ARCH 3010 | John Peponis

Design Strategies

The design process as reflection in action. The logic of design decisions. The synthesis of diverse bodies of knowledge in design. Interdisciplinary collaborations in design. Students who successfully complete the course will: 1) Be able to describe buildings in terms of client charge, architect’s intent and design generators, closely linking description to the record of drawings, sketches, models and photographs. 2) Be able to identify the design problems that were solved in the course of design development, as well as the kinds of expertise and the networks of collaboration that made their solution possible. 3) Be able to compare case studies in design in order to identify and critically discuss the emerging design strategies.

ARCH 8803 | Perry Yang, Dimitri Mavris, Dr.MIchael Balchanos

Smart City Workshop: Digital Twin Systems Design for Aerotropolis

Georgia Tech’s Smart City Workshop in 2020 will collaborate with Aerotropolis Atlanta CIDs (AACIDs), Hartsfield Jackson International Airport of Atlanta, MARTA and city authorities connecting to AACIDs. 

Airport cities are emerging as a global city landscape. Many global cities are turning their “city airport” to “airport city”, in which city centers are built around globally significant airports (Kasarda, 2013). Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as the largest hub of the U.S. contains 110.5 million passengers annually in 2019. The airport as an “urban center” has a daily average 300,000 people flowing in and out the physical settings, in which their temporal residency ranges from minutes, hours to days. Aerotropolis is an alignment of the metropolitan region to better leverage an airport’s assets and provide a framework for the strategic planning and development of economic activity and real estate (Atlanta Regional Commission and Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance, 2016). The airport city is a transportation interchange, a complex urban system that contains flows of people, goods, energy, water and information. Airports and airlines are now in bad shape due to Covid-19. How will the airport city system be redesigned to become safer, cleaner, nimbler and more resilient to mitigate the impact, and adapt to future shocks? The Smart City Workshop in Fall 2020 aims to develop a smart city digital twin concept model of airport city around Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and surroundings. It envisions the post Covid-19 airport city to be a healthy, safe, green, accessible, connected, resilient and socially inclusive urban environment.

ARCH 4804, 8804, 6352 | Lars Spuybroek

Bioconstructivism: Tinkering vs. Engineering

“Nature is always tinkering,” said the evolutionary biologist François Jacob in the early 1970s. The concept of tinkering is based on a constant redefinition and variation of elements. Bioconstructivism is the art of tinkering: combining logic with vagueness. This elective discusses the main protagonists of such ideas. We will be looking into early concepts of biomimetics such as Fechner’s and Francé’s research into plant morphology; the analogue computing techniques of Antoni Gaudi and Frei Otto; the work of Ernst Haeckel who discovered the complexity of Radiolaria; as well as how digital design techniques can both generate and use such complex structures for architectural and engineering solutions. We will see how two worlds that have been separated since ages, art and engineering (Beaux-Arts and Polytechnique), can be brought together by contemporary forms of biomimetics and digital morphogenesis.

ARCH 4803, 6508 | Thanos Economou

Shape Grammars

What does it mean to have a new modeling software for design that allows designers to specify their actions by drawing shapes rather than by writing scripts? What is the difference between an object registered in your computer system and a shape you really see? What does it mean to program with shapes? These questions (and more) are systematically explored through a series of geometric and computational modeling studies in the Shape Machine, a new software/plug-in for Rhino currently developed at the Shape Computation Lab at the School of Architecture at Georgia Tech. The class and the tutorials are based on the shape grammar formalism, one of the most powerful formal systems for the generative description of designs. Significantly, the software implementation of visual computations rather than symbolic (scripting) computations in Shape Machine promises an entirely new approach in modeling in design, strongly suggesting new links between art, design, mathematics, psychology, neuroscience and more not previously explored.

ARCH 4803, 8803 | Jim Cramer

The Business of Architecture
Fees and Profits: Making Money in Architecture

This dynamic course is focused on business and entrepreneurialism in the ever-changing and expanding profession of architecture. The lessons begin with learning strategic planning as a core competency designed to aid lifelong success in architecture practice. We will focus on new and relevant case studies about professionalism and making money in the profession of architecture. Three sections that will be explored are architecture compensation, professional practice fees, and profits and other critical business metrics to support the delivery of design excellence. 

