Spring 2014 Topics & Studio Course Descriptions

Sunday, December 1, 2013

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Undergraduate students can enroll in ARCH 190, ARCH 390 or URBPLAN 692
Graduate students can enroll in ARCH 790 or URBPLAN 692

ARCH 390/790 – Visible Certainty: Diagramming & Mapping Info
Chris Cornelius,
With information and data becoming increasingly available to architects and designers and a multitude of computational means of reading this information, it is becoming imperative that designers be able to interpret and translate this info into meaningful design inspiration. This course will focus on the importance, theory and fundamentals of diagramming and mapping information, space and concepts in a manner relevant to architects. Students will be asked to render visible their own areas of investigation. These may include studio projects, graduate thesis projects or other self-initiated interests.

ARCH 390/790 – Architecture and Film: The Mass Ornament
Jasmine Benyamin,
In his famous “Work of Art” essay, Weimar cultural theorist Walter Benjamin defines the reception of architecture in relation to the development of a mass audience, a characteristic that binds buildings with films. Indeed Benjamin argues that both media engender spaces of “collectivity in a state of distraction.”

This seminar will examine critical themes of authorship and spectatorship through the lens of architecture’s cinematic filmic manifestations, and, as such, address moments in the rich and contested terrain between the two disciplines. How do architectural space and film space collide, re-situate and contaminate one another? Both historical and contemporary examples will serve as case studies for our discussion. Ultimately, the aim of the seminar will be to address the cross-disciplinary anxieties provoked by a reading of architecture through the moving image.

URBPLAN 692/ARCH 790: Portfolio & Professional Representation
Paul Mitchell,
This course will focus on building a variety of comprehensive approaches to the professional presentation of architectural and urban planning concepts, materials, and ideas. The targeted outcome is the construction of a portfolio and corresponding presentation that concisely and comprehensively communicates each individual’s unique body of work. This document will be built using a media flexible approach, allowing for print, digital, and web application as needed for professional and graduate school interviews. In class lectures, demonstrations and critiques will focus on fundamental approaches to design: typography, layout, graphics, color, content, editing, and form. Methods of digital and photographic documentation will be addressed using a variety of imaging technologies. The Adobe Creative Suite will be utilized to produce master documents for print and web design. Professional writing will be heavily stressed and will include a C.V. and refined supporting materials for the portfolio and presentation.

ARCH 390/790 – New Urbanism
Harvey Rabinowitz,
New Urbanism is a movement whose goals are to create communities with quality places to work, live and play. Walking is encouraged by design and cars, though present, will be less used. Mixed use is also a principal of new urbanism communities which include workspaces, retail and housing. A variety of housing types is typical present including single family homes, row houses and multifamily at various scales. Open space and parks are part of the design.

A key aspect of New Urbanism is methodology and process. Design decisions are based on information on streets, buildings, places and a growing urban design vocabulary that results in purposeful decision making and the creation of neighborhoods, communities and cities that meet criteria for walkability density, public transit, open space, landscape and the environment. A series of weekly design and analysis exercises accompanies lectures.

ARCH 390/790 – Ethics, Ecology and Design
NJ Unaka,
“What does this Earth require of us, if we want to continue to live on it?” Wendell Berry The design professional exerts great impact on the built environment – and by extension, on the natural environment. The decisions of designers and builders, those who create the artifacts of humanity, have a great responsibility to the environment. These decisions about spatial organization, technology and material use, artistic expression and experiential quality, have economic consequences, psycho-social import, cultural significance and ecological implications. This seminar is an investigation of those intersections.

ARCH 390/790 – SuperSurface
Filip Tejchman,
This course will deal with the production and theory of three categories of Surface: Structural, Thermal and Spectacular. We'll use Rhino and AutoCad to explore contemporary and historical methods for the description, design, and fabrication of surfaces. There will be some grasshopper, but mostly we'll go back and forth between Rhino and Cad. For students with no Rhino background, it will be a steep but manageable learning curve, though there should be some familiarity with either AutoCad or Microstation.

ARCH 390/790 – Articulating the Modern Experience of the Earth:
An Inquiry into the Ecology of the Ornamental in Architecture
Tao Sule DuFour,
This seminar will explore the phenomenon and concept of ornament, beginning with a preliminary interpretation of the meaning of ornament as the articulation of the experience of the spatiality of the world. One of the fundamental characteristics of architectural inquiry is the need to address the question of scale, in some form or other.

Whereas the dimension of architecture may be said to reach its pragmatic limit in relation to the scale of the city, through the structure of ornament it has traditionally symbolically extended to encompass the natural world and the entire cosmos. In the contemporary situation of the appearance of ecological crises, this extension of the reach of architecture beyond the city toward the cosmos no longer has a symbolic form, but an increasingly quantifiable one, determined by scientific measurability. In this course we will attempt to explore the ecological implications of what might be termed the disintegration of the symbolic understanding of architecture. We will use as a point of orientation and crisis, the attempt by Louis Sullivan at an invention of ornament as a means of articulating the significance of bare nature for the politics of democracy.

Taking Sullivan’s work as characteristic of the limit of the possibility of an authentic expression of ornament in the traditional sense for modernity, we will inquire into the presence and persistence of ornament as an idea, and its potential re‐emergence as a phenomenon. We will draw on the insights of philosophy, anthropology and art history in order to explore a contemporary understanding of ornament and its extension into a horizon of scales, stretching from human bodily habit, to architecture, the city, landscape, and ultimately, the Earth. The seminar is thus an investigation into the contemporary, ecological significance of ornament.


ARCH 533 – THINK! Like a Designer
Don Hanlon,
How do successful designers think? What makes some people more creative than others? Do successful people in other design disciplines share certain ways of thinking and working? Are there basic rules, methods or protocols that can help us succeed as designers? Why are some designers better at persuading people while others are not? What are the secrets of a winning presentation? The objective of the seminar is to help students become more creative and skilled in the marketplace of ideas. To help architecture students enhance their creativity, Professor Hanlon introduces strategies and techniques outstanding designers use in allied disciplines such as graphic design, advertising and product design. You will practice these yourself in a series of engaging and fun exercises rarely taught in an architectural curriculum. They include, for example, brainstorming, the ‘simile tree,’ bricolage and wordplay. In addition, we explore two-dimensional and three-dimensional compositions in various media. The final project is the creation of a sculpture from found objects and mixed media.

ARCH 533 – Less Than the Sum of Its Parts
Kyle Reynolds,
This course is a contemporary architectural theory course that will look at a range of issues facing the discipline today. Students will become familiar with contemporary architects through the theories, techniques, and strategies that define their built and proposed projects. Additionally this course will reveal new architectural potentials that build on and/or counteract these projects. Some of the topics we will cover are: form, curation, tectonics, representation, style, digital media, and much more.


ARCH 615 – HOK Skyscraper Studio
Josef Stagg,
No student of architecture at an urban university should graduate without the full experience in designing a skyscraper. This is particularly so, considering the extremely rapid advances made every day in the neo-postmodern world of skyscraper design. This studio will collaborate with the HOK office in St. Louis and directly with Ripley Rasmus, design architect for the Capital Market Authority office tower for the new King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We will spend the first week of class in the St. Louis office learning about HOK’s skyscraper methodologies and professional practices. From there each student will spend 2 weeks writing a comprehensive architectural program; 4 weeks developing digital morphology (Rhino, etc.); 3 weeks on skin design; 3 weeks on environmental design; and 3 weeks on structural design. After each of these weekly assignments a virtual evaluation will occur and we will have a final jury here at SARUP with Rasmus and other skyscraper jurors.

Undergraduate students enroll in 600-level; graduate students enroll in 800-level studios.

ARCH 615/815 – M2fx: The Spancrete Studio
Gil Snyder,
The thrust of this design studio is to explore the relationship between technology and design in contemporary architectural culture. Through the focused lens of the technology of prefabrication in concrete, this studio will seek to reconcile the role of the architect, not simply as the arbiter of aesthetic organization, but as the deliberative force who can effect integration of construction, product engineering, and materials science.

This studio is teaming up with Spancrete Industries, one of the premier national purveyors of precast concrete systems, located in Waukesha, Wisconsin, for a close examination of architecture and materiality. This studio will focus on mastering the specifics of precast concrete in order to “push the envelope” of our understanding of these systems, both as constructive processes and as architectural design. The studio will provide students an opportunity to blur the lines between architect, builder, engineer, and scientist with the express intention of relocating the means and methods of building back into the sphere of architecture.

ARCH 634/834 – Distinguished Visiting Design Critic Studio
Mike Utzinger & Will Bruder,
For 40 years Will Bruder, FAIA, has explored inventive and contextually exciting architectural solutions in response to sites opportunity and the user needs. His work celebrates the craft of building in a manner not typical of contemporary architecture. Through his creative use of materials and light, Will is renowned for his ability to raise the ordinary to the extraordinary. Self-trained as an architect, Will has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His studio, based in Phoenix Arizona, has produced many award winning projects including the Phoenix Public Library. Mr. Bruder will lead this studio in collaboration with Associate Professor Michael Utzinger.

Portfolio submission required prior to admittance. Submit portfolio in pdf format, maximum 3MB file size, by email to utzinger@uwm.edu  no later than 11/15. Students will be notified of acceptance prior to 11/18.

ARCH 636/836 – Small Buildings in Difficult Places
Don Hanlon,
The studio focuses on architectural composition. The sites for the semester's two projects present cultural, historical and physical challenges requiring both practical and metaphorical solutions. Similarly, the relatively simple programs for the projects allow students to concentrate on formal and tectonic issues relating to metaphor. For example, the first project is a gallery devoted to the exhibition and sale of masks. This suggests a method of architectural composition as concealing and revealing mask-like layers.

ARCH 637/837 – Competitions Studio
Matt Jarosz,
The Competitions Studio offers graduate and advanced undergraduate students the opportunity to merge academic training with personal self-interest. The studio allows students to choose from among a wide selection of national and international design competitions. Submittals have ranged from the massive urban redesign competition for the abandoned Murano Glass Factory Island north of Venice, to an AIAS sponsored transit stop in Milwaukee, WI. The studio has allowed students, through the motivational tool of significant financial reward, to more acutely focus their professional interest in urban, building, interior, and historic reuse design projects. Beyond monetary awards, several competitions also result in actual building or planning project realization.

This studio functions more ‘professionally’ than previous studios, with varied projects in different stages of completion occurring simultaneously. Therefore, each student is responsible for the management of the design process to a greater degree than they might have experienced in other studios. Work is more independent; project requirements are more precise; architectural conceptions need to be more exact, expressed with both clarity and distinction. Students create independent schedules and contact designated professionals in the Milwaukee and Chicago area, with advanced knowledge and experience, who act as an advisory and critique panel.

In the Competitions Studio communicating ideas is done, almost entirely, through graphic means. This does not mean that the end product is a commodity, valued over the process of design. Rather, it means that the product and process are more closely interwoven than they tend to be in other studio formats. In a competition project, the preparation of the drawings and models does not occur as a final recording of a linear process. Instead the design process is structured, delimited, directed by an understanding – even if not yet a focused visualization – of the product. Though certainly not the only method of design, and like all methods, one which privileges certain aspects of architecture over others; it is a method that has guided well-intentioned practitioners and resulted in admirable buildings for many centuries of architectural production.

ARCH 645/845/URBPLAN 858 – Community Redevelopment
Carolyn Esswein, Brian Peterson,
This studio will focus on integrating effective urban design and redevelopment plans with a full array of goals for a sustainable community neighborhood concerning environmental health, social equity, and economic vitality. The course will include two projects, each with a real client. One quick turn-around project, a Village downtown on a waterfront, and a more extensive project in an urban neighborhood of Milwaukee.

1.Develop knowledge of best practices in urban design, sustainability, and planning for urban redevelopment.
2.Improve individual design and presentation skills at an urban scale.
3.Increase awareness of urban design characteristics of the built environment and how they impact the overall character of public spaces and communities, and influence architectural design.
4.Create a high quality development that responds to Client input with the potential for influencing implementation decisions by the Client.


ARCH 825 – Comprehensive Studio: ArtHouse –
A Residence Hall for Art & Design Students
Jim Shields,
This studio will deal with the planning and detailed design of a new building intended to house students from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. In addition to housing and art studio spaces, there will be an open to the public gallery in which faculty and graduate student work will be shown and available for sale.

ARCH 825 – Comprehensive Studio: Domiciles, Nests and Drawers
Chris Cornelius,
In The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard uses the house as an experiential device to illustrate the reciprocity between our perceptions of space and our dreams, thoughts, and memories. Nests and drawers are just two of the things he uses to explain our spatial ideation. This studio will use these devices as a road map for design. We will explore the domicile thoroughly and in architectonic detail. Using Bachelard’s book we will contemplate the meaning of dwelling and render them visible through drawing and modeling. Students will be asked to explore, develop and/or challenge representational modes that coincide with the autographic and allographic means deployed in architectural drawing. The result will be an oneiric dwelling detailed and drawn in an enriched set of construction documents that not only comply with convention, but exhibit representational invention. Students will be responsible for demonstrating an understanding of code compliance, site strategies and ecologically responsible design solutions.

ARCH 834 – Distinguished Visiting Design Critic Studio
Mo Zell, & Sou Fujimoto,
Sou Fujimoto, based in Tokyo, Japan, is the recipient of several international awards and the youngest architect ever to be selected to design the Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion in London. Considered a master of delicate structures, his work focuses on light, material and human experience, uniting simplicity with complexity and transcending a wide range of scale from furniture through architecture to landscape and urbanism. Mr. Fujimoto will lead the Marcus Prize Studio in collaboration with Associate Dean Mo Zell, dealing with specific challenges in architecture that will have enduring benefits to Milwaukee’s urban fabric. Graduate students only. Undergrads interested may contact Mo Zell at zell@uwm.edu for consideration.

Portfolio submission required prior to admittance. Submit portfolio in pdf format, maximum 3MB file size, by email to zell@uwm.edu  no later than 11/11. Students will be notified of acceptance prior to 11/18. One studio faculty reference is also required (no letter, just the name of the faculty).

NOTE: Mr. Fujimoto's schedule will not always coincide with the set studio times. Flexibility with studio meetings are a must (e.g., the studio may meet Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at various times throughout the semester).