Fall 2014 Topics & Studio Course Descriptions

Sunday, May 5, 2013

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ARCH 533 Topics in Architectural Theory
Subtitle: Paris & London
Instructor: Linda Krause

Paris and London: A Tale of Two Cities is an advanced seminar that examines the post-Renaissance built environments of these two, significant European capitals. Included in the term “built environment” are: individual buildings, large-scale monuments, parks, transportation systems, and urban design. Many provocative themes emerge from a study of these cities and class discussions may include debates surrounding the: role and definition of contextualism; city as monument; relevance of style; rise (or decline) of the architect as urban designer; impact of political and economic power in determining the built environment; and urban and suburban housing.

ARCH 583 Emerging Topics in Digital Technology
Subtitle: Revit Skills Workshop
Gil Snyder
Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor. Email gsnyder@uwm.edu with expression of interest no later than 4/11 to be considered for enrollment. Students will be notified of acceptance prior to 4/14. Taught by professional BIM trainers from the offices of Eppstein Uhen Architects, Milwaukee, and coordinated by Professor Snyder. Students enroll in the seminar/workshop simultaneously with the IP_BIM studio. The seminar is taught in a dedicated EUA computer training lab using Autodesk® Revit® building software.

ARCH 583 Emerging Topics in Digital Technology NEW COURSE
Also taught as URBPLAN 692 Special Topics
Subtitle: Special Capacities within BIM
Instructor: Daniel Cesarz
This course will focus on the “I” in BIM as it pertains to design. While Revit is primarily used as a production tool in the industry, the course will look at some of its lesser explored benefits. Course topics to include: conceptual massing and adaptive components within Revit, its graphic capabilities and introductory to add-ins such as Vasari and Dynamo. Vasari is an Autodesk product that keys in on performance data in the early stages of design. Dynamo is an Autodesk product that allows for iterative design and scripting that easily interfaces with Revit. This will be a computer course that requires minimal experience working in Revit.



(undergraduate students enroll in 600-level; graduate students enroll in 800-level)

ARCH 615/815 Studies in Architectural Technology and Theory
Subtitle: IP_BIM Studio
Instructors: Gil Snyder

Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor. Email gsnyder@uwm.edu  with expression of interest no later than 4/11 to be considered for enrollment. Students will be notified of acceptance prior to 4/14. Accepted students must also take ARCH 583, Emerging Digital Technology: Revit Skills Workshop.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is rapidly emerging as the tool of choice for building design, construction, and facility management. The studio focuses on joining design and technology in a fully integrated environment that draws from professional engineering and software consultants as a resource. It seeks to underscore the development of appropriate strategies for working with BIM technology in an integrated practice mode, both as a powerful force for design and as a critique of contemporary practice. The semester is organized around the following:

1) a 6-credit design studio [ARCH 615/815 Studies in Architectural Technology and Theory: (IP_BIM Studio)] that is taught by Professor Snyder with collaboration from consulting engineers in a dedicated SARUP studio;

2) a 3-credit BIM seminar/workshop [ARCH 583: (Revit Skills Workshop)] taught by professional BIM trainers from the offices of Eppstein Uhen Architects, Milwaukee, and coordinated by Professor Snyder. Students enroll in the seminar/workshop simultaneously with the IP_BIM studio. The seminar is taught in a dedicated EUA computer training lab using Autodesk® Revit® building software.

The studio adopts a materials-based pedagogy and is focused on research and experimentation with applications related to the use of mass timber construction as an efficient ecological building system. A field study component is integrated into the studio and seminar with travel to New York City for the week beginning October 13th. This will provide an opportunity to visit cutting edge professional practices employing BIM, as well as to examine the role of IP in fabrication and construction through site visits.

ARCH 615/815 Studies in Architectural Technology and Theory
Subtitle: Inner Harbor Brewery
Instructors: Marc Roehrle

The history of Milwaukee cannot be fully understood without appreciating the economic, social and cultural roles beer played in its development. This funded studio will explore the impact of the insertion of a microbrewery with a beer garden into the Inner Harbor. This building type mixes light industrial with commercial usages – exemplifying the nature of the site. The ongoing investigations of Milwaukee’s Inner Harbor by SARUP have revealed many possible solutions to understanding the potential of this important post‐industrial landscape. The Inner Harbor consists of a series of overlapping systems that function simultaneously with one another. These organizational networks, be they infrastructural or ecological, reveal the complex nature of this area. In this studio, students will be challenged to develop a design solution that demonstrates a clear understanding of how these existing systems operate and postulate the introduction of one or several new layers that seamlessly maneuvers within the existing construct.

This Studio is predicated on two things – the mythology of the primitive hut and the value of siting. These two concepts, though seemingly unrelated are reciprocally allied. Buildings inform the site and the site informs buildings. With this in mind, students will develop a series of solutions that consider how the structure can be viewed as an object within the site and how the site can be framed from the structure. However, before one can dovetail the building and site together, one must first define the nature of siting as well as the intrinsic logic of building.

