supported by materials created by the instructor. IDM addresses topics such as digital image editing, vector illustration, HTML coding, and 3D modeling.
48-121 Drawing I
Fall: 6 units
Architects draw and build models for a variety of reasons: to record and reference; to analyze and reveal order, intent, and relationships; to speculate; and to visualize new propositions. The study of architecture requires the connection between the mind, the eye and the hand, so that the nature of ideas and their relationship to physical form can be investigated. The connection of the mind, hand and drawing skills requires considerable time and effort. This course introduces why architects use these forms of representation. Students are introduced to how to do basic academic research as well direct assignments that apply the fundamentals of freehand drawings and drafting techniques as it pertains to plans, sections, elevations and paraline drawing, analytical diagraming and model making.
48-125 Digital Media II
Spring: 6 units
IDM2 is a required course for all first year architecture students. This course is the continuation of IDM. IDM2 introduces students to measured drafting and the process of creating a construction drawing set. The coursework is directly coordinated with Studio assignments providing the students with the opportunity to master their digital skills in a meaningful manner. Due to the amount of content covered there is no single text for this course, but the course is supported by materials created by the instructor. IDM2 addresses topics such as digital drafting, construction drawings, advanced 3D modeling and HTML programming.
Prerequisite: 48-120
48-126 Drawing II
Spring: 6 units
Drawing and Appearance? is a traditional course in free-hand architectural drawing. Its central learning objective is building a capacity for visualizing three-dimensional space through the making of hand-made drawings. Two secondary objectives foster visual literacy: the ability to use line, tonal values and color to represent architectural space and the ability to use drawing to represent architectural proposals at various levels of abstraction Coursework includes free-hand and constructed perspective, shade and shadow projection, chiarroscurro drawing in colored pencil and color drawing in pastel. Work is submitted in three portfolio submissions of two weeks duration each. Coursework is built around exercises in the required course text: Drawing and Perceiving, John Wiley and Sons.
48-175 Descriptive Geometry
Spring: 9 units
This course is offered only at Carnegie Mellon's campus in Qatar. This is a manual construction course for solving problems in three-dimensional geometry through working with two-dimensional planes using basic mechanical drawing tools. The course covers basic concepts of descriptive geometry; solving problems involving lines and planes in space and their spatial relationships; rotations in three dimensions; locating points and tangents on solids and surfaces; intersection of solids; shades and shadows; perspectives; and development of surfaces.
48-200 Architecture Design Studio: Elaboration I
Fall: 18 units
This studio is an introduction to architectural design stressing concept generation and the development of a rich design process to create evocative spatial experiences through architecture. Building on the explorations of form and space in the 1st year, we investigate in greater depth the role that program, context, and the physical "elements of architecture" play in creating meaningful architecture. We seek to understand design principles underlying the buildings of the past and present, from the broadly theoretical and conceptual, to the real implications of tectonics and sustainability, and apply these ideas with intent and significance. We will focus on developing challenging architectural ideas, profound building details, and effective ways of communicating them in order to explore architecture's potential for creating poetic expressions, appropriate shelter, or exalted experiences, as well as its ability to embody ideas and impart meaning to the world around us.
Prerequisite: 48-105 Min. grade C
48-205 Architecture Design Studio: Elaboration II
Spring: 18 units
Building on the fall studio, the spring semester is concerned with more in-depth understanding and development of designs for small-scale buildings, now informed by greater knowledge related to materials, fabrication, and the act of construction. Following the "New Materiality" evident in architecture today, and acknowledging the importance of materials and assembly techniques for sustainable design, we seek to explore the aesthetic and experiential meaning of materials (WHY?), and the technical knowledge related to the use of materials and the processes of construction (HOW?). The creative opportunities and design implications of using varied materials, structural systems, fabrication and assembly techniques—both analogue and digital—are elaborated, especially as they determine the artistic, conceptual, poetic, creative, spatial, and experiential aspects of architecture. The studio projects, lectures, and the required building study will focus on the application and integration of knowledge acquired in a parallel "Materials & Assembly" course 48-215.