ARCH 4823, 8823 | Sonit Bafna

Mind and the Built Environment

Architects and urban designers routinely, and often inadvertently, make assumptions about how people will respond to the environments that they create. But how well supported are these assumptions? Are they based on empirically established and theoretically explained knowledge, or are they simply drawn from folk theory? There does exist considerable knowledge to verify these assumptions, but it is scattered within the technical literature in several disciplines and framed in concepts that are not always in mutual accord. The course will present students with an architecture-oriented framework with which to organize this diverse body of knowledge, preparing them either for incorporating more informed perspectives into their designs, or for developing further research projects of individual interest.

ARCH 4833, 8833 | George Johnston

Collage Making

Collage has played a significant role in shaping both perceptual and intellectual spheres in the modern era. Concepts of simultaneity, superimposition, multiplicity, flatness, and phenomenal depth are materialized through techniques of cutting and pasting in a host of media. ARCHITECTURE has been affected by these practices in both formal and programmatic terms, in the development of concepts and strategies of assembly. And the temporal dimension of everyday life is mnemonically embedded in the layered joints of the collaged surface, itself a material history. This course will familiarize students with the intellectual history of collage, will examine related practices within allied arts— architecture, literature, visual arts, film—and will engage a series of intensive exercises in physical collage making in which landscapes at multiple scales will be examined for the generative lessons they hold for seeing, thinking, and making.

HTS | Allen Hyde

Social Issues and Public Policy

This course focuses on social issues associated with American society, as well as public policy used to address these issues, by taking a critical sociological perspective in analyzing U.S. culture and capitalism and its impact on our social institutions, social inequalities, and the quality of our democracy. We focus on comparisons of the U.S. with other affluent, market-based countries in order to understand the uniqueness of American society. We will then explore how social policies shape issues of the environment, healthcare, transportation, consumption, finance, inequality (race, class, and gender), and politics. The course is designed to equip students with the critical thinking skills and evidence to challenge conventional wisdom and misconceptions about American society and will provide a solid foundation for exercising their rights and responsibilities as American citizens. This course also has a service-learning component through the Serve-Learn-Sustain Initiative that relates to immigration, refugee resettlement, and participatory design of a community center with residents of Clarkston, GA.

ARCH 4833, 8833 | Mark Cottle

Gallery Seminar

Plato's Allegory of the Cave describes a world where all we can perceive of reality are its shadows. Pliny the Elder tells us that painting began when a young Corinthian woman, desiring a memento of her lover, a sailor, who would be leaving in the morning, traced his shadow on the wall while he slept. Galileo Galilei trained his new telescope on the waxing and waning Moon, and, from his understanding of chiaroscuro, deduced that the Moon was not smooth, as had been thought, but covered in vast mountains and craters, whose dimensions he could calculate from their shifting shadows. In our everyday lives, shadows are integral to sight, as we construct and construe our visions of the world from the meagre information that reaches our retinae. In this seminar we will look at the ways in which artists and architects have used their deepening understanding of how light and shade operate to inform their work. We will look at some of the work, discuss a few select readings, and make a lot of drawings, in charcoal, ink, and watercolor.

ARCH 6151, 6352, 8803 | Ellen Dunham-Jones

Theories of Urban Design

The course equips students with an understanding of the foundational ideas and strategies that we confront and debate in the practice of urban design and in the interface between buildings and cities. Bracketed by discussions of historical and contemporary theories and issues, the bulk of the course is organized around four perennial urban design themes. Each theme will be the focus for two weeks with lectures, assigned “classic” texts and class discussions. How do the different authors propose that territory should be organized? How do they treat public space vs private property? Program vs type? Site vs cultural context? Social vs formal concerns? In addition to the “classic” texts, other brief readings will support the primary text, criticize it, or bring it into the present. The four these are incremental and empirical, typology and morphology, context and composition, and ecology and environment. 

ARCH 6242 | Tarek Rakha

Building Physics Modelling

Computers can be employed as design partners that aid architects, urban designers and planners in efficiently simulating their design challenges. Building physics modeling offers an opportunity to understand the science behind human perceptions of light and heat in the built environment using advanced simulation technologies. This course teaches thermal and luminous environmental design through architectural building physics modeling. The course first motivates the use of Building Performance Simulation (BPS), explores the basic scientific principles underlying energy flows in buildings, and uses precedent built environment design methodologies to explore performance modeling. Computational tools and analysis techniques for designing comfortable and energy efficient environments are introduced, and are used as a hands-on vehicle for enhancing building performance. The ultimate goal is for students to gain lifelong skills by learning state-of-the-art simulation tools developed in research to be used as a means for understanding, developing and improving environmental systems.