ARCH 615/815 Studies in Architectural Technology and Theory NEW COURSE Subtitle: Restraining Order: An Urban Monestary for Capuchin Friars Instructors: Sebastian Schmaling and Brian Johnsen
This studio will focus on the design of a monastery for Capuchin Franciscan friars in Milwaukee’s central city. The monastery complex will occupy an entire city block and include housing for 32 friars, a chapel and cloister, a small library, a chapter house, a large soup kitchen, a community clinic, an extensive vegetable garden, and a small cemetery for deceased brothers.

The title of the studio, “Restraining Order,” alludes to the radical simplicity, austerity, and restraint governing the life of a Capuchin friar – a life dedicated to serving those in need: the poor, the sick, and the socially marginalized. The 500-year-old Capuchin Order arrived in the United States in 1857, when two Swiss friars established the first American Province of Capuchins in Milwaukee, starting a legacy of social engagement that continues to this day. Currently, Capuchins in Milwaukee are busy running one of the city’s largest soup kitchens, collaborating with UWM nursing students to provide basic healthcare for the poor, and offering emergency shelter for the homeless.

It is the Capuchin ethos of frugality and restraint that will guide our semester-long investigations, exploring the possibilities embedded in an architecture of profound and unapologetic simplicity. Students will be challenged to develop meaningful architectural strategies at all scales that exploit the conceptual richness of seemingly archaic topics such as silence, solitude, humility, and spirituality – all fundamental humanistic concerns increasingly marginalized in a world hungry for perpetual entertainment and instant gratification.

Our conceptual explorations of architectural simplicity and restraint will be complemented by a technological focus on the rapidly evolving field of contemporary wood construction, continuing a research agenda that we started last fall. New-growth timber is arguably one of the most renewable and sustainable building materials available today and acts as an enormous, global carbon sink, turning wood fiber-based structural and cladding products into powerful tools in the fight against global warming. We will investigate how “raw” as well as engineered wood products can be utilized as both structure and envelope, culminating in a comprehensive building design with a high level of innovative and expressive architectural detail.

Students are expected to actively engage in a rigorous architectural dialogue throughout the semester and to embrace the studio’s ambitious and time-intensive design and research agenda. In addition, students will be required to make extensive use of the school’s digital fabrication lab and wood workshop and will be asked to produce a series of physical models and mock-ups over the course of the semester.

ARCH 634/834 Distinguished Visiting Design Critic Studio
(Fellowship Studio)
Instructor: 2014-2015 SARUP Fellow (to be determined)

The Fellowship Studio represents a NEW SARUP tradition in which we offer a one year visiting faculty contract plus research stipend to an exceptionally talented young designer through the submission of a competitive design research proposal. This studio will examine cutting edge issues in current architectural theory, technology and design as a core activity of the Fellow's design research. The search for the 2014 Architecture Fellow is currently underway and the content of the studio will be announced once the Fellow is identified.

ARCH 635/835 Studies in Architectural History and Precedent Subtitle: Historic Preservation Studio
Instructor: Matt Jarosz

The Historic Preservation Studio a required course for students pursuing the Preservation Studies Concentration. This studio focuses on the interrelated problems of historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and the design of new construction. These issues are investigated through design interventions in complicated and controversial physical, social, and political settings. The purpose of the studio is to go beyond the hypothetical and to use real programs and real budget constraints to address matters of design, heritage research, technology, and building construction with extant buildings and environments. These existing conditions will not merely serve as the default backdrop for new design interventions, but will, in fact, determine the most appropriate reuse function and visual expression for a new generation.

This studio is an introduction to a new way of understanding the role of the architect in the creation of intelligent and sustainable environments. Design proposals in this studio will be less about individualism and self-expression and more about the spirit of cooperation and collectiveness. Our interventions will use existing buildings and environments in a respectful way, one that understands and values heritage significance and embodied entropy. Our philosophical partners in this undertaking will be the vast and growing collection of visionary leaders who understand that existing buildings need to be the baseline component of smart growth. Retention and expansion will be the new normal. Successful proposals will neither be sentimental nor abrasive to the existing heritage fabric.

ARCH 636/836 Studies in Form and Composition
Subtitle: Small Box
Instructor: Kyle Reynolds

The small box studio will investigate issues of iconography, seriality, materiality, and speed relative to a chain or branch typology. In this studio, the term small box is used to define those building types that are ubiquitous like a big box but have a much smaller footprint: think gas station, bank, restaurant, coffee shop, etc. We will begin the studio with research on existing small box stores with each student studying a different chain. After the small box type has been thoroughly unpacked we will propose alternative design strategies on a series prototypical sites that range from urban to suburban. Representation will be paramount to the investigations in this studio.

