Studio Syllabus

ARCH 305 / Architecture V
studio blog:

COURSE SYLLABUS: S18 ARCH 306 syllabus

Meeting Times

credits: 6 credit hours
meets: mwf 1:50 – 5:50
office hours: by appointment



studio curator Andy Tinucci
studio faculty Michael Glynn
  Lap Chi Kwong
  Andrew Schachman
  Agata Siemionow


course description:   

The third year design studios will continue the escalation of scale and complexity within architectural typologies, as well as the continued part to whole investigation of architectural systems and processes.  We will focus on the measurable and immeasurable and on the consequence of our design actions as we begin to design larger buildings.  The third year will be taught as a single arc, so that lessons taught throughout the year can be referenced, revisited and refined recursively.  Exercises will take place within the city and will continually reference the Body, Unit, Element, and Dwelling by asking students to not only build new criteria but constantly redefine old criteria.

We will focus on expanding our control of iterative design processes by adding additional criteria and complexities for consideration.  We will also focus on the quality and depth of our research, and we will develop abilities to construct architectural systems from architectural agendas.  Our ultimate objective is to design a facility that combines numerous design criteria into a compelling and beautiful assembly of architectural systems and components.

course objectives:

Continued development of architectural principles of ARCH 201 and 202 and ARCH 305 through the correlation of design process and building systems. Consideration of the interrelation of building, programming, site planning, structure, enclosure systems, energy consumption, and environmental control systems and the cultural concepts supporting their organization. (0-12-6)

Further goals of the course are to develop:

– Conceptual thinking about architecture and the cultivation of design ideas.

– Critical ability in the process of self-directed design and problem solving, but also the ability to assist others.

– Aptitude in the representation of programmatic, environmental, formal and technical considerations to support conceptual thinking and communication.

– Ability to devise and control a coherent design process across multiple simultaneous scales.

– An understanding of the relationship between materials, structural systems, construction methods and architectural expression.

– Knowledge of historic examples of applicable and relevant construction.

– An understanding of how details reinforce design concepts and impact building performance.

– Skill in the use of two-dimensional and three-dimensional representational tactics to support design and presentation objectives.

– Experience in oral and written presentation and discussion of architectural ideas and concepts.


studio format:

This studio’s format will be closely aligned with the previous first and second year core studios.  Studio will be taught, primarily in individual studios with the largest portion of class time dedicated to individual desk critiques.  In addition to one on one studio critiques, there will be frequent lectures, workshops, reviews, group pin-ups and group discussions treating various topics as needed (including any required readings).  Lectures are occasionally scheduled for 1:50 pm on many Fridays in the Perlstein Hall Auditorium (check your calendar for exact dates subject to change). There will be site visits and area field trips conducted this semester that are a required component of the studio work. Although based in the studio space, instruction may also be given in the M and M model shop, in various libraries, museums, on-site, in the field, and other relevant venues.


studio culture:

The objective is to create and sustain a studio atmosphere that encourages inquiry, curiosity, investigation, exploration and experimentation supported by thoughtfulness, rigor, discipline and hard work. The studio pedagogy is built around a collaborative approach to the projects: the collaborative effort is between faculty and students, and among the students themselves. Desk crits, pin-ups, and impromptu discussions are part and parcel of the studio work and require active participation from everyone in the studio.

The development of each student’s work will involve hand drawing, sketching, a variety of software applications, and extensive physical model-making – all representational media. We will spend a lot of time talking about projects, ideas, and architecture in general. This on-going discussion is one of the key components of the studio pedagogy and we will expend real effort to develop an atmosphere that is conducive to the enthusiastic exchange of ideas.

The most important teaching space is the studio. The learning that happens there only takes place when the student is present and actively participating in the daily exchange of ideas. Faculty are present in the studio for twelve contact hours per week and in order to take advantage of their instruction the student must be available and paying attention to the studio discussions.

Class hours are time for working at your desk. Run errands and take care of personal business outside of studio time. This includes taking care of university business.  Buy the supplies needed for work before you come to studio. Additionally, studio is not the time to check your email, send text messages, or chat on the phone. You should be in your studio working on the studio assignments.

The studio environment should be supportive of serious work. Concentration and focus are absolutely necessary for the work done there so each of you should respect the others’ right to a positive studio atmosphere.  Any device at odds with this mandate is forbidden.  Simply, work together and respect each other.

You should be fully aware for the IIT College of Architecture Studio Culture Policy – available here on the College’s website:


computer (and other digital device) policy:

Computers (and all other digital devices) are powerful tools and should be used as such for the development and production of your work.  All use of computers in studio must be in clear support of the studio agenda, no social media, no email, no films, no TV, no Skype; only applications directly germane to the work at hand are to be used.  Additionally, no laptops or digital devices are to be powered on during the entire lecture period. Anyone using a digital device in the lecture hall will be asked to leave.  Any note-taking during lectures is to be done by hand only (note: all material in lectures will be posted to the studio blog following the lecture).


course requirements:

Full participation in studio culture, discussions, critiques, reviews, etc, is essential to the quality of your work, and the depth of your education, and as such attendance is mandatory at all course meetings (including any classes meeting in the field) for the full duration of the session.  It will be your responsibility to satisfactorily complete any and all studio assignments. All assignments, including the final submission, must be handed in complete and on time. Work submitted late or in an incomplete state will be assigned a grade penalty of one full letter grade before evaluation and grading on the work’s merit.