Prerequisite: 48-200
48-215 Materials and Assembly
Spring: 9 units
The fourth semester of architectural studies at Carnegie Mellon University is concerned with the detailed development and refinement of architectural design as informed by the meaning, aesthetics and techniques related to the usage of materials and the process of construction. As part of the technology sequence, 48-215 introduces and examines the fundamentals between design intent and construction materials, the science of materials (performance) and their assemblies. Learning how materials and techniques inform spatial and form making decisions will be a central theme to the semester. Lectures and discussions will focus on the meaning, aesthetics and techniques related to the use of materials and the process of construction. Field trips will provide further depth into these topics. A basic understanding of essential, well-known systems of building construction will be our base line. Discussions and case studies of contemporary systems that extend, experiment and question these known systems will introduce you to the great depth to which this basic knowledge can lead you. Joint assignments with the second year design studio will provide you with an opportunity for an in-depth exploration of these fundamentals of construction through a direct application and synthesis of this new knowledge to your studio project. This course will introduce a basic understanding, selection, design, preliminary sizing and methodology of construction systems organized by the 16 divisions of construction, as defined by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) as well as and introduction to the International Building Code (IBC) with special attention given to fire protection, types of construction, and means of egress.
48-217 Structures
Spring: 9 units
Structures is a required course taught in the second year. It is a successor course to Statics, complementing that previous course by emphasizing structural member design in wood, steel, and reinforced concrete; spatial synthesis of hierarchical one-way systems for gravity load; structural types for lateral load including braced frames, shear walls, and rigid frames; introduction to geometric structures such as cable nets, domes, shells, and air-supported structures.
48-240 Historical Survey of World Architecture and Urbanism I
Fall: 9 units
This course cuts a broad swath through time, geography and cultures, surveying critical episodes in the built environment of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas from antiquity through the 19th century. Reflecting the inseparable relation between building and human needs, this course is not only a history of architecture, but also a history through architecture. It examines architectural and urban design as a form of cultural expression unique to its time and place. The design, use, meaning and legacy of a building is conditioned not only by the architect's will or the patron's desire, but also by a web of technological, religious, social, cultural, economic, and political factors of the time. This foundation course is the first in the architectural history sequence, and introduces students to the subject and skills of world architectural history. It is a prerequisite for all subsequent architectural history courses. Student work will include several exams and a final.
48-241 Modern Architecture
Fall: 9 units
This survey of modern architectural history lecture course picks up where the historical survey 48-240 leaves off. It focuses attention on the 20th-century, and investigates the web of interwoven ideas and issues that characterize the modern age and ?modernism.? We begin with a look at the "crisis of modernity" that plagued most of western civilization in the late 19th-century, and then survey the major movements of the avant-garde and other responses to modernity, and end with what came to be known as ?Post-Modernism.? We will look more closely at the increasing divide between the ?disciplinary? edge of architecture, and architecture?s increasing ?professionalization? in the last century, focusing on how architecture has influenced culture through experimentation and provocative thinking, even when the primary intent was functional, technological, social, political, etc. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship of buildings to the more general cultural, intellectual, and historical circumstances in which they were created. Special attention will be devoted to the important manifestoes, theoretical, and critical writings that so determined the project of modern architecture.
48-250 Case Studies in Architecture and Cities
Fall: 9 units
To be determined by the department
48-300 Architecture Design Studio: Integration I
Fall: 18 units
Design Studio III: Building and Site is a required course taught in the third year. The subjects of the Third Year Fall Semester are the reciprocal orders of buildings and landscapes and the development of the building site. The work builds on knowledge gained in prerequisite and co-requisite courses including 48-312 Site Engineering. This course asks students to continue their investigations into the formal and spatial composition and enquiries of previous semesters with a focus on the following concepts: Occupancy: Social and cultural phenomena, dimension/measurement and cycles of time relating to human and non-human occupancy Site assessment: site inventory at many scales Grading and surface manipulation: compatibility of grading with related technical considerations for water management, ground structures, surfacing, plants, and maintenance Road alignment: design of roads and parking to support construction, service and the anticipated occupancies, design of roads to connect to other roads with appropriate sight lines, stack spaces, and turning requirements, layout and sizing of parking spaces for vehicles Stormwater: volume and direction of runoff water on both the undisturbed and developed areas, storm water surface system, Plants: selection of plants and plant communities with consideration for regional, local, and site-specific factors
Prerequisite: 48-205 Min. grade C
48-305 Architecture Design Studio: Integration II
Spring: 18 units
The basis for the CMU studio course sequence is the expectation that the student retains and applies knowledge gained each semester to the current studio. The spring semester of the third year of architectural studies at Carnegie Mellon University is concerned with the detailed development and refinement of an architectural design as informed by the technical knowledge of structural systems, enclosure systems and the process of construction. The student is expected to articulate concepts and develop designs with more precision and in greater detail than done in previous studios and courses. In addition to criteria related to the development of design skills appropriate to one's sixth semester of the studio sequence, the following criteria are an explicit part of the evaluation of the student work: Aesthetics: The degree to which the design responds to formal issues as articulated in prior design studios. Structural System: The degree to which the proposed building is presented as a statically stable structure which defines the spatial order and satisfies the architectural intentions made explicit in the project. Enclosure System: The degree to which the proposed enclosure system satisfies the design requirements and responds to the physical phenomena of the environment into which it is placed. Material Selection: The degree to which the selected building materials and their implementation are appropriate to the occupancy, articulate the architectural order, and satisfy the physical design requirements. Constructability: The degree to which the proposed building is developed in response to an understanding of the processes of construction. Presentation: The clarity, craft and completeness of the presentation.
