T Th 1:00–2:20 p.m.
GRW 160A

This course is not for the faint of heart. We will read and analyze case studies, project documents, and other source materials on buildings that have experienced serious design problems and ended up in the news and in court. Some major buildings lose their high-rise windows inexplicably, others experience catastrophic structural failures, while others are saved from disaster through brilliant professional skill and sheer luck. After learning the facts, we will ask you to write about what went right and wrong, why the situation happened, who caused the problem, who saved the day, and who should have acted differently. Another aspect we will study is the public perception of architectural and engineering design when confronted with unfavorable news coverage. The broad goals of the course are to improve and refine your ability to think and write critically and powerfully, and to present a convincing argument on the written page and in person. 


Open to First-year only.



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