ARCH 636/836 Studies in Form and Composition
Instructor: Chris Cornelius

What if we were unable to visit a site? -- For example, for a design competition. This studio will explore three different places and propose architectural interventions within them. These interventions are intended to enhance, amplify and raise awareness of their context. They are speculative in nature and intended to work in network with one another.

The three places that will be examined are Rome, New York and Milwaukee. Two of these sites we are unable to visit and one, we can (Milwaukee). This studio will utilize deep analysis of these places and require students to synthesize that analysis into provocative artifacts (models and graphics). Students will engage site analysis in an active, creative way as opposed to being a distant observer or drive-by shooter.

This studio will focus on representation in both the graphic and physical artifact.

ARCH 645/845 Studies in Urban and Community Design Theory
(with URBPLAN 858 Urban Design Studio)
Subtitle: The Urban Landscape Studio:
Instructor: Ray Isaacs
The garden is a physical place…of retreat, protection, sustenance, rejuvenation, contemplation, beauty, delight and pleasure. The garden is a symbolic place…of philosophy, theology, cosmology, morality, science, ecology, and art.

In this studio we will use the garden and the idea of the garden as a concept to learn about building a constructed ecology within an urban landscape: a re-visioning of Pulaski Park on the Kinnickinnic River.* “Body-Building-Park-City” represent the necessity of jumping scales — in space and time — of urban landscape architecture.

The body is the tactile scale of human experience and understanding. The city is the scale of landscape processes, human and non-human. The building and park mediate between the body and the city, both removing the body from and connecting it to the city.

Students will be redesigning a portion of the Kinnickinnic River in Milwaukee (CITY) and Pulaski Park through which the river flows (PARK). A new urban landscape will be created, accommodating a complex program of ecological processes and neighborhood scale social practices.

As the new urban landscape takes shape, students will learn about urban ecological processes. They will then take advantage of their knowledge of urban ecology and situate a Pulaski Park Community Center, a new bridge and other facilities (BUILDINGS) within the new landscape.

Students will use several methods of observation, analysis, planning and design: clay modeling, watercolor painting and diagraming, GIS, 3d modeling, digital visualization, and direct experience (their BODIES) to develop a didactic urban landscape that others (their BODIES) can touch, smell, taste, hear, and comprehend.

* This is a very REAL project and quickly developing, and we will work with the individuals and organizations making it happen!

ARCH 645/845 Studies in Urban and Community Design Theory
Subtitle: Community Design: Washington Park
Instructor: Arijit Sen

Quorum Architects Sponsored Studio: Building Capacity for Community Engagement and Architectural Practice in Washington Park, Milwaukee

New challenges confront architects and architectural students in the 21st Century. Whether it is in the context of changing climate or a transforming economy, design practices have to adapt to the new realities of the world around us. Quorum Architects has been a leading proponent of innovative civic practice in the city of Milwaukee. The firm’s philosophy “begins with an understanding that our clients possess a comprehensive knowledge of how their facility operates. We listen. We care.” This ability to listen has influenced their engaged practice and is central to the core values of this studio. In the context of increasing social and economic inequities, declining urban communities, and crumbling built infrastructure, cities like Milwaukee (also called legacy cities, by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy) serve as examples or case studies where architects and designers can find novel and resurgent solutions. In this context we argue that to engage with local communities, hear local voices, learn from local knowledge and work collaboratively requires a clear examination of our design practices, theories and methods. If we are to survive economic, climatic, and social disasters in ways that are sustainable then we need to design our buildings in ways that accommodate (and survive) change and diversity, a quality that N J Habraken calls building capacity. This studio is designed to explore architecture that values the thematic as well as the non-thematic, the extraordinary and the banal, the specialized and the general. We plan to accomplish these goals in the following ways:
Identify and evaluate strategies and practices of civic engagement available to architects and architecture students.
Explore how architectural design in the 21st Century can integrate community based local knowledge.
Expand the meaning and implications of sustainable design to address issues of inequity and change in urban neighborhoods.
Document and disseminate best practices and design methods necessary to implement the above goals within the context of Milwaukee as a legacy city.

ARCH 675/875 Studies in Facility Planning and Design
Subtitle: Wanderlust: Poetics of the Moving Body
Instructor: Kyle Talbott

Our encounter with architecture rests on sensorial contact with materials as we move through space. The broad strokes of master plans and mega-programs ultimately rely on this intimate encounter, where our body intertwines with the locus viscus – the flesh of space – the concrete of the steps, the wood of the walls – the substance that encapsulates us. The Wanderlust studio explores architecture at an intimate scale – at the scale of our glance through an aperture or our arrival across a threshold. Wanderlust develops the thesis that it is not grand or ingenious formal moves that ultimately matter to inhabitants, but subtle gestures made in the details. How do we take control of this tapestry of architectural footholds and design them in a meaningful way? What modes of representation facilitate their study? How can we tap the power of texture, color, pattern and illumination, which pervade our encounter with space but which too often take a back seat to formal maneuvers?

