Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Outline


  1. Cultural Context: Technology exists within a cultural context. Therefore, contemporary building technology derives from a rich historical and cultural evolution of technique and form that augments the ability to design intelligently.
  2. Holistic Building: Understanding individual building components and the details necessitates understanding the guiding architectural intentions, performance requirements, process of manufacture and assembly, and systematic organization of various building assemblies.
  3. Invention: Architectural invention is the medium for the determination of form at all scales and permeates the physical architectural result. The making of details is not a deterministic process that seeks to optimize a singular solution. Be careful of optimization. “Il n’y a pas de detail dans la construction”

Scope of Course

  1. History and Theory of Building Systems and Architectural Components
  2. Statics of Architectural Structures
    • Structural Morphology
    • Basic structural elements and force systems
    • Equilibrium equations
    • Material behavior
  3. Building Systems
    • Performance requirements
    • Identification and specification of elements
  4. Sustainable Strategies
    • Best practice
    • Resource efficiency
  5. Materials: New and Old
  6. Systems Integration

Values to Instill

  1. Possibility of Invention: both for engineers and architects
  2. Craft of New and Old Technologies: good practice and new processes
  3. Critical View of Product-Driven Design

Intended Results

  1. Familiarity with requirements of architectural assemblies
  2. Understanding of broad range of “good” solutions
  3. Understanding of contemporary issues in the design of architectural assemblies
  4. Understanding of design process
  5. Understanding of construction process
  6. Identification of opportunities for “invention”
  7. The initiation of a career-long study of the expressive potential inherent in the solution of technical assembly and construction situations
  8. Development of strategies for collaboration between disciplines

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2004