ARCH 4129/6129 | Jude LeBlanc

Form and Narrative: Painting

The focus of this study will be the human subject in relation to design, form, space and meaning as depicted in the still images of Johannes Vermeer paintings and the moving images of Alfred Hitchcock films. Architects, in contrast to most other artists, have a non-direct relation to their medium. As an architect, one does not typically craft a building directly. One makes propositions, explores alternatives and communicates to various audiences by means of other media, i.e.. three-dimensional model making, drawing, painting, photography, or computer imaging. The architect remains a generalist and it is prudent that she or he understand other media.

ARCH 4140/6352/8630 | John Peponis

Architecture, Space, and Culture

Accounts of the social functions of architectural space and associated design choices, across a variety of building types and scales of environmental design.

History of Urban Form

Cities, the largest and most complex artifacts in human history, are the settings of everyday life for more than half the population of the globe and more than two-thirds within the next three decades. Although history is never destiny, the past millennia of cities inform, if at times only as ghosts, our present debates about desires and visions for the future – where almost all of us will reside. The knowledge of these urban artifacts – urban form as well as urban process - is intertwined with many disciplines – engineering, economics, law, geography, politics to name only a few. And that knowledge is at the very core of the professions of urban design, architecture, landscape architecture and city planning. All of us are all participants, in many ways, in the design and building of cities across the globe – we live in cities created by a thousand designers – us.

ARCH 4227/6227 | Frederick Pearsall

Architecture & Ecology

In our time of climate change, this course brings together people and discourses from many disciplines in pursuit of more resilient social-ecological systems within our built environments through dialogue, interdisciplinary research, design, and action. The course is affiliated with Georgia Tech’s Serve-Learn Sustain initiative, and actively supports its commitment to helping Georgia Tech students develop the expertise needed “to help create sustainable communities where humans and nature flourish, now and in the future.” It does so first by providing introductions to design research methodologies, critical theories and practices of ecological science and thinking, and those of sustainability through readings and dialogue with distinguished researchers working in these areas. Secondly, each student develops, in dialogue with the seminar, a line of research investigating interrelationships between natural and cultural spheres and the design of the built environment—ones relevant to their individual interests and the world at large.

ARCH 4316/6313 | George Johnston

Traditions of Architectural Practice 

It is the intention of this course to creatively explore the design principles inherent in the makeup of the natural world through the art of drawing. Since the beginning of recorded history, the theories and the techniques of drawing have been of primary importance to our understanding of that world. The ancient concept of linear circumscription or outline, tone, value and color has been the basis upon which we visually describe our perceptions and define our intentions.

CP 6836/ARCH 4447/6447 | Perry Yang

Urban Ecological Design

Direct design of cities is often regarded as impossible owing to the fluidity, complexity, and uncertainty entailed in urban systems. And yet, we do design our cities, however imperfectly. Cities are created objects, intended landscapes, that are manageable, experienced and susceptible to analysis (Lynch, 1984). Urban design as a discipline has been focusing on “design” in its professional practices. It is analytically distinct from “science” related research that tends to ask positive questions such as how cities function, or what properties emerge from interactive processes of urban systems. The course introduces how urban design integrates urban ecology and emerging urban systems science.

ARCH 4803/6352/8803 | Lars Spuybroek

On Growth and Form

This Theory Elective is a combination of aesthetic theory, history, and digital design theory. Generally speaking, the problem with digital design is that it is understood as either fully instrumental or as easy access to complicated forms. In contrast, this series of lectures and discussions we will trace digital design (or generative design) back to its roots in Romanticism. During this period architects and scientists were trying to understand how forms are “grown.” At first only natural forms of plants and animals, but later all forms—natural and artificial—were seen as generated by temporal processes. We will see how this idea of growing form becomes part of the aesthetics of the picturesque and the Gothic Revival, advocated by the brilliant theories of John Ruskin and the beautiful designs of William Morris.

ARCH 4803/8803 | Richard Dagenhart, Haythem Shata

Green Infrastructure and Sustainable Communities

This course is a design workshop, involving seminars, case study presentations, and design projects focused on the role of rainwater as a design resource for architects. Designing for rainwater - stormwater as it is often labeled - responds to the necessity to design sustainable communities in our age of climate change, from the scale of the building to site to street to neighborhood to city and region.

ARCH 4823/8823 | Sonit Bafna

Mind and the Built Environment 

Our perception, understanding, affective response, and ultimately behavior in a given setting is greatly shaped by what we carry of it in our minds. It follows then, that our built environment has to be organized not just to fit human activity and patterns of life, but also the human mind, and that the limitations and particular propensities of the mind constrain the shape of the built environment as much as physical functional requirements do. The main purpose of the course is to give students an introduction to selected topics within psychology and cognitive science that help us understand how we shape buildings and are in turn shaped by them.

ARCH 4833/8833 | Tristan Al-Haddad

Concrete Workshop: Parametric Precast II

Concrete Workshop : Parametric Precast II is the second installment of a two semester research based workshop focused on developing next generation precast concrete wall systems. Working in groups, the students in the course will develop state-of-the-art variable precast wall systems and will work with Gate Precast to cast full scale prototypes to be installed in the School of Architecture.

ARCH 4803/8803 | Lane Duncan

The Connell Workshop: The Art of Drawing

The ancient story of Parrhasius, the famous Greek painter, expounding on the virtues of drawing to Socrates, the classic Greek Philosopher, is a timeless standard for our critical thinking today. Parrhasius considered the ability of the artist to make initial freehand drawings to be the true measure of his worth. Those drawings required not only a deft handling of the depictions of the external world, but an ability to translate complex and often competing internal ideas onto paper.

ARCH 4833/8833 | Geoffrey Maulion


Revit is not just a 3D modeling tool or a documentation tool. This course will demonstrate how Revit can facilitate the conception of a design from various points of genesis. This will then be contextualized in its applications in both the academic and the professional environment. Revit will be presented in relation to architectural concepts to understand why and how BIM can be used rather than just the functionality of the tool. Analytical, formal, and experimental processes will be integrated directly into the Revit learning tutorials. Case study “Show and Tells” will demonstrate real world applications of each subject in order to understand the reach of each exercise. Team projects will be assigned to understand the collaborative nature of Revit and BIM.

ARCH 4833/8833 | Vernelle Noel

Computation + Repair in Design

This course will examine and present the fields of craft and computation as fields of scholarly and creative inquiry to expand the scope of design practice and critically engage with technological change. Advocating for exploratory, experimental, and improvisational processes of inquiry, the course seeks to renegotiate designing and making as new and exciting sites of creative, sociotechnical inquiry that imaginatively and materially reconfigures practices and theories of craft, computation, and technology in design.

ARCH 4833/8833 | Debora Mesa

Material Diversions: Off-the-Shelf

MATERIAL DIVERSIONS is a space for experimentation. A space for Action Design where we connect our head with our hands and our hands with the materials that build architecture. It is through this intimate encounter that we can understand, learn and unlearn, maybe then innovate.

ARCH 4833/8833 | Ryan Roark

Representing Renovation

This workshop will focus on methods of representing intervention projects—projects in which old buildings are used to make new designs. We will begin with a survey of different intervention projects, focusing on the tools the architects chose to represent them, including drawings, models, and other media. We will look at new high-tech tools including 3D scanning, augmented reality, and projection which are used as supplementary methods for representing layers of building history.

ARCH 8833 | Roya Rezaee, Marcelo Bernal, Tyrone Marshall

Building Simulation in Design Practice

This course builds up the theoretical and practical understanding of building simulation to support collaborative multi-performances building design practice. It includes computational techniques to help designers generate a large space of design variation, simulate a variety of building performances, evaluate and explore the options, and make informed design decisions in a systematic framework. The modeling and simulation cover the following domains: Solar, Energy, Thermal Comfort, Daylighting, View, and Cost. The course builds professional use of tools oriented towards a practice-based research agenda focused on performance, data-informed visuals, and an integrated data analysis platform. The course critically takes the relationship between research and design innovation seriously.

ARTHIST 769/480 | Christina Crawford

Spatial Revolution @ Emory

Using Soviet architecture and cities as primary material evidence, this seminar will utilize maps and plans, original texts, scholarly writings, excerpts from works of literature, and period films to immerse students in a series of socialist built environments. We will study temporary agitational structures, house-communes, workers’ clubs, and socialist cities of varying types and geographies, each of which will allow us to explore and analyze the complex relationship between space and socio-political ideology.

ML 4813/8803 | Prof. Anna Westerstahl Stenport

Climate Change Imaginaries, Environmental Media Studies, and Global Challenges of the 21st Century

Prof. Anna Westerstahl Stenport, Chair of the School of Modern Languages

This interdisciplinary discussion-based course examines a variety of climate change imaginaries from the perspectives of humanities, social sciences, and the arts. We will analyze and assess how media and visual cultures shape our understanding of climate change and global warming as well as attempts at adaption and mitigation. We will inquire into the form and function of cultural and social climate change dystopias, analyze the concept of the Anthropocene, and investigate how media makers imagine alternate worlds of sustainable agency.