ARCH 8833 | Keith Kaseman

Advanced Production

Advanced integrations of digital design and production technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) are currently defining the core of future trends in architecture practice, design and production. Advanced Productions is a research seminar in which participants will design and deliver interactive and collaborative spatial systems through refined immersive and operable AR / MR interfaces tied to key cultural objects and places in Atlanta. Instructional content in this course is the cumulative result of previous iterations and ongoing research within the Spatial Futures Lab (Instagram: @gt.spatialfutures).

ARCH 8833 | Julie Kim and Ennis Parker

Flourishing Communities Workshop

Students will work with the community stakeholders to help determine the project direction for the new clinic building and related site development. Over the course of the fall term, students will engage in site, precedent, and program analysis as well as develop an architectural and functional concept for the project. This class will be run as an “ideas” course, where students will take what they learn from the community and develop a document which would include a preliminary program of requirements and a conceptual design for the project. There will be several community engagement workshops as well as public presentations delivered remotely. The class will share its findings in a final report.

ARCH 6242 | Tarek Rakha

Building Physics Modeling

Computers can be employed as design partners that aid architects, urban designers and planners in efficiently simulating their design challenges. Building physics modeling offers an opportunity to understand the science behind human perceptions of light and heat in the built environment using advanced simulation technologies. This course teaches thermal and luminous environmental design through architectural building physics modeling. The course first motivates the use of Building Performance Simulation (BPS), explores the basic scientific principles underlying energy flows in buildings, and uses precedent built environment design methodologies to explore performance modeling. Computational tools and analysis techniques for designing comfortable and energy efficient environments are introduced, and are used as a hands-on vehicle for enhancing building performance. The ultimate goal is for students to gain lifelong skills by learning state-of-the-art simulation tools developed in research to be used as a means for understanding, developing and improving environmental systems.

ARCH 6303 and CP 6834 | Mike Dobbins

Urban Design: Policy and Implementation

The course will consider the impacts of the expanding use of big data, smart cities, and social media on design and implementation processes - what it takes to get good urban design done. It will explore the roles that citizens, professionals, developers, and public officials play in crafting and executing urban design policy. We will focus particularly on the rules, the tools, the techniques, and the strategies that combine to shape the quality of our civic environment. The goal is to introduce pre-professionals to the integration and synthesis of planning, design, and development in response to the physical and spatial needs and desires for the broad and diverse everyday public. If applied consciously and collaboratively, these tools can and should produce satisfying results, and don't we all want to live in a better place?

ARCH 7350 | Sonit Bafna

Foundations of Architectural Theory

The aim of the course is to give students a foundational knowledge of the body of thought that has shaped architecture in the recent years. The focus will be on the development of theory in the anglophone West, but networks of cross-cultural influences across the world will be actively acknowledged throughout. Till the early eighteenth century, theory in architecture referred to a set of principles that defined how to build well, and the typical format for presenting such principles was the architectural treatise. With the rise of modernism, faith in the universality of such principles was tested. Although the idea of universal principles continued to survive in academic curricula and textbooks, theory largely became a matter of re-interpreting them through reasoned arguments delivered in the form of essays and manifestos.

ARCH 8833 | Tarek Rakha

Inquiry in Building Performance

This course introduces students to the methods and background for conducting advanced investigations in the field of high performance built environments. The goal is to establish the student’s contextual knowledge in environmental and architectural environmental performance through rigorous quantitative and qualitative frameworks, followed by a deep dive in a specific field of inquiry that establishes specialty knowledge. The outcome of such inquiry will be a comprehensive literature review research paper focusing on a topic of interest of the individual student’s choice within the realm of building performance research. The review paper will be developed throughout the coursework, using a series of directed assignments that gives the students a chance to be at the heart of knowledge as it unfolds through scholarship. Research concerns will be used as a means to enrich the process of learning, and put students at the forefront of discovery.

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