Arduino Workshop- Beginner to Intermediate/Advance, Stephen Ervin

FULL – Creating a Simple Book, Irina Gorstein

FULL – Bodies and the Spatialization of Horror, Fiona Kenney and Chelsea Kilburn

Dynamic Mutations GSD V4.0, Maria Alejandra Rojas and Nate Peters

FULL – Machine Learning for Art and Design, Spyridon Ampanavos and Sabrina Osmany

Linoleum Printmaking, Nevena Pilipovic-Wengler

Womxn in Design: Profiles of Practice, Anne-Marie Lubenau

Identity Theory in Design Research and Practice, Shira Grosman, Yashada Wagle, and Fiona Kenney

Understanding Spatialized Intelligence, Mojdeh Mahdavi

CANCELED – The Architectural Essay, Elsa Hoover

Intimately Scaled Objects, Unexpected Tectonics, Digital Fabrication…, Stella Rossikopoulou Pappa and Adrian Wong

Temporary Occupations: Cross-Disciplinary Instruments of Narrative in Design Practice, Linda Just and Gabriel Melcher

CANCELED – Design Activism: Creative Approaches to Organizing Communities toward Change in the Built, De Nichols

CANCELED –Design Sprint: From Problem to Prototype, Jake Schonberger and Saad Rajan

Synthesis as a process | From sketch to the final project, Alkiviadis Pyliotis and Evangelos Fokialis

CANCELED – Design Competition Workshop, Daniel Garcia, Alejandro Saldarriaga, and William Smith

Courses are added and updated on a daily basis.

Arduino Workshop – Beginner to Intermediate/Advance

Instructor: Stephen Ervin
Location: Gund 522
Max Enrollment: 20

This two day workshop will introduce the fundamentals of Arduino DIY microprocessor hacking, covering basic electronics, coding interfaces to sensors and actuators, and system design. Day one (Weds Jan 8) will cover basics and assume no prior experience, though some coding familiarity will help. Day two (Thurs Jan 9) will extend the basics with a range of topics and implementations, including more electronics, sensors, actuators, LED lights, coding techniques, APIs and more complex system design. Students will need to bring their own Arduino microprocessor board, about $25-$50 ; and optionally some extras, about $10-$50 that will make the days more productive and fun. A shopping list will be provided in advance.

Date Wed, Jan 8 Thur, Jan 9
Time 9am-5pm 9am-5pm

Coding experience preferred, but optional. 
Cost/Materials: Arduino microprocessor board/$25-$50 ; Optional extra supplies, $10-$50

Creating a Simple Book

Instructor: Irina Gorstein
Location: Frances Loeb Library Conservation Lab, L01
Max Enrollment: 6

Weissman Preservation Center offers a two-day seminar on bookmaking for the GSD J-Term. The workshop is limited to 6 participants and will be held at the Frances Loeb Library Conservation Lab, L01.

The seminar will focus on four non-adhesive structures based on historic bindings. The skills learnt during the workshop can be used for creating attractive portfolios and notebooks.

Date Mon, Jan 13 Tue, Jan 14
Time 9am-5pm 9am – 5pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: Participants should expect to pay a small fee for tools and materials/$20 -$25

Course is full. Please email to be added to a waitlist. 

Bodies and the Spatialization of Horror

Instructors: Fiona Kenney, MDes HPDM and Chelsea Kilburn, MLA AP I
Location: Gund 510
Max Enrollment: 12

This course seeks to explore the ways in which space and the body not only are objects capable of causing fear, but produce their own iterations of horror. It will examine the development of the medical profession and Western public health crises in the 19th century as the roots of fears about the body, and identify the role of landscape and architecture in production of these fears. From here, the course seeks to identify manifestations of these fears in popular culture and in understandings of the body in space. Students will discuss the production of existential horror, or anxiety, as an emotional and psychological response to the separation of the mind from the body, vis a vis the need for the body to be separated from the pastoral and resituated in the modern or urban. From here: might contemporary iterations of horror be conceived of as abstract, systemic, or supercorporeal? What spatial elements bring about discomfort or senses of the uncanny? How does horror as genre employ architecture to generate fear, and how does this manufactured fear serve to reproduce power? Through what mechanisms does the female body emerge as the specific site of horror, how do allegories of the Earth and nature as feminine contribute? Students will generate their own products of horror fiction, in the form of creative writing, photo essay, or illustration. The course will involve a visit to the MFA’s Read My Lips, an exhibition of four films exploring repulsion, bodies, and the female voice. Readings will focus on biopower, gender, and death studies, and investigation into the architectures of horror fiction. This course is intended to bring together students from different departments as we explore the intersections of different design scales, mediums, and methodologies.