The COA’s lecture series is considered an extension of the course offerings so attendance at all lectures is recommended, and certain lectures may be mandatory. Required lectures will be posted when the COA’s lecture series is announced. Readings and written assignments will supplement the regular studio work and are required.


course schedule:

The course will consist of studio and desk critiques, lectures, workshops, regular assignments, periodic presentations, site visits and field trips.  The semester long investigation will be developed around the exploration of HYBRID use in life and in buildings.

A complete schedule is currently posted on the blog, and should be referenced for all details pertaining to the timing of the semester.  The schedule is subject to change, and it will certainly do so over the course of the semester.  Every time it is adjusted, we will post it promptly and inform you of the revisions.


attendance policy and absences:

Attendance is mandatory at all course meetings (including any classes meeting in the field) for the full duration of the session. You are expected to arrive on time and to remain in studio for the duration of the course period (1:50pm-5:50pm). The course period is intended for in-studio work related to ARCH 306 only. Students may not work on other courses during studio time, and may only leave studio with the permission of their instructor. Failure to comply with these requirements constitutes an unexcused absence.

Absences can be excused if: 1) they result from a death in the student’s immediate family, 2) they are caused by illness (must be followed up with a note from your physician), or 3) they are approved in advance at the discretion of your studio instructor. Three unexcused/unapproved absences will result in a full letter grade reduction of the semester’s final grade, and each additional two absences after will result in an additional letter grade reduction. Unexcused late arrivals or early departures will be counted as absences.

All assignments, including the final submission, must be handed in complete and on time. Work submitted late or in an incomplete state will either be penalized during grading, or not accepted as determined by the professor. Computer issues and output problems will not be accepted as a valid excuse for failure to submit work or to pin-up.

Failure to present work at any of the project reviews will result in a full letter grade reduction for the course, and failure to present in more than one project review will result in automatic failure for the course.  Absence from a review is equivalent to absence from an exam. Anyone arriving late for scheduled pin-ups or critiques will be marked absent and may not be allowed to present.


grading policy:

Your final studio grade will be based on an evaluation of three primary categories: (1) your attendance and the quality and consistency of your participation in all studio sessions, assignments and activities, (2) the quality, consistency, intensity and depth of your work, and your level of investigation and development in the refinement of your ideas/projects, and (3) your comprehension of the content of ARCH 306 as evidenced in the technical proficiency and craft of your work.

Other factors contributing to grading include daily progress and ability to manage time, student-instructor dialogue, participation in class-wide critiques and discussion, and individual growth.  Computer issues and output problems will not be accepted as a valid excuse for failure to submit work or to pin-up.

Grades and grading are not intended to be opaque, and it is our shared responsibility to remain communicative about your progress throughout the semester.  Your work will be evaluated on an on-going basis throughout the semester, and while not always issued, should you have any questions concerning your progress, grade, or other course issue please feel free to ask for a meeting with your studio instructor. Final grades for the entire class will be reviewed by all ARCH 305 faculties to ensure grading consistency across the multiple sections.

Grades will follow IIT University policy, and are defined specifically as follows:

Incomplete (I): Only for extenuating circumstances which impede your ability to deliver your work complete and on time. Must submit a petition for approval to College and Professor prior to the end of the semester.

Failing (E): Work fails to meet the minimum course requirements for completeness and/or comprehension.

Below Average (D): Assignments are incomplete and/or of low quality and craft.  Very inconsistent or little to no effort is exhibited.  Very little development and meeting few course objectives.

Average (C):  Completes all assignments with work of acceptable quality and craft, but with little distinction.  Minimum requirements met on time, and majority of course objectives are met.  Minimum attendance and participation levels are met.

Above Average (B):  Completes all assignments with work of high quality and craft.  Exhibits significant levels of development and progress throughout the semester, and meets all course objectives.  Most work is of higher quality, energy and participation.

Excellent (A):  Consistently produces work of the highest level of quality and craft, and exhibits technical proficiency and comprehension with distinction.  All course objectives are understood and exceeded.  Work is of excellent quality, energy and with intense involvement and participation.


contacts and communications:

All communication regarding assignments, events, resources, and studio related announcements will be delivered via the class blog:   Students are encouraged to subscribe by email or rss feed, obtainable from any page on the website, to automatically receive any new or updated information. An introductory announcement and basic overview of best use practices for the website will be presented during the first week of the term.