Prerequisite: 48-300
48-315 Environment I: Climate & Energy
Fall: 9 units
This course introduces architectural design responses for energy conservation, human comfort, and the site-specific dynamics of climate. Students will be expected to combine an understanding of the basic laws of comfort and heat flow with the variables of local climate to create energy design guidelines for their own work. The state of the art in building energy conservation and passive heating and cooling technologies will be presented, with take-home readings and assignments. To stress the significance of architectural design decision-making on energy consumption and comfort, full design specifications and calculations will be completed for a residential-scale building. Students will compile a professional energy consultant's report, designing the most viable energy conservation retrofit measures for their client from siting, massing, organization, enclosure detailing, opening control, to passive system integration and management. An overview of world energy consumption in buildings and energy design standards will be challenged by lectures on building energy conservation successes, and emerging demands for a broader definition of sustainability. The course will end with a focus on the design integration of natural conditioning systems and the potentially dynamic interface of mechanical systems in small- and large-scale buildings.
48-324 Structures/Statics
Fall: 9 units
To be provided by department
48-332 Teaching and Learning
Intermittent: 6 units
In this course, students will learn about effective strategies for teaching architecture and the built environment. Topics include the cognitive differences between novices and experts, instructional techniques, and goal alignment. As part of the coursework, each student will implement these teaching strategies to design and teach a lesson. Elements of developmental psychology, learning theories, and classroom practices will inform the architectural education lesson. Teaching and learning techniques can be generalized for communication with clients, practice, and the community.
48-338 European Cities in the XIX Century: Planning, Architecture, Preservation
All Semesters: 9 units
The history of the main cities of Europe during the XIX century is a history of change and transformation. The physical environment and the political, financial and administrative structures adapt to the needs of new masses of population and to the challenges of metropolitan life. In some cases, cities even acquire new representative functions, as they become a national capital. This course traditionally offers an overview of the urban culture of XIX century Europe, reconstructing aspects of the broader historical context and then focusing on reading the effects of the XIX century transformations on the physical appearance, structures and image of present-day European cities, such as Paris, London, Berlin, Barcelona, Vienna and Rome. This semester we will add to this analysis, acquired by learning and applying a set of essential questions about XIX century urban transformations, a second look at the image of the city - the issue of how the city is represented and described in the various moments of its Nineteenth century transformation (from historical maps, to paintings, from postcards to literary descriptions). We will try to consider its changing visual representation and the different perception of its character and peculiarities over time, finally discussing how the Nineteenth century image of each city still affects how it is viewed today. We will rely, along with the usual reading materials (articles, book excerpts) also on visual documentation, such as photography and film. The course is based on lectures and discussions and requires personal elaboration, as well as a fair amount of reading and writing.
Prerequisite: 48-240
48-340 Modern Architecture and Theory 1900-1945
Intermittent: 9 units
This architectural history lecture course surveys the modern buildings and literature of the first half of the twentieth century, focusing primarily on Europe but extending also to non-western countries. We begin with a look at the "crisis of modernity" that plagued most of western civilization in the late 19th-century, and then focus on the major movements of both the avant-garde and other responses to modernity from 1900-1945. The course includes lectures, readings, and discussions about a broad range of issues, including 1) Formal tendencies; 2) Theoretical issues; 3) National traditions; 4) Biographical sketches; 5) Significant technologies and materials; 6) Political motivations; 7) Social & cultural influences. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship of buildings to the more general cultural, intellectual, and historical circumstances in which they were created, especially the important manifestoes, theoretical and critical writings that so determined the project of modern architecture. Work for the course involves extensive reading and a major research paper.