Date Mon, Jan 13 Tue, Jan 14 Wed, Jan 15 Thur, Jan 16 Fri, Jan 17
Time 9am-12pm 9am-12pm 9am-12pm 9am-12pm 9am-12pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: Transit to MFA (~$5)

Course is full. Please email to be added to a waitlist.

Dynamic Mutations GSD V4.0

Instructors: Maria Alejandra Rojas, Master of Architecture and Urbanism at AA '15/Adjunct Professor at NYIT and City College of NY and Nate Peters, MDes in Technology '18/Software Engineer at Autodesk
Location: Gund 124
Max Enrollment: 20

Autodesk Maya’s vast capabilities have been dominating the film and video game industry for years as the standard in design and CGI work flow. Both entertainment forms require tools to create imaginary spaces that can be parametrically designed to change at any given time, adapting to new ideas. Since its creation, Maya has also been adapted into other major industries such as automotive design, product design, and prototyping fields in general. More and more architectural studios acknowledge its potential in forming building structures, providing new design logic, advanced free-form modeling, and surpassing the boundaries of linear design tools. Maya’s design logic and generative processes achieve diversity and complexity in form generation. Unlike many 3d modeling software, Maya gives the user a more natural modeling environment similar to modeling with clay in your hands. This allows concept phase models to quickly come to life with a better connection between the foreseen vision and the 3d results. The goal for this workshop is to teach students how to model complex geometry in Maya while dynamically mutating it, quickly building up versions of the initial idea. Students will learn the modeling shortcuts used by major design houses to create unique designs in the most time efficient ways possible. Most importantly, students will learn to create models which allow flexibility in design decisions via cataloged history states as opposed to having to re-do a model when changes are needed. The final portion of the workshop will provide students with high quality visualization techniques using Luxion Keyshot. Students should bring their own laptops with Autodesk Maya and Luxion Keyshot installed. Autodesk Maya can be downloaded and used for free up to 3 years under a student license on Autodesk's website. Luxion Keyshot can be downloaded as a watermark free 14-day trial on Keyshots website. Requirements: General understanding of 3D modeling software is a plus. Laptops with Autodesk Maya and Luxion Keyshot installed.

Date Thur, Jan 9 Fri, Jan 10
Time 9am-5pm 9am-5pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Machine Learning for Art and Design

Instructors: Spyridon Ampanavos, DDes and Sabrina Osmany, PhD
Location: Gund 517
Max Enrollment: 25

This workshop will serve as an introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning techniques for generative art and design. New advances in deep learning have enabled the development of novel techniques for visual representation and exploration. Advanced statistical learning has enabled the development of remarkable new ways for computers to generate images from semantic prompts, transfer the style of one image to the content of another, convert black and white images to colored ones, transform noisy images to high fidelity, and many more. Moreover, access to these techniques has been democratized by practitioners through easy to use, high level Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), providing designers and artists who may not have an extensive computational background with new tools to enhance or reimagine their work. Over the course of three days, students will learn the basics of neural networks and deep learning, with an up to date understanding of current state of the art in generative design. We will cover the basic ideas and techniques as well as teach core skills in ML frameworks such as Keras, Tensorflow, Pytorch etc. Students will complete the workshop with a hands-on generative design project.

Date Mon, Jan 13 Tue, Jan 14 Wed, Jan 15
Time  12 – 3pm  12 – 3pm  12 – 3pm

Prerequisites: Basic programming experience
Cost/Materials: N/A

Course is full. Please email to be added to a waitlist. 