Your faculty and the TAs are here to teach, and teaching sometimes involves discussions beyond those about the assignment at hand. Please know that you can approach any of us at any time if you want to talk about the course, the College, architecture at large, or the profession. We all keep office hours so simply ask or email if you would like time outside regular class hours to talk.


shop safety and equipment use:

This class relies heavily on model fabrication at various scales. Therefore you must obtain or renew your Shop Safety Certification in order to utilize certain power tools and equipment, and you must be certified to gain access to laser cutting and CNC machines.  These classes are available immediately, and you are encouraged to sign up for them.

Your safety is a primary concern of ours, and smart use of all tools is imperative.  Safety protocols for various tools and processes have been posted to the blog,, and must be reviewed immediately.  In the first weeks of school, we will ask for your signature to ensure that you have read and understand all of the safety requirements and protocols.   Most importantly craft is a component of the design process. It’s the application of logic to material transformation. Therefore we will evaluate the use of digitally controlled tools such as the Laser Cutter or the CNC in the same way that we evaluate your use of any tool. Does it support the design process? Because it’s extremely attractive to misuse digital fabrication tools as a simple substitute for operations that are better accomplished manually, students must discuss objectives with their section professor.


other resources:

Please review your student handbook and familiarize yourself with University regulations and academic requirements at  Also please be aware that the Counseling Center offers a range of services for students – find them at


academic honesty:

IIT expects students to maintain high standards of academic integrity. Students preparing for the practice of a profession are expected to conform to a code of integrity and ethical standards commensurate with the high expectations society places on practitioners of a learned profession. No student may seek to gain an unfair advantage over another. The Code of Academic Honesty is explained in the IIT Student Handbook and all students are expected to know and adhere to this code.


NAAB Student Performance Criteria (2014) for this studio:

The NAAB criteria are designed to serve accreditation teams when they evaluate programs, but they can also serve as an itemized list of studio objectives and goals. They are included here to explain the studio aims. The full list can be found at the NAAB website. The criteria encompass two levels of accomplishment: Understanding—The capacity to classify, compare, summarize, explain and/or interpret information. Ability—Proficiency in using specific information to accomplish a task, correctly selecting the appropriate information, and accurately applying it to the solution of a specific problem, while also distinguishing the effects of its implementation.


Realm A: Critical Thinking and Representation:

A.1  Professional Communication Skills: Ability to write and speak effectively and use representational media appropriate for both within the profession and with the general public.

A.2  Design Thinking Skills: Ability to raise clear and precise questions, use abstract ideas to interpret information, consider diverse points of view, reach well-reasoned conclusions, and test alternative outcomes against relevant criteria and standards.

A.3  Investigative Skills: Ability to gather, assess, record, and comparatively evaluate relevant information and performance in order to support conclusions related to a specific project or assignment.

A.4  Architectural Design Skills: Ability to effectively use basic formal, organizational and environmental principles and the capacity of each to inform two- and three-dimensional design.

A.5  Ordering Systems: Ability to apply the fundamentals of both natural and formal ordering systems and the capacity of each to inform two- and three- dimensional design.

A.6  Use of Precedents: Ability to examine and comprehend the fundamental principles present in relevant precedents and to make informed choices about the incorporation of such principles into architecture and urban design projects.

A.7  History and Global Culture: Understanding of the parallel and divergent histories of architecture and the cultural norms of a variety of indigenous, vernacular, local, and regional settings in terms of their political, economic, social, ecological, and technological factors.

A.8  Cultural Diversity and Social Equity: Understanding of the diverse needs, values, behavioral norms, physical abilities, and social and spatial patterns that characterize different cultures and individuals and the responsibility of the architect to ensure equity of access to sites, buildings, and structures.


Realm B: Building Practices, Technical Skills, and Knowledge.

B.1  Pre-Design: Ability to prepare a comprehensive program for an architectural project that includes an assessment of client and user needs; an inventory of spaces and their requirements; an analysis of site conditions (including existing buildings); a review of the relevant building codes and standards, including relevant sustainability requirements, and an assessment of their implications for the project; and a definition of site selection and design assessment criteria.

B.2  Site Design: Ability to respond to site characteristics, including urban context and developmental patterning, historical fabric, soil, topography, ecology, climate, and building orientation, in the development of a project design.

B.3. Codes and Regulations: Ability to design sites, facilities, and systems that are responsive to relevant codes and regulations, and include the principles of life-safety and accessibility standards.

B.4  Technical Documentation: Ability to make technically clear drawings, prepare outline specifications, and construct models illustrating and identifying the assembly of materials, systems, and components appropriate for a building design.

B.5  Structural Systems: Ability to demonstrate the basic principles of structural systems and their ability to withstand gravitational, seismic, and lateral forces, as well as the selection and application of the appropriate structural system.

B.6  Environmental Systems: Ability to demonstrate the principles of environmental systems’ design, how design criteria can vary by geographic region, and the tools used for performance assessment. This demonstration must include active and passive heating and cooling, solar geometry, daylighting, natural ventilation, indoor