Prerequisite: 48-240
48-341 Expression in Architecture
Intermittent: 9 units
This architectural history seminar will explore expression in architecture in its many forms, particularly in written works of architectural theory through the ages. We start with the premise that architecture is not merely pragmatic, technical, or functional: it can express or communicate like a language, it can represent and inspire like many of the arts, it can shape behavior and emote, it can trigger memories, emotions, or meanings. As Isozaki put it: ?Architecture is a machine for the production of meaning.? We?ll investigate many ways that architects have theorized the design process, as well as the forms, materials, and contexts of architecture, to express a myriad of ideas and sensibilities. We?ll also look at the ways that buildings can communicate and have meaning, often beyond the intent of the architect, and usually changing over time. Some of the topics to be explored include the classical orders, gothic geometry and mystical light, the theatrical space of the Baroque, architecture parlante, character, and style in the Enlightenment, tectonics as structural expression, political architecture and morality, the aesthetics of functionalism, Expressionism, key terms such as ornament, representation, linguistics, and semiotics, as well as more recent theoretical constructs such as embodiment, materiality, atmosphere, and affect. The work of the seminar will include intensive weekly readings, especially of primary sources by the architects seeking to express ideas, weekly presentations and discussions about the sources, and a term paper on an important theory of expression in architecture of your choice.
Prerequisite: 48-240
48-347 ImPrint. Writing for Creatives
Spring: 9 units
Experience the impact of writing and publishing on your design process. In this hands-on workshop for a small group, the raw material is your completed and in-progress studio work. See your design thinking evolve and develop under the lens of a thoughtful, design-oriented writing practice. Learn to use writing and editing to clarify and refine your thought process and decision-making. Explore how text, images and layout come together to help you meaningfully adjust your communication strategy. The weekly three-hour session is a dedicated time to reflect on your studio work, do hands-on writing, share and discuss. You will create effective, evocative, intriguing presentations, respond to feedback from a panel of guest readers and finally see your work published in a SoA sponsored book at the end of the term.
48-348 Architectural History of Mexico & Guatemala
Intermittent: 9 units
This course surveys the architecture and urbanism of Mexico and Guatemala from prehistory to the 20th century, focusing on three critical periods of their cultural history and architectural development: (1) the Pre-Columbian development of Mesoamerica, primarily Maya and Aztec, (2) the Spanish colonial architecture and urbanism of the 16th-18th centuries, and (3) the 20th-century search for an appropriate regional and national modernism. When the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés landed in 1519 in what is now Mexico, he encountered one of the world?s largest and most spectacular civilizations. The Aztec empire, however, was only the latest urban civilizations in a Mesoamerican tradition that stretched back more than 2,000 years. The ensuing European architectural and urban imprints can be seen as both a victory of colonialism?s political, social, and architectural ideals, and as a fusion combining European practices with indigenous conditions and traditions. Centuries later, as 20th-century Latin Americans grappled with the challenges of industrialization, economic swings, and political and social revolutions, architects, planners, and clients again sought to reconcile competing visions of national and modern identities. Student work will include a research paper and several shorter written assignments throughout the semester.
Prerequisite: 48-240
48-350 Postwar Modern Architecture and Theory
Intermittent: 9 units
This architectural history lecture course surveys the modern buildings and architectural theory of the post-World War II period. It begins with the cataclysm of WWII and the fundamental shifts it caused on the conception of modernism, technology, cities, and geo-politics. It proceeds to investigate themes such as rebuilding and reconstruction, grand modern masters such as Mies, Kahn, and Le Corbusier, the fascination with technology, megastructures and utopian thought, the need for monumentality, meaning, and regional identity, and the dissemination of modernism from corporate America to the third world. It ends with the rupture in modernism associated with the social revolutions and the rise of a post-modern architecture in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The course includes lectures, readings, and discussions to define the unique character of the postwar period, as modernism both reigned supreme, and began to be questioned. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship of buildings to the more general cultural, intellectual, and historical circumstances in which they were created. Special attention will be devoted throughout the course to the important manifestoes, theoretical and critical writings that so determined the project of modern architecture. Work for the course involves extensive reading, preparing for class discussions, and a major research paper.