Linoleum Printmaking

Instructor: Nevena Pilipovic-Wengler, MUP
Location: Gund 517
Max Enrollment: 15

Description: Folks will go through the process of cultivating their own image, carving it into a linoleum block, and then printing it! Block prints are the most accessible printmaking method, one that people can easily do in their homes or apartments. In addition to folks learning how to make their own block prints from start to finish, we will reflect on the role that printmaking has played in the realms of activism, community organizing, public art, and environmental justice. We'll consider the potential this method has as a participatory planning/design tool!

Specifically, the two session will break down as such for you (the attendee!):

Day 1:  You bring in an idea of an image (based on ideas/helpful hints that the instructor will send beforehand.) We will discuss elements to consider when transferring your image to a linoleum block and will use tools that enable *anyone* to draw, regardless of your technical background. You can either draw directly onto the 5×7” block or use transfer paper to transfer an image from a piece of paper, photo, etc.  After the image is on your block, you will begin carving with Linoleum Cutters.  (If you do not finish carving by the end of our first session, you will be responsible for wrapping that up between the sessions and bringing your block ready to print the next day.)

Day 2: We will begin this session with a brief overview of how linoleum printmaking has been utilized by community and advocacy groups and organizations. Then we will transition into your printing!  You have brought your 5×7” block fully carved and ready to print. We will go over the steps needed from beginning to end and practice together!  Steps include: [1] Prepping your paper and printing station, [2] inking up your block, [3] applying adequate pressure to your paper on top of the block (no machine needed, just your hands!), [4] how to troubleshoot issues that arise.  We will conclude the session with reflections on the process, our images, and how we could pull the beauty and accessibility of block printing into our planning and design realms.

Date Thur, Jan 16 Fri, Jan 17
Time  1 – 4pm  1 – 4pm

Prerequisites: N/A

  • $3.65 per 5×7” block
  • $5 for pre-cut paper to print on (You’re also welcome to bring your own paper, pre-cut to fit the 5×7” block)$10 for your own set of linoleum cutters (optional: I recommend if you want to keep printmaking on your own. But there will be Linoleum Cutters that I can hand out in the session!)
  • $10 for your roller [Hard Rubber Brayer] (optional: I recommend if you want to keep printmaking on your own. But there will be rollers that I can hand out in the session!)

Enrollment Link

Womxn in Design: Profiles of Practice

Instructor: Anne-Marie Lubenau, Loeb Fellowship (2012)
Location: Gund 123
Max Enrollment: N/A

Description: Join us for a two-hour workshop that explores the diversity of design practice. Offered in partnership with Womxn in Design, this two-hour, interactive session will engage students and GSD alumni in conversation about opportunities to shape physical development, public policy, and social change through work in private firms, nonprofit organizations, and the public sector. Alumni from different programs and fields will share stories and offer insight from the experience of navigating their careers. They’ll highlight the value of design education and impact of “alternative” careers in advocacy, civic initiatives, community engagement and design, education, development, philanthropy, and public service. Together we’ll reflect on the role of education, mentorship, and professional development in fostering personal and professional growth, and consider ways to create environments that cultivate leadership and success. A brief reception/happy hour will follow the workshop, providing opportunity for additional conversation and networking.

Date Fri, Jan 10
Time  3 – 5pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link

Identity Theory in Design Research and Practice

Instructors: Shira Grosman, MLA I AP/MDes ULE, Yashada Wagle, MDes HPDM, Fiona Kenney, MDes HPDM
Location: Gund 521
Max Enrollment: 15

Description: This course intends to interrogate the relationship between identity and design, and provide space for students to critically reflect on how their own identities affect their research and practice. Viewing design—its objects, subjects and practices—through the multifaceted lenses of identity theories may help in taking up new perspectives on the work of design at hand, and work that has already been done. Identity theories gain specificity and influence when grounded within the material embedded practices of design. While these design practices have facilitated and participated in systems of oppression, they may also be able to contribute to the reconfiguration of power structures and help address social and political injustices that underlie our materially embedded world. As designers who design for people other than ourselves, it is crucial to acknowledge, embrace, and learn about spectrums of identities and bodies. Through existing frameworks including Feminism, Critical Indigenous Theory, Queer Theory, and Class Theory, the group will work to become aware of personal biases and broader diverse perspectives. Students will curate resources for application in their own design work, and collaborate with the rest of the class to critically examine these resources. Resources include texts from within and beyond design disciplines as well as precedent design and research projects. The course will also interrogate research methods for collecting and processing the identity based resources. The end product of this course will be a booklet produced by each participant with material and reflections collected by the group over the length of the course. In the final day of this course, participants will construct these booklets. This course is offered by members of Womxn in Design in conjunction with the group’s Bibliography project (see

Date Tue, Jan 14 Wed, Jan 15 Thur, Jan 16 Fri, Jan 17
Time  12 – 3pm  12 – 3pm  12 – 3pm  12 – 3pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link

Understanding Spatialized Intelligence

Instructor: Mojdeh Mahdavi, DDes
Location: Gund 505
Max Enrollment: 15

Description: This J-term course explores urban intelligence, its historical genealogy and contemporary manifestations, as well as the major intellectual, technological and political lineages of the ‘smart city.’ Born from an unprecedented association between human beings, non-human machines, algorithms, and codes, spatialized intelligence creates constructed and contested, yet unknown ubiquitous digital geographies. By offering a deeper sociopolitical grasp of emergent smart city projects, the course contributes to an enhanced understating of these approaches, while investigating the development of alternative pathways to the application of ‘spatialized intelligence’ to urban planning and design. We will begin with navigating the definitional terrain of Smart Cities through case studies and drill down into the technologies that shape new and existing cities. We will then survey the pitfalls of smart city projects and the main criticisms of these concepts which include the politics of data and quantification in urban practice. Examining the visual representations and images used to communicate the idea of the smart city, we will delve into the visual construction of techno-utopian imaginaries. This sequence of topics seeks to develop a critical lens to read these contemporary urban techno-scientific logics, as well as an alternative lexicon and visual language to challenge the existing discursive and visual narratives. Course delivery will be through a mix of interactive classroom sessions, case studies, class participation, and presentations.

Date Mon, Jan 13 Tue, Jan 14 Wed, Jan 15 Thur, Jan 16 Fri, Jan 17
Time 1–3pm  1–3pm  1–3pm  1–3pm  1-3pm

 Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link

The Architectural Essay

Instructor: Elsa Hoover, M. Arch I
Location: TBD
Max Enrollment: 20

Description: The architectural essay offers its reader a concise analytic for the built environment, its values, and its consequences. Likewise, the essay offers its writer a well-defined platform for their own position toward contemporary questions in architecture. This J-Term course will encourage GSD students to savor the reading-writing process and to develop writing as an essential tool for their own design work. The course will gather on two consecutive days each week to reflect as a group on assigned architectural essays and to review writing feedback. Each student will produce a short essay on the topic of their choosing, guided by assigned texts concerning canonical architectural theory and current conversations on design and the environment. Our small-group seminar format will level out expectations for ‘correct’ answers and quick processing that are so often called for in studio curricula. Instead, our approach will make room for students to reflect on their own interests, authorial position, and the slow analysis made possible by close-reading a text in a collaborative manner. This course is open to all programs and would benefit from conversation among an interdisciplinary group of architects, planners, writers, and thinkers.

Date Tue, Jan 7 Wed, Jan 8 Tue, Jan 14 Wed, Jan 15
Time 2-4pm 2-4pm 2-4pm 2-4pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: Printing assigned readings


Intimately Scaled Objects, Unexpected Tectonics, Digital Fabrication…

Instructors: Stella Rossikopoulou Pappa, FAS Affiliate, MDes '19 and Adrian Wong, MArch II
Location: Gund 516
Max Enrollment: 10

Description: This two-day workshop explores the idea of pushing physical models beyond their typical function as representational objects. The invention of computer-aided design software has altered the nature of physical models today, reducing them to mere objects of final production of little relevance to the design process. This workshop aims to explore the use of physical models as design tools themselves, as works in progress, as diagrams, and/or instruments of playful experimentation.

