Construction Systems

This course introduces students to methods of construction: conceptually, historically, and practically. We will consider how construction techniques emerge in relation to architectural desires and technical criteria in order to emphasize the architect’s agency in shaping construction systems within the collaborative environment of contemporary building design. Construction has material, structural, spatial, economic, environmental, and cultural consequences. As such, this foundational course will have the dual charge of understanding not just how, but also why we build in a particular manner.

An overview of construction systems will be provided including a review of wall, roof, envelope, and foundation systems. Students will learn about construction systems through lectures, readings, and a series of research assignments that ask students to apply methods of dissection (by drawing and modeling selected systems in detail) and to speculate on the larger societal and cultural relevance of architectural technologies. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their research assignments and participation in course discussions. Select course materials will be made available online for students to review outside of class hours for asynchronous engagement and discussion.
This course is part of the core curriculum in architecture for MArch I and MArch I AP students.