Prerequisites: 48-240 or 48-241
48-351 Human Factors in Architecture
Spring: 9 units
Required course Human Factors is an investigation of what makes buildings tick for people: the internal spaces, transitional spaces, transactional spaces, defensible space, owned space, shared space, public space, and most importantly, occupied space. We move up in scale from the individual and group to the community to consider our designers' biases in how we analyze the human needs, how we judge the quality of space and subsequently, how we apply this knowledge to our own design work. Students develop a research question and test it in field research using observation, interviews and surveys. They draw conclusions about the quality of a space and place and how to improve it. Students should leave this class with the ability to discern a problem, experience in applying their understanding of behavioral settings and the human condition to specific research foci, and the ability to use their knowledge and skills deftly in practice, where time and resources are limited. Assignments will be a mix of individual and group work, with emphasis on the latter. There will be an emphasis on reading relevant literature, field investigations and understanding research methods and collaboration for applications in practice.
48-355 Perspective
Intermittent: 9 units
Course addresses perspective on the basis of three distinct understandings of perceptual psychology: 1) A Kinesthetic Basis for Perspective, which is built on the drawing pedagogy of Kimon Nicholaides. It aligns with the transactionalist understanding of perception and considers perspective as partly invented and partly discovered truth. 2)The Order of Appearance, which is built on the early work of the perceptual psychologist, J.J. Gibson, and aligns with the ecological position of Gibson and his followers It considers perspective as an absolute truth of the visual field. 3)Perspective Imposed, which aligns implicitly with the position of Gestalt psychology. It treats perspective as an imposed schema. Along the way some use is made of on-going design work for subject material. Work is submitted in 3 portfolio submissions of 3-4 weeks duration each.
Prerequisite: 48-105
48-356 Color Drawing
Intermittent: 9 units
The course will use three media, pastels, colored pencils and water color to address the representation of architectural space. Early work will focus on interiors; later work will extend into landscapes. Topics covered in each will be, value, color temperature and use of complementary palettes. Work will be submitted in three portfolios of 3-4 weeks duration. Work will consist of in-class exercises and out of class assignments using subjects of the students' choice. Including in-class work, students should anticipate 9 hours of work per week. Students should anticipate material costs for taking the course of ca. $150.
Prerequisites: (48-121 and 48-126) or (48-130 and 48-135)
48-368 Rediscovering Antiquity: Travelers, Archeologists & Architects in Mediterranean
Spring: 9 units
The course proposes a journey in the Mediterranean, with special focus on Greece and Turkey, but also travel through time. In fact ancient cities and archeological sites, from the hills of Troy to the archeological sites of Pergamon and Ephesus, to the cities of Athens and Costantinople/Istambul, will be studied not so much as signs of the important Greek and Roman past of the region, but as the object of late Eighteenth and Nineteenth century rediscovery. The rich vestiges of the mythical past of this region were then brought to the light, in the frame of complex and adventurous missions. The eyes of scholars, travelers and artists filtered and transformed the reality of the ancient objects and places, adding to their fascination and vitality and changing the way we perceive this legacy today. At the same time though, a new political agenda, new biases and new aims were connected with the rediscovery. These in turn influenced not only the way the past of the region was explored and the way the finds were studied and exposed, but also the cultural debate in the rest of Europe, with important effects on the architecture of the main European cities.
Prerequisite: 48-205
48-371 American House and Housing, 1850-1975
Intermittent: 9 units
This architectural history course examines the development of American house and housing choices during the period 1850-1975. A recurring picture of the "American Dream" has typically included the image of a single-family, detached dwelling set within its own green yard in the suburbs. However powerful and durable that image is, the history of house and home in America is actually a far more complex story with many different twists and turns. In the course we will look at both urban and suburban housing choices and cultures, ranging from single family detached dwellings to multi-unit housing, and across a social spectrum income, class, race, and gender. Through the use of occasional field trips, we will use Pittsburgh as a touchstone for understanding broader national trends in the history of American urban and suburban housing. The course is organized as a lecture course supplemented with field trips and discussions based on field trips and primary source readings. The additional time slot on Thursday afternoons will be used only when field trips are scheduled. Student work will include a research paper and several shorter written assignments throughout the semester.
Prerequisite: 48-240
48-374 History of Architecture in the Islamic World- A Primer
Fall: 9 units
This course serves as an introduction to the architecture that developed in the Islamic lands over the centuries. The aim of the course is to provide a basic understanding of major epochs and regional variations, examining the social and historical context within which Islamic art and architecture developed. Through lectures, discussion and guided research activities, the students will learn the function and meaning of the most important building types, examine how these types changed over time to adapt to the needs of changing societies, and consider influences and exchanges with other traditions. While the main geographical focus of the course will be on the Mediterranean area, from Moorish Spain to the modern Middle East, the students will have the opportunity to develop independent research projects on other areas of the Islamic world.
Prerequisite: 48-240
48-380 Real Estate Design and Development
Spring: 6 units
This course will provide an overview of the real estate development process and explore the interdependence of real estate development and design. The course will introduce real estate development team members, processes, and phases, including feasibility, predevelopment, construction, and marketing. The course will include a substantial financial component that will introduce students to the basic techniques of property valuation, project budgeting, pro forma analysis, sourcing of financing, and investment analysis. Students will study how market demand, tenant requirements, site constraints, zoning restrictions, and available capital affect design solutions. Course work includes classroom learning, independent reading and exercises, guest lectures, and examination of case studies. The semester?s effort culminates in the execution of a team development project based on a current Pittsburgh development project. Teams will complete a basic market analysis, program evaluation, schematic design creation, project cost estimation, pro forma analysis, and evaluation of financial feasibility. Development practitioners will provide a critique of each team?s project to offer ?real world? guidance on student schematic designs and feasibility analysis prior to the final completion of the project.
48-381 Ethics and Practice
Spring: 12 units
Course description coming soon.
48-383 Ethics and Decision Making in Architecture
Spring: 6 units
Course description coming soon.
48-390 Physical Computing Studio
Spring: 10 units
This collaborative studio course will allow interdisciplinary teams to develop wearables with a focus on assistive technology. The ubiquitous nature of mobile devices coupled with low-cost and easily integrated sensors and actuators make this a good time to approach real problems for a range of users from the physically disabled to athletes. Teams will learn skills in hardware, software, fabrication, and design communication in order to effectively develop and share their ideas.
Prerequisites: 60-223 Min. grade C or 16-223 Min. grade C

Course Website:
48-400 Advanced Synthesis Options Studio I
Fall: 18 units
Having proven competency in the spectrum of skills determined necessary for tomorrow's architect during the first three years of the program, students in their fourth and fifth year are permitted to select from a variety of studio options, each providing the opportunity to build upon or augment some of those skills with new or more nuanced perspectives. All advanced synthesis studios are open to both years, the vertical integration offering enhanced learning opportunities.The content and focus of each studio is governed by faculty interests, which run the spectrum of architectural pursuits, ranging in scale from the design of a piece of furniture to a city and in approach from a comprehensive and complex building program to a critically-driven speculation. They may also be interdisciplinary in nature, taking advantage of the unique juxtapositions made possible at Carnegie Mellon.
Prerequisite: 48-305
48-405 Advanced Synthesis Options Studio II
Spring: 18 units
Having proven competency in the spectrum of skills determined necessary for tomorrow's architect during the first three years of the program, students in their fourth and fifth year are permitted to select from a variety of studio options, each providing the opportunity to build upon or augment some of those skills with new or more nuanced perspectives. All advanced synthesis studios are open to both years, the vertical integration offering enhanced learning opportunities.The content and focus of each studio is governed by faculty interests, which run the spectrum of architectural pursuits, ranging in scale from the design of a piece of furniture to a city and in approach from a comprehensive and complex building program to a critically-driven speculation. They may also be interdisciplinary in nature, taking advantage of the unique juxtapositions made possible at Carnegie Mellon.
Prerequisites: 48-400 and 48-412
48-432 Environment II: Design Integration of Active Building Systems
Fall: 9 units
High performing buildings can only be achieved with designs that effectively integrate passive and active systems. Having been introduced to passive systems in prior semesters, students will now be introduced to the range of active systems typically included in commercial buildings and strategies for their successful integration with passive components. The goal of the Design Integration of Active Building Systems course is to familiarize students with active building systems and integrative design strategies that should result in high levels of occupant comfort in commercial buildings that approach net zero energy and net zero carbon emissions Active systems introduced in this class include: electrical lighting; mechanical ventilation; active heating and cooling; water systems for interior and exterior use and water heating, including solar; onsite electricity generation with renewable energy; building transportation systems; and active fire protection & smoke control. Because of the breadth of this subject area, the course will be future-focused, concentrating on design approaches and technologies that appear to be well-suited to a net zero energy and net zero carbon future. Prerequisites: successful completion of 48-116, 48-215 and 48-315 or their equivalent is expected. No prior knowledge of active commercial systems and systems integration is assumed, but students are expected to understand heating and cooling load calculations, to be able to identify factors in building design that affect those loads, and to quantify their impact. A basic understanding of daylighting and electric lighting principles as covered in 48-116 and 48-315 is also assumed.