Through the use of a variety of 3D printing techniques we have developed, this workshop is an introduction to fabricating objects that are palm-sized, interactive, and given to playful experimentation. Students in the course are free to further develop previous projects or come up with new ideas. There will be an emphasis on developing the models with interactivity and transformability in mind. Designs will then be physically prototyped in order to test the assembly of parts and material tolerances. Through lectures, discussions, and test-printing, students will leave the workshop with a basic conceptual and technical framework necessary for the creation of models which can be used in a manner similar to other well-known construction toys, e.g. Legos, Tinkertoy, K’Nex, ZOOB Play System etc.

This workshop is open to anyone interested in 3D printing. All skill levels are welcome to participate.

*A limited amount of filament will be available, for those who have a specific materiality in mind, please bring your own spool.

Date Wed, Jan 15 Fri, Jan 17
Time  12 – 4pm  12 – 4pm

Prerequisites: 3D Printing Online Training (link)
Cost/Materials: Students will be expected to produce physical prototypes for their pieces and assemblies, but the material and scale is up to the students themselves.

Enrollment Link

Temporary Occupations: Cross-Disciplinary Instruments of Narrative in Design Practice

Instructor: Linda Just, MDes and Gabriel Melcher, Montreal-Based Graphic Designer
Location: Gund 522
Max Enrollment: 15

Description: Design relies on communication, which is if nothing else a form of storytelling. And narration is a potent tool in all disciplines, though it is frequently addressed through different media and techniques.

What can be learned from studying the narrative instruments of our colleagues in other fields? What happens when we apply their techniques to our own work? Or translate it from one medium to another? Does the message remain the same, or does it become richer for the hybrid?

This workshop takes its form from these provocations through a series of talks, readings, viewings, and design exercises that invite collaboration, ambiguity, and mixed-media, cross-disciplinary experimentation. The culmination will be documented in a short presentation (an exhibition, a catalog, etc) depicting one's research and process over the course of the workshop.

Date Mon, Jan 13 Wed, Jan 15 Fri, Jan 17
Time  10am – 1pm 10am – 1pm 10am – 1pm

 Prerequisites: Moderate proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite a plus
Cost/Materials: Mixed media output – student’s choice of physical material [if any] Sketchbooks and laptops should be brought to course.

Enrollment Link

Design Activism: Creative Approaches to Organizing Communities toward Change in the Built Environment

Instructor: De Nichols, Loeb Fellow 2019
Location: TBD
Max Enrollment: 12

Description: With a whirlwind of social and cultural transitions emerging across the world, design is increasingly used to address, disrupt, protest, and prevent social challenges that arise—from natural disasters and global water crises to political corruption, increased social injustices, gender inequality, and racial inequity. In this micro-course, Loeb Fellow and artist-activist, De Nichols, will teach an array of arts-based community organizing practices that designers can harness when working with historically marginalized communities to confront issues. Students will meet for 4, 3-hour sessions (12 hours total). Each session will include a combination of presentation, discussion, and rapid prototyping of ideas. Session 1 will provide an overview of methods, processes, and case studies of creative community organizing, including campaigns, protests, direct actions, and built-environment interventions. They will also be presented with a design case study that will challenge them to utilize an organizing strategy to rapidly design and prototype a way to address the issue. During session 02, students will be welcomed to engage in a FoodSpark, a food-based organizing practice and experience that will foster collective ideation of creative strategies. Session 03 will continue with group discussion and prototyping, while Session 04 will culminate with presentation and testing of students’ proposed ideas.

Date Tue, Jan 7 Wed, Jan 8 Thur, Jan 9 Fri, Jan 10
Time  1 – 4pm  1 – 4pm  1 – 4pm  1 – 4pm

Prerequisites: Basic programming experience
Cost/Materials: Students can opt to fly to St. Louis, MO, to implement project ideas on the ground January 17-19, but this is not a requirement for participation.


