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 Architectural Design: 'Sculpting Space'

Fall. 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
T. Long
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-225DD Intermediate Studies in Architectural Design: 'Introduction to Digital Design'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course introduces students to contemporary digital design tools in order to better communicate fundamental architectural ideas. Students engage with CAD, 3D modeling, and 2D visualization techniques in Rhino 5 and Adobe CC, ultimately becoming an integral part of their creative design process. Students become proficient in digital drawing and modeling as they craft a short series of cumulative design exercises focusing on the tectonics and articulation of architectural surfaces. Skills are introduced and expanded, but more importantly, students learn to navigate the virtual environment that now more than ever influences a designer's disciplinary interests and creative processes.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. Jaminet
Advisory: One semester of Drawing I, design, or sculpture is recommended.

ARCH-225EC Intermediate Studies in Architectural Design: 'Principles of Ecological Design'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This studio/lecture course explores the ecology of nature's architecture and human-built environments as we "study our living place", and let the ecology of place guide design. Students will closely observe and analyze individual and collective environments and landscapes, case-study examples, ecosystems, wildlife, habitats, and human spaces of form and function. Students will utilize whole-systems thinking, knowledge of environmental issues, Earth elements and the biosphere to better understand and creatively build resilient, environmentally responsible design plans. This interdisciplinary course will be active with literature, group discussions, individual and group work/presentations; and will include outdoor, creative and hands-on activities. Students will expand as ecological designers through weekly journals, visual exercises/sketching, mapping, palette and site-design challenges and projects.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. Bergeron
Advisory: One semester of design, or environmental studies, or drawing/art studio recommended but not required.
Notes: Students enrolled in this course will be responsible for materials cost and possible field trip transportation.

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

Not Scheduled for This Year. 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: 4 Credits in Architecture design studio.
Advisory: Knowledge of algebra and trigonometry.
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'

Spring. 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-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.