48-440 American Regions & Regionalism: An Architectural History of Place, Time, and Cul
Intermittent: 9 units
Despite the leveling forces of mass culture and globalization, the geographic and social diversity of the U.S. has created distinctive regional mosaics of landscape and architecture. Say New England and images of English Pilgrims, town greens with white framed churches, and industrial mill villages may come to mind. The Southwest conjures different images, perhaps of adobe pueblos, Spanish friars, arid ranches, and the color turquoise. The built environment of the Midwest, the California coast, the Mississippi Delta, and many places in between reflect particular regional identities that have been both unconsciously and consciously created over time. This course examines the historical development of regional patterns in the American built environment. It investigates how and why a regions architectural identity evolved in the ways that it did. To what degree is place something to respond to, to interact with, and to what degree is place something that is created? Our focus will be primarily pre-20th century when the forces of vernacular traditions were stronger, we will also examine more recent trends of regionalism as an aesthetic choice and a theoretical stance.
Prerequisite: 48-240
48-448 History of Sustainable Architecture
Intermittent: 9 units
The History of Sustainable Architecture investigates themes of nature, ecology, pollution and conservation in the built environment and visual arts. The term ?sustainable architecture? is a comparatively recent one, arising in reaction to the destructive and toxic nature of the industrial era and its strident ambassador, Modern architecture. Yet, an esthetic and philosophical view of harmony with nature accompanies many forms of historical human activity in the built environment. Similarly, issues of waste removal, mechanical systems and natural materials that characterize current concerns have illustrative historical roots in numerous civilizations going back centuries and even millennia in pre-Industrial or non-industrial cultures. This course will engage texts and examples relating not simply architecture, landscape and urban history, but also art, philosophy and popular culture as a means to understand the many precedents for today?s interest in sustainable architecture and planning. The course will examine texts and works by figures including Vitruvius, Pliny, Leon Battista Alberti, Thomas Cole, Frederic Law Olmsted, Buckminster Fuller, Reyner Banham, Ebenezer Howard, Hassan Fathy, Bernard Rudofsky, Norman Foster, Robert Smithson, Andy Goldsworthy and more. Students will be encouraged to apply principles from the class to understanding and execution of work in their own discipline.
48-452 Real Estate Design and Development
Fall: 6 units
This course will introduce the Real Estate development process and explore the interdependence of development drivers and the design process. Classroom learning, exercises and guest-lectures will introduce students to the concepts of market and financial analysis, as well as the basic techniques of budgeting, proforma development, and valuation. Parallel to this investigation, students will evaluate real world developments and interface with the development professionals that executed them to learn how development drivers shaped the development process and decision making. Students will study how market demand, tenant requirements, site constraints, and available capital affect feasibility, and through this the ultimate design solution. The semester's effort culminates in the execution of a mini-development project. Students will work in teams to complete a basic market analysis, program evaluation, schematic design, construction and development cost estimate, proforma analysis, and a determination of financial feasibility. Development practitioners will interface with student teams during this mini-project to offer "real world" guidance on student schematic designs and feasibility analysis.
Prerequisite: 48-305
48-453 Urban Design Methods
Fall: 6 units
This undergraduate lecture course introduces urban design history, theory and methods. It is a required supporting course for the Urban Laboratory design studio, and similarly examines urban design at multiple scales: city form and networks, neighborhoods and block structures, streets, public spaces, and urban building typologies. Key issues introduced include the emergence and evolution of urban design as a discipline, economic, social and political factors affecting the contemporary city, and environmental sustainability at the urban scale. A wide variety of cities, projects, proposals and methodologies are examined. Assignments include readings from seminal texts, quizzes, and a final examination.
Prerequisite: 48-305
48-454 Futures of the City/Cities of the Future
Intermittent: 9 units

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