Design Sprint: From Problem to Prototype

Instructors: Jake Schonberger, MDE and Saad Rajan, MDE
Location: TBD
Max Enrollment: 10

Description: Ever wondered what design thinking is all about? This course will take you through the design thinking process from start to finish (Research, Synthesis, Ideation, Design, Prototyping, Testing and Pitching) using a real word case study. Over a three day period you will experience:

  • Using design as a process to deal with complex challenges
  • Coming up with innovative solutions in a short period of time
  • Combining design & go-to market principles into a cohesive proposal
  • Sample practices from GSD MDE, IDEO and Stanford d.School’s curriculum

Marketing your skills as a designer to work in strategic design or design thinking Join us for a fun and intense hands on approach to learning the design process! For this course, we’d like to make the group as diverse as possible. If you are interested in participating, please email Saad and Jake @ and with just a couple of sentences about your background, your design experience, and your general interest in taking this course.

Date Wed, Jan 15 Thur, Jan 16 Fri, Jan 17
Time  10am – 3pm 10am – 3pm 10am – 3pm

Prerequisites: Required readings sent in advance.
Cost/Materials: N/A


Synthesis as a process | From sketch to the final project

Instructors: Alkiviadis Pyliotis, M. Arch II and Evangelos Fokialis, M. Arch II
Location: Gund 510
Max Enrollment: 12

Description: This course aims to investigate concepts of architectural synthesis, tracing the path from the initial ideas to the final construction. This course focuses on the process of synthesis as the ability of someone to combine and organize scattered, contrasting elements to one indivisible whole. Through lectures, discourses and workshops this course will be structured as a collective effort to explore the concept of architectural synthesis, its process and the impact at the architectural project.

It will be a seminar-based class that will be divided into two parts, a lecture on the first half of the class followed by a conversation discussing the reflections of the participants, and on the second half a small assignment with sketch-based exercises that will help the participants better understand the usefulness of the different forms of sketching.

The topics that will be discussed in separate lectures will be as following:

1st Class

-Lecture 1: Introductory | Genius loci + Discourse
-Workshop 1: Re-exploring the Topos through sketches

2nd Class

 -Lecture 2: Main idea and architectural synthesis + DiscoursZ
-Workshop 2: Sketching the Main Idea ( Ideogram )

3rd Class

-Lecture 3: Tools and (Re)presentation + Discourse
-Workshop 3: Sketches & Abstract Models

4th Class

-Lecture 4: Narrative + Discourse
-Workshop 4: Sketches, Notes & Reflections on the class

Date Mon, Jan 13 Tue, Jan 14 Wed, Jan 15 Thur, Jan 16
Time  2 – 4:30pm 2 – 4:30pm 2 – 4:30pm 2 – 4:30pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: Classroom materials

Enrollment Link

Design Competition Workshop

Instructors: Daniel Garcia, M. Arch II, Alejandro Saldarriaga, M. Arch II, and William Smith, M. Arch II
Location: TBD
Max Enrollment: 18

Description: Part workshop and part charrette, this course focuses on identifying the various design competition formats currently available, as well as conveying techniques and strategies for generating award-winning entries in a collaborative studio environment. In the first class, we will share knowledge based on previous experience (i.e. how to find and choose competitions, how to generate compelling concepts, and how to communicate ideas effectively), after which we will provide a comprehensive list of all current opportunities with open calls for submission. In the following class, we will identify relevant competitions based on shared interests and break-out into small groups with the intention of producing independent proposals for submission to the selected competitions. Subsequently, the groups will meet 4 days per week working on their proposals but with the collective energy and knowledge of a studio. The course proposes to have two in-class reviews where each group will pin up their progress and will receive feedback from the rest of the class. The first critique will take place on January 9th, serving as a midterm review, and a final critique will take place on the 16th of January. Our hope is that individuals will come away with a deeper knowledge of the competition format and that each group will have made substantial progress toward generating strong design concepts as well as effective visual communication skills.

Week 1

Date Mon, Jan 6 Tue, Jan 7 Wed, Jan 8 Thur, Jan 9
Time  1 – 5 p.m. 1 – 5 p.m.  1 – 5 p.m.  1 – 5 p.m.

 Week 2

Date Mon, Jan 13 Tue, Jan 14 Wed, Jan 15 Thur, Jan 16
Time  1 – 5 p.m. 1 – 5 p.m.  1 – 5 p.m. 1 – 5 p.m.

Prerequisites: Previous architectural education.
Cost/Materials: Competition entry fee (divided by two or three people per group.)


To view other J-Term opportunities, please visit: