This summer course is an intensive, five-week immersion into the language of architectural representation and visualization, offering a shared inventory and basic framework upon which to build subsequent studies. Students are introduced to techniques and conventions for describing the space and substance of buildings and urban environments, including orthographic drawing, axonometric projection, perspective, architectural diagramming, vignette sketching, and physical modeling. Students work in freehand, hard-line, and digital formats. In parallel to the visualization portion of this course, an introduction to architectural history and theory focuses on principal turning points of thought and practice through to the eighteenth century.

The Importance of PLAY

The modus operandi for the Architectural Foundations is PLAY. This does not mean the class will be frivolous, quite the contrary. We will approach play with the seriousness it deserves, allowing it to expand our capacity for creativity, innovation, and invention. Each Exploration will encourage students to develop their own design methodology to explore and test new and meaningful design strategies. Play encourages curiosity and learning through trial and error, rather than a narrowly defined set of working methodologies. Play asks us to take risks, to test possibilities, and ultimately to develop imaginative strategies of comprehending and designing the world around us.

Architecture is continually confronted with a myriad of rules related to clients, budget, site, program, codes, schedule, structure, etc. How can play influence rules, such that the latter operate as part of a speculative enterprise that manifest new forms of expression? Rather than limiting what we can do, how might rules be rewritten or recast to generate new possibilities for architectural production?

With this in mind, Architectural Foundations will focus on the role play can have in architectural ideation, development, design, and production. Throughout the semester students will explore a variety of methods used by designers who have embraced the spirit of whimsy and know how to play seriously! As Charles and Ray Eames once said:

“Take your pleasure seriously.”

All Semesters

Summer 2023
Architectural Foundations
Nikole Bouchard, Jerome Tryon
Summer 2019
Architectural Foundations
Miroslava Brooks, John Blood, Kyle Dugdale