In pursuit of an answer to these and related questions we begin by studying a collection of modern architectural masterworks, which tap the full power of locus viscus. Students analyze the thresholds and passages of these places, cataloging their key details and configurations. We then engage a series of small-scale design challenges: the corner, the passage and the threshold. In each case students embrace the materiality and spatiality of these conditions and craft them in loving detail. Using a process of materials research, experimental model-building and innovative drawing techniques, students learn new ways to explore small-scale design challenges, which encourage a poetic connection to materials and a genuine empathy for inhabitants’ moving bodies. Students are encouraged to work in teams or individually, as they desire. The studio culminates in a longer-duration project for the design of a gallery for the display and cultivation of Bonsai trees. This joint venture of the Milwaukee Bonsai Society and the Lynden Sculpture Garden is currently raising funds for a poetic architectural intervention on the 40-acre grounds of the Lynden Sculpture Garden, one of the most prestigious art museums in the region. Sited alongside large-scale sculptural pieces from many 20th-century masters, the proposed bonsai gallery offers students fertile ground for the study of locus viscus. Students take Milwaukee-based field trips to Lynden Sculpture Garden (for site research) and the Milwaukee Bonsai Society’s 44th Annual Fall Show at Boerner Botanical Gardens (for programmatic research). KEYWORDS: Materiality, Body, Movement, Memory, Small Spaces, Materials Research, Experimental Model-Building, Experimental Measured Drawings, Prototyping.

Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor. Portfolio submission required prior to admittance. Submit portfolio in pdf format, maximum 3MB file size, by email to ktalbott@uwm.edu no later than 4/11. Students will be notified of acceptance prior to 4/14.

ARCH 685/885 Studies in Building Typology
Subtitle: Hybrid Buildings: Applications in Library Design
Instructor: Joy Peot-Shields

This research based studio will explore questions surrounding changes in the realm of public library design due to the increased prevalence of digital media and changes in funding for public projects. Study current trends in public/private collaborative developments and apply research results in the preparation of a comprehensive building program. Begin the semester with a design problem structured to tackle vexing questions regarding future developments in library design. Analyze prevailing development trends over the past ten years through case study research and quantitative analysis. Latter portions of the semester will be devoted to the site review and the design of a hybrid development for an urban site in Milwaukee. Student designs will include a new MPL library as well as market driven private entities. This studio will be led by architect Joy Peot-Shields AIA. Studio will include tours of library projects designed by the instructor and others, case study lectures and programing sessions with end users.

ARCH 685/885 Studies in Building Typology
Subtitle: The Greenfield Avenue Gateway NEW COURSE
Instructor: Mark Debrauske

Urban and Architectural Design of several city blocks on either side of Greenfield avenue in service of creating an urban gateway to the UWM Harbor Campus. Commercial, office, research laboratory and housing programs + the landscape design of public space built around the use of ecological water features.


ARCH 825 Comprehensive Design Studio - Prereq: Arch 516(C)
Subtitle: The Architecture of the Neighborhood Machine:
Instructor: Tom Hofman

A District Scale Infrastructure Demonstration Project for the Inner Harbor. The detailed design of a small urban wrapper intended to create architctural identity and experiential value for district scale heating plant, wastewater treatment facility and/or intermodal rail station.

ARCH 825 Comprehensive Design Studio - Prereq: Arch 516(C)
Subtitle: A Public Face for the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences
Instructor: Jim Wasley

This Comprehensive Design Studio goes to the heart of the Inner Harbor Project to propose an addition to the new School of Freshwater Sciences Laboratory, which itself is currently under construction. This addition to the addition is the missing piece in the current building plan, which was scaled back to leverage all of the current State funding in order to build laboratories, and consequently excluded the major PUBLIC functions of such a 'world class research facility.' The missing programmatic pieces- the lobby, lecture hall, Water Policy Institute facilities, administrative suite, cafe, and research display aquarium, are expected to create the public face by land and by water that the current project is missing.

This project raises challenging questions about the nature of building an addition to an existing complex, especially an addition with the role of distilling the character of the whole. This will be a 'place based' project in which the dominant poetic idea will be to "learn to listen to the murmur of the site" in the words of Raphael Moneo. The site includes the footprint of the existing office block and extends to the dock wall, with an amazing view of the downtown. It will be designed as a LIVING BUILDING. We will work with the Dean, Faculty and Students of the School of Freshwater Sciences as clients.

As a comprehensive studio, you will cycle through the project in detail from programming to environmental systems design to construction detailing, and will produce a comprehensive presentation of your individual designs.