Spring 2017 Electives

Elective courses available:

ARCH4020/CIVIL4020 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. W 12-1:50. Cr. 3. Taught with CIVL4020. Prerequisite: Arch2230 Structures 1.

ARCH4840.01 Architectural Acoustics 2

In the spring semester, students will have the opportunity to design their own performance hall. This process will include continued studies of acoustics measurements, simulated sound fields, community noise issues, and professional practice in acoustics consulting. The course will also have detailed lectures on concert hall acoustics, sound quality, and synthesized sound fields. Students will be introduced to a variety of simulation software and measurement equipment in the Acoustics Research Laboratory. After both Architectural Acoustics 1 and 2, the student should be prepared for a basic entry-level position in either acoustics in architecture or in acoustical consulting. Prerequisite: ARCH4840 or instructor approval. Todd Brooks. F 10–1:50 pm. Cr 4.

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. Theform 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. Ivan Markov. T 4 – 5:50 pm. Cr. 2.

ARCH4850 Architectural Acoustics 2

In the spring semester, students will have the opportunity to design their own performance hall. This process will include continued studies of acoustics measurements, simulated sound fields, community noise issues, and professional practice in acoustics consulting. The course will also have detailed lectures on concert hall acoustics, sound quality, and synthesized sound fields. Students will be introduced to a variety of simulation software and measurement equipment in the Acoustics Research Laboratory. After both Architectural Acoustics 1 and 2, the student should be prepared for a basic entry-level position in either acoustics in architecture or in acoustical consulting. Prerequisite: ARCH4840 or instructor approval. Todd Brooks. F 10–1:50 pm. Cr 4.

ARCH4959.01 Reinventing archives and the Rise of Immersive Scholarship

This course will be a research seminar of experimental history and theory based on archival research on narratives of electrification, technological innovations and their impact on concepts of habitation in the twentieth century. We will be visiting the archive of General Electric at the Museum of Innovation and Science [MiSci] in Schenectady, New York and conduct forensic analysis of the documents we discover. Students will select a specific theme from the collection and analyze the material deeply as if a crime has taken place. The scope is to write original research papers that can be published, but most importantly to redesign and re-imagine an archive of historical material as an immersive space that can be designed; either as a hologram, virtual reality animation, a series of social media initiatives or other platforms invented by the students, we will aim to engage a wider audience and produce mediums for an ‘immersive scholarship.’ Kallipoliti. Cr 2. W 10-11:50 am. Enrollment 10.

ARCH4960.01 Construction Instruction; Whats your Function?

Through the lens of a real project in design by Grimshaw Architects for an orphanage and school in Haiti that is scheduled to be built by August using off-site construction techniques, we will look out how construction documentation is changing with the advent of off-site and modular construction techniques. We will engage in the design process with Grimshaw and the fabricators to help inform the design and documentation of this project. Ikea’s construction instructions have no words. Some of BMW’s autoworkers use augmented reality glasses to receive instructions. Floor layouts are done with laser positioning. What does Direct to Fabrication stop and installation start? Ultimately an Architect’s concept must be distilled and disseminated into a set of instructions for fabrication and construction. How is the building industry adapting to changing technology and changing work flows in construction information? Eric Churchill. W 10:00-11:50. Cr 2.

ARCH4961.01 Programmable Matter and Information Space

The Seminar looks at the concept of the SPIME (Bruce Sterling, 2004) as generative unit for the Internet of Things, its implication for the design of architecture space, thought and culture. Evaluates material sciences (nano and meta-materials), robotics, bio-informatics, biotechnology, genetics, information and communication technologies to discuss precedents and extrapolations for future design scenarios. Carla Leitao. F 12 – 1:50 pm. Cr. 2.

