Architectural Representation I

Architectural Representation I: Origins + Originality

Architectural representation is an ideology—a source of ideas and visionary theorizing that has a set of origins and qualities. As such, it’s prudent to study the origins of conventional techniques of architectural representation to be informed about their intentions and the specific contexts that conditioned their development.

Representation is not a conclusive index of an architecture already designed and completed, in the past tense. Rather, representation is integral to the design process and the production of architecture—it is present and future tense: an active participant in exploring and making. It occurs in multiple instances and forms along a project’s evolutionary path. Though not deterministic of the architecture, representation techniques selected to visualize ideas influence the evolution and outcome of the work.

The course initiates with an analysis of conventional representation techniques and their intentions. Using this knowledge as a platform, the class pivots to consider representational riffs emerging in response to the contemporary context—those that explore the limits of our “origin arsenal” and question what each offers for the present. Possible paradigms of architectural spaces generated from representation (rather than the other way around) will be presented and discussed.

“Architectural Representation I: Origins + Originality” will involve readings, lectures, and discussions framing the backstory on conventional techniques as well as contemporary critical stances in relation to these techniques. Students will be required to complete weekly representation exercises in relation to each course topic by experimenting with new representations of their design work being produced in parallel courses. These design exercises will be presented to and discussed by the class.

The final project will involve isolating a representation from concurrent studio work and critically evaluating the architectural possibilities that extend from its close reading and revision. The final project will require articulation of the goals of the original representation technique and the specific aims toward originality in the tweaking of this technique, as suited to the design project.


Please note this course will meet online through 9/15.