Year 1: Operations
The first-year studio curriculum introduces various techniques in drawing, model building, and digital production as organizers and generators of architectural design (first semester) and urban design (second semester). Sequences of assignments that build on one another introduce methods of critical observation and thinking and develop understandings of architectural concepts, including form, space, proportion, and scale.
Year 2: Technologies
In the second year, the focus in the design studio shifts to technologies within architecture. First-semester studio assignments focus on conceptual investigations of fundamental principles of the making of buildings, including structure, enclosure, circulation, program, site, and light. The assignments, which build on the techniques introduced in the first year, provide a means for the student to speculate on possibilities for various architectural types (a tower, for example). Second-semester studio projects address complex concepts and principles of module and materiality, construction, and aggregation through physical models and advanced digital modeling. In addition to design studio, students take a concurrent two-semester sequence in architectural theory and criticism focused on oral and written communication.
Year 3: Urbanisms
The third-year curriculum orients toward the larger scales and increasing complexity of urban design. The fall semester studio explores metropolitan public space through the design of a programmatically complex urban landscape. The theory/history class investigates different agendas and strategies that architecture has employed in relation to the existing city and the city's ability to act as catalyst for ideas and speculation; the concurrent technology class introduces ways to implement and convey constructional logic, with an emphasis on developing an aesthetic means of graphically communicating constructional information. In the spring, the design studio speculates on the urban interior through the development of a large mixed-use building. The spring theory/history class introduces critical and generative approaches to twentieth-century architecture and theory, and the technology class builds on the lessons of the fall with a focus on a technical understanding of building construction.
Year 4: Options
The fall and spring semesters of the fourth year offer the student “options” in the emphasis of their design studio, based on their individual interests and the project options offered by the studio faculty. In their varied topical interests, option studios range from the scale of a facade or house to urban design. In the fall, students can also select among options of emphasis in seminars on contemporary practices. A year-long structures sequence runs concurrently with the studios.