ARCH4962.01 The Influence of Islamic Architecture in Occidental Culture

The Alhambra of Granada, one of the major monuments of Islamic architecture and the most splendid of its kind in the Mediterranean World has held for centuries a legendary fascination for travelers, artists and writers through centuries: Victor Hugo, Lord Byron, Washington Irving, M.C. Escher…are just few from the list. Departing from the analysis of this palace and its medieval acropolis, we will walk through other architectural examples in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America, in which these reminiscences are present. Elena Perez Guembe. R 10 – 11:50 am. Cr. 2.

ARCH4963.01 Projective Glitch

Architectural software reduces projective geometry to an inert spatial simulation, thus eliminating its impact in the design process. However, innovation in architecture often arises by combining the design of objects with original ways of representing them. Using digital techniques, we will disrupt default projective environments and explore their architectural potential. Stefano Passeri. R 12 – 1:50 pm. Cr. 2.

ARCH4965.01 Projective Veils

The seminar “Oblique Veils,” will focus on projective geometry. It will include readings and historic precedents that will relate to the contemporary discipline and discourse. Using oblique projections of image/graphic in conjunction with wrapping/draping, this seminar will explore the ability to visually augment objects to produce visual misconceptions. Compositing projection with draping, our intention will be to redefine corners, seams and other geometric transition creating both unity and/or schisms. We will study in depth the fold, extrusion, projection, wrapping and draping to composite the 2d image with the 3d object. Brian De Luna, F 12 – 1:50 pm. Cr. 2.

ARCH4966.01 The Man Next Door: A.Hitchcock + the Arch of Fear

This seminar will explore the cinema of Alfred Hitchcock via the urban condition. The narrative structures of Hitchcock’s films often move the characters from pastoral settings to urban contexts, and vice versa. These allegories track naive or innocent characters as they move into self awareness, a transition always reflected in the costumes, music, lighting, editing and direction. Famously averse to shooting on location, Hitchcock invented and refined techniques for controlling shifts in scale, perspective and space – all part of his reliance on the studio for a kind of ‘world building’. For example, as a way to save on location costs, Hitchcock developed back-lit film transparencies at the scale of architecture. His techniques of sonic and visual abstraction, defamiliarization, continuous takes, color saturation and disorienting perspectives all have analogs in the operations of the modern city. His themes of voyeurism, doubling, mistaken identity and paranoia are hallmarks of the modern human condition. He made the first film to address psychoanalysis as a subject (Spellbound, 1945), shot an entire film on one set (Lifeboat, 1944), and his dark comedy Frenzy (1972) looked at the urban phenomenon of serial murder. From the 39 Steps to Rear Window to Psycho, Hitchcock torqued the city grid as a symbol for both freedom (anonymity) and oppression (chaos).The Master of Suspense has also been seen as a misogynist, sadist, humorist and cultural critic. We will critically engage his works via screenings, writing and our own attempts at storyboarding and set design. Michael Oatman. W 10 – 11:50 am. Cr 2.

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. M 10 – 11:50 am. Cr 2.

ARCH4968.01 What an Amazing Time

At the beginning of the twentieth century, mankind has discovered digital language. In the forties appeared computers, instruments that enable us to communicate in that language. These devices have changed our lives, ways of communication between us, ways we organize our daily stuff and how we produce things.

Almost at the same time in the fifties discoveries in biology, especially genetics, have revealed that all living world speaks the same language, the digital language. “Life is just bytes and bytes and bytes of digital information” (Richard Dawkins)

We are walking already “in the digital age of biology in which the once distinct domains of computer codes and those that program life are beginning to merge, where new synergies are emerging that will drive evolution in radical directions.” (Craig Venter)

These discoveries are made before our eyes.
You and I are their witnesses.
What an amazing time.

The Seminar will focus on the consequences of these events. We will study new dependencies between nature, culture and technology. Zbigniew Oksiuta. R 12 – 1:50 pm. Cr. 2.

ARCH4969.01 The Arch 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.

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Dean

Evan Douglis, Professor

Address

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street - Greene Bldg.
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