Spring 2016 Electives

Elective courses available:

ARCH4010 Seminar in Sensory Culture

The Seminar builds an understanding of the role of senses in a broad range of cultural productions through readings, writing, discussion, and projects. Source material will be drawn from neuro- and cognitive science, philosophy, art, medicine, psychiatry, perceptual psychology, performance and epistemology. First person experiences by means of field trips to art, music, performances and/or installations will be required in lieu of textbooks. Ted Krueger. R 10-12. Cr. 2.

ARCH4020 Bedford Seminar: Advanced Building Structures (Civil)

This interdisciplinary seminar consists of students from both the School of Architecture and Civil Engineering department. Presentation of a variety of structural typologies bears direct relation to practical experience and the necessity for constructive interdisciplinary discourse. Specific structural typologies are examined through historic and contemporary project examples that are critically deconstructed and critically analyzed with respect to their basic engineering principles and architectural concepts. Students will be exposed to the collaborative methods inherent within the architect/engineer relationship. The course consists of lectures concerning each topic, case studies and presentations of relevant projects, an interdisciplinary design project and discussion of the projects and presentations with respect to interdisciplinary discourse. Content and delivery may vary by instructor. Wilfred Laufs. R 6-8:50 pm. Cr. 3. Taught with CIVL4020. Prerequisite: Arch2230 Structures 1.

ARCH4170.80 Environmental Parametrics

The work of this course sets out to describe the meaning, values, and methods of using parametric techniques as both an analytical tool and a generative device in comprehensive performance-based building design. The students learn techniques to set-up feedback between analysis and tactical response in performance-based design while also situating these techniques within the broader discourse and methodology of fostering design ecologies and creating ecologies of design as they relate to the construction of the built environment and contemporary issues of sustainability. Demetrios Comodromos. Cr 2. CASE in NYC.

ARCH4340 Structural Morphology

This course explores design and development of structural feasible complex, static and dynamic free forms in an interdisciplinary fashion. Efficiency of various topologies is of the special interest. The form finding investigation and the evaluation include, building physical models, use of laser scanner to generate computer models, use of computer simulation to refine models based on results of load-deformation tests and photo elastic observation. Various optimization techniques are explored to conceptually determine fragility of the form. This course is a based on new or continuous research projects and is open for explorations of specific studentsʼ interests and is structured on team or individual work. The course at times involves field trips, international collaborators, and guest lecturers. Alongside Architecture the course is open for students from other disciplines especially CEE, CS, MSE, BE, HASS, GAMING or others with permission of the instructor. Enrolment is limited to 12 Architecture students. Ivan Markov. T 4-6 pm. Cr. 2.

ARCH4730 Sustainable Building Design Strategies

An in depth analysis of conceptual planning strategies as well as building system strategies that produce environmentally responsible buildings. Building physics and environmental phenomena including solar, wind and geothermal; passive and active systems and addressing those defensive (e.g. insolation) vs. offensive strategies (e.g. energy harvesting) will be covered. Case studies will be utilized to demonstrate the integration of sustainable strategies into the design process. Oliver Holmes. T 8-10 pm. Cr. 2

ARCH4965.01 PARALLX_Exploiting 2.5D

In this seminar “PARALLAX _ Exploiting 2.5D” we will be utilizing both contemporary digital 3D modeling and fabrication tools. Our goal will be to analyze the transition from 2D_line to 3D_surface exploiting the contrast in texture between rough and smooth to the interaction between high and low producing complex 2.5D reliefs. These 2.5D reliefs will display intricate colors and abstract forms combining perspective and orthographic views to intensify the understanding of depth, line and surface. Brian De Luna. W 12-2. Cr. 2.

ARCH4966-60 Chinese Architecture and Urbanism

China Studies Students only. Cr. 4. Tongji University / Shanghai.

ARCH4967.01 Emerging Material Systems in Architecture

This research seminar looks at the impact of emerging materials, fabrication systems and methods that are upending traditional notions about design, construction, economy and materiality in architecture. Materials such as Cross Laminated Timber, recycled cardboard tubes, plastic composites and composite concrete are just a few of the emerging materials that are already redefining the discipline of architecture and the construction industry in unanticipated ways. By examining a range of new and emerging materials and their impact on architecture, the seminar seeks to catalog the possibilities of construction systems, potential and actual impact, sustainability, and cultural implications of an array of new or reinvigorated materials and material techniques in architecture. The seminar will be organized into a series of research groups with a focus a narrow range of materials. A case-study methodology will be used for documentation and organization of findings and creative speculations collected and disseminated in book form. Lonn Combs. W 10-12. Cr 2.

ARCH4968.01 A Living Paradigm: When the Wet Begins to Nourish the Dry

We live within a gravitational field where physical laws determine the shape of forms. Cartesian geometry in architecture is a human invention linked to a limited ability to measure, predict and repeat forms. Living organisms also develop within gravitational, chemical and physical constraints yet they differ from rigid and dry man-made structures. They thrive in liquids, which allow smooth flow of matter and information, and they assume soft forms. In the era of synthetic biology, liquid matter provides the fundamental (perhaps essential) environment for research enabling new semi-living and living systems, as it does in architecture. Zbigniew Oksiuta. W 10-12. Cr 2.

ARCH4969.01 The Architecture of the Screen: Relationships between Film and Architecture

While architecture is one of the oldest forms of cultural expression, film, by comparison is one of the youngest. Although seemingly at odds with one another, due to the physicality of architecture, and the image based condition of film, architecture has learned a great deal from the expressive capacities of film. In this seminar we will study the manner in which certain filmmakers have captured the physical environment in dynamic and provocative ways. Anthony Titus. R 10 – 11:50 am. Cr. 2.

ARCH4974.60 Chinese Language & Culture

China Studies Students Only. No Professional Elective. Cr 4. Tongji University / Shanghai.

ARCH4975.60 Chinese Calligraphy Painting

China Studies Students Only. No Professional Elective. Cr 2. Tongji University / Shanghai.


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Evan Douglis, Professor


School of Architecture
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street - Greene Bldg.
Troy, NY 12180 - USA

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