Architectural Studies (ARCH)

ARCH Courses

ARCH-201 Introduction to Architecture

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course introduces the many facets of architecture: history, theory, and design of buildings, landscapes, and cities. In addition to surveying architecture from the earliest forms of human habitation to contemporary residences, the course introduces basic analytical skills of architectural representation. Students will develop skills of speaking and writing about architecture, while also learning basic design tools: the sketch, map, plan, elevation, materials study, and landscape setting. Guest architects and theorists will introduce design topics and work with students preparing drawings and designs that are evaluated on effort and realization, not on proficiency.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
M. Davis
Restrictions: This course is limited to First-year and Sophomore students.

ARCH-205 Introduction to Architecture

ARCH-205AD Introduction to Architecture: 'Design'

Spring. Credits: 4

This studio course will be a design investigation of a particular theme in or approach to architecture and the built environment. Students will develop and apply traditional and contemporary architectural skills (sketches, plans, elevations, models, computer diagramming, and various modes of digital representation) to interdisciplinary and socially pertinent design problems. Creative and indexical study and analysis will be used to generate and foster a broad range of concepts and language to solve architectural issues involving site, construction, inhabitation, function, form, and space. Our goal is to apply creative techniques in art and sculpture to the creation of meaningful space.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
N. Darling
Advisory: One semester of design or drawing is recommended
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of materials.

ARCH-225 Intermediate Studies in Architectural Design

ARCH-225ED Intermediate Studies in Architecture: 'Environmental Principles'

Fall. Credits: 4

This hybrid studio addresses human comfort with lectures and problem work sessions integrated with design projects. We start with an in-depth study of the world's climate regions, the sun, and the earth's tilt and spin. Primary methods of heat transfer are investigated as students research two architectural solutions (vernacular and contemporary) within each climate. Using daylight, the sun's movement, and sun-path diagrams students will design, draw and build a functioning solar clock. Issues in day-lighting and thermal comfort will then drive an extended design problem. Students will be asked to solve numerical problems and present design solutions using both drawings and models.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
N. Darling
Prereq: ARCH-205.
Advisory: Knowledge of algebra and trigonometry. ARCH-216 at Amherst College is recommended.
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for some of the cost of materials.

ARCH-280 Topics in Architectural Studies

ARCH-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

ARCH-305 Advanced Topics in Architecture

ARCH-305CS Advanced Topics in Architecture: 'Capstone Studio'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This studio provides a structured creative environment for students to explore and design in both an individual and collaborative setting. Students develop their own individual design projects, identifying their approach, then executing their creative acts throughout the semester. This course is highly interdisciplinary in nature, yet designed for students developing projects in various areas of architecture and design, environmental studies, and urban planning. Discussion and writing are integral to this studio. The semester culminates in a collective exhibition. Students must have an individual project in mind or in progress at the start of the term.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
N. Darling
Notes: A considerable amount of self-directed work outside of class hours is expected from students.

ARCH-305TC Advanced Topics in Architecture: 'Technologies of Architectural Design'

Fall. Credits: 4

This seminar investigates the role of technology in the design of buildings in the pre-modern world. We will perform the layout of a medieval church plan employing geometric procedures, follow the development of drawing in conception and construction, and consider structural innovation as a response to changing functional and imaginative demands. Using digital software and the facilities of the Makerspace, we will explore the possibilities technology offers for the analysis, reconstruction, and presentation of historical architecture.

Crosslisted as: ARTH-301TC
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
M. Davis
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Prereq: A combination of 8 credits in art history, architectural studies, or art studio.
Advisory: Students with a computer science background encouraged to enroll.

ARCH-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.

ARCH-395P Independent Study with Practicum

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.

Related Courses

Students who plan to enroll in courses outside of the Five Colleges, especially in courses to be taken at another institution or abroad, should first consult with their advisor and the program coordinator to determine if the courses meet the departmental criteria for the major.

Five College Course Offerings in Architectural Studies

Current courses in architectural studies are offered throughout the Five Colleges. Check listings in the Five College course schedule:

  • Amherst College: Department of Art and the History of Art
  • Hampshire College:  Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies (HACU), Lemelson Center (HCLC)
  • Smith College: Department of Art,  Landscape Studies Program
  • University of Massachusetts: Architecture and Design, Building Construction Technology, Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning.