Fall 2017 Electives
Arch 105 (Cross-listed as ENST 100) - Environment, Culture, and Society
ALBERT POPE, TIM MORTON, AND DOMINIC BOYER
This introductory course in environmental studies helps students to better understand the complex interrelationship between human cultures and their social and physical environments. Lectures and assignments draw up the methods and expertise of architecture, the humanities, and the social sciences. Open to non-architecture majors.
Arch 311/611 - Houston Architecture
The course consists of a series of illustrated lectures and walking tours that describe and analyze the architectural history of Houston. The basis of the lectures is a chronological account of the development of Houston from its founding in 1836 to the present. Characteristic building types and exceptional works of architecture are identified for each period within the city’s development. Notable architects who worked in Houston are also studied and the evolution of the practice of architecture is profiled. Walking tours acquaint class members with outstanding buildings and educate them in developing an awareness of the historical dimension of urban sites. Open to non-architecture majors.
Arch 313 (Cross-listed as ENST 313/613) - Case Studies in Sustainable Design
This course will explore sustainable design from initial sustainable facility concepts and team organizations, to enlisting community support and process assessment. The course develops into details about sustainable design, lessons learned, processes and outcomes. Open to non-architecture majors.
Arch 327 - Rice Building Workshop
The Rice Building Workshop involves graduate and undergraduate students in the design and construction of real community-based projects at various scales. Elective courses and course sequences will be formatted to address the specific requirements of each project as required. Please consult postings for further information. The course is open to qualified non-Architecture majors.
Arch 350 (1) - Intro to Landscape Architecture: History and Method
ANDREW ALBERS AND ERNESTO ALFARO
This course provides an introduction to landscape architecture through a survey of its history, and through direct application to a studio project. From the historic gardens at Versailles to the current Millennium Park in Chicago, the direct manipulation and design of land has a long and complex set of rules, traditions and practices. The focus will be on the consideration of how architecture extends beyond the interior and its relationship to an equally important external fabric. The course is comprised of interactive lectures on landscape themes, and the application of specific concepts imparted into design exercises. Non-architecture majors who wish to enroll in this course must receive permission from the instructors at the end of the first week of school. Permission will be granted to students who present a portfolio of satisfactory visual artwork or graphic design. Sophomores and above.
Arch 350 (2) - House: Historical, Representational, Political
Charles Moore, in The Place of Houses, speculates on the idea of the home: “You bind the goods and trappings of your life together with your dreams to make a place that is uniquely your own. In doing so you build a semblance of the world you know, adding it to the community that surrounds you.” In this seminar, we will consider the house typology as a connective thread through history with embedded representational imagery and political implications. We will focus our discussion in the time period from 1910 to the present, looking primarily (but not exclusively) at American examples. We will examine the various forces that define the domestic realm, and bring that larger view to specific Houston examples. The class will be divided into three segments (historical, representational, and political/cultural), each beginning with overview lectures and discussions and followed by short readings, guest lectures, and field trips. The goal is to look very closely at parts of a large subject; to edit to the essentials, and to find specificity and detail by developing student responses in word and image. Open to non-architecture students, sophomores and above.
Arch 353 - Photography for Architects
This foundation course focuses upon photographing architecture. The goal is to acquire a high level of proficiency in order to visually communicate with consistency. Two thirds of the course is technical, exploring basic camera techniques, color management and photo shop. The class is highly interactive with weekly assignments that build upon one another incrementally. It is fast moving with a considerable amount of information covered within a short period. The knowledge and skills acquired are in direct proportion to the individual’s attendance at the lectures, fulfilling the assignments, and active participation during critique. Open to non-architecture majors.
Arch 403 (1 & 2) - Watkin Degree Seminar
A special-topics seminar establishing the intellectual/design foundation for the spring Watkin Studio (ARCH 402). Texts, case studies, and design methods will be used to investigate focused subjects of particular contemporary relevance as established by the instructor. Assignments can consist of written papers, analytical projects, elaborations of design techniques, and other forms of investigation. Students are approved for section and topic, taking their preference into account. Students enrolled in each section will continue to work with the same instructor in the spring studio. Offered to architecture majors only; required for select majors (seniors) and by permission for other majors.
Arch 423/623 (1) - Professionalism and Management in Architectural Practice
Students will explore the challenges, standards, expectations and demands that apply to a design professional. They will learn how to start, organize and manage a professional firm and protect it from preventable risks. They will study how a project becomes a reality, starting with marketing and sales efforts, writing and negotiating the contracts involved, turning a design idea into reality, getting it built and handling claims. Architects, engineers and constructors who are directly involved in the construction industry provide real world profiles of their practices. Students will also do case studies of completed projects. Open to non-architecture majors.
Arch 435 - Practices of Architectural Thinking I
Presentations, workshops, and discussions on the interrelationship of history, theory, and design, focusing on significant modern and contemporary practices. This 1 credit course will meet five Mondays in the evenings, 3 hours each meeting. Open to non-architecture majors; required for select majors: freshmen, sophomores, and first year Option 1 and 2s.
Arch 450 (1) - Tall Timbers
This seminar will explore the tectonic potential latent in heavy timber construction systems. As carbon emissions emerge as a driver for new economies, building with wood is increasingly considered as a realistic alternative to other construction systems for mass housing, such as steel or concrete. Interestingly enough, most of the research on high rise timber construction tends to focus on purely technical issues ignoring the constructive and aesthetic potentials of this new building method. This should come as no surprise, as it has often happened with new construction technologies that they take a while to be absorbed culturally: the first iron bridges for instance emulated stone ones, and it was only with time that they found their own formal logic. The seminar will focus on precisely the scale that goes from the construction detail to the repetitive structural system, producing a catalog of new possibilities that will seek to capitalize on the formal and technical potential of a yet unexplored construction material. Work will be developed collaboratively and through the production of large wood models. Offered to architecture majors only, juniors and above.
Arch 450 (2) - Architecture and the City
The City is one of the prime subjects of interdisciplinary investigation. The City is an ancient project that has produced not just obvious physical evidence such as Agriculture, Architecture and Technologies, but an abundance of human organizations and life styles such as economies, governments, the American Dream, hospitals and universities; In other words a vast and daunting subject. This course will narrow the investigation to Architecture and the City by taking a particular view of the interconnections between the culture of cities and its architectural manifestations. These connections have over time produced a subfield known as urbanism and it is within this domain that a series of case studies of cities and architecture will be made. Open to non-architecture majors, juniors and above.
Arch 455 - Housing and Urban Programs: Issues in Policy
This course will explore current issues in the formulation and implementation of housing and urban development programs in the U.S. An oral presentation and written paper on a specific topic within a general policy area required. Open to non-architecture majors.
Arch 491/691 (Cross-listed as MGMT 757) - Real Estate Development and Architectural Design
This seminar offers a collaboration between RSA students and MBA students, bringing the two groups together to create an economically feasible development concept and a corresponding conceptual design for a high-rise office building in New York City that will establish the right scope of space and appropriate qualities of construction materials that meet the owners’ (Hines, Inc.) objectives, program, and economics. Issues considered will include land purchase or long-term lease, client’s objectives, market analysis, feasibility analytics, allowable cost analysis, cost estimation with design team / construction firm, financing options and influences on design, financing, construction systems and quality and cost controls. Open to non-architecture majors.
Arch 550 - Cullinan Seminar
The fall 2017 Cullinan Seminar is open to all students in the school of architecture, but will be capped at 16 students, based on a statement of intent handed in at the first seminar session. This seminar focuses on contemporary practice and discourse with close readings of the writings and projects of the semester’s four RSA Cullinan visitors, who are architects, writers, theorists, and designers practicing all over the world. In addition to doing substantial reading for every class meeting, writing two short papers and submitting discussion questions only a weekly basis, students will interview the four guests. Previous Cullinan guests have included Sarah Oppenheimer (artist, New York), Sam Jacob (Sam Jacob Studio, London), Juan Herreros (estudio Herreros, Madrid) and Alessandra Cianchetta (AWP, Paris). The course is open to qualified non-Architecture majors, junior and above.
Arch 610 - History, Theory & Structure: Paris Program
JAMES NJOO, FRANÇOISE FROMONOT, GARRY WHITE & ANTOINE PICON
This course is comprised of multiple formal and informal modules, each lasting 3-5 weeks, either overlapping or following the other, with meeting times determined by the nature of the module. Modules include Greater Paris: An Infrastructural History; Replaying Modernism; From Structure to Ornament: Three Studies in the History and Theory of Architecture; French Culture & Society and Practical French. Other site visits, guest lectures, and study travel trips are also part of the experience. Offered to architecture majors only.
Arch 651 - Present Future Seminar
Required seminar in the MA Present Future program, taken in the first semester. The 2017–18 research group will investigate fabric (natural and synthetic) as a primary material type using an array of seaming techniques (manual and machine sewing, heat and pressure welding). The terms fabric and textile are synonymous for the most part. Both broadly refer to a pliable material that is interlaced or bonded using natural or artificial fibers. Manufactures and fabricators limit the term fabric, however, to designate those materials used for the production of goods. Pliable Practice deliberately specifies fabric to indicate the research intent to produce speculative architectural components. Offered to architecture majors only.
Arch 751 - Present Future Seminar
This the third core course of the Master of Arts degree program. It is the concluding semester of the three semester research project, the subject of which changes with each class. The purpose of the semester is to draw the conclusions of the project and produce and package the results. The formats vary with each project. Offered to architecture majors only.
Ceve 499 - Senior Engineering Design Projects
WILL CANNADY AND PHILLIP DE BLANC
Rice School of Architecture and George R. Brown School of Engineering collaborative team work for RSA students, sturctural, civil and environmental engineers. RSA students serve as the design architect leading a collaborative team of structural, civil and environmental consulting engineers enrolled in their Senior Design Project. The project is treated as a real-world design experience. One-hour credit for RSA Students - minimum attendance required except for two reviews. Open to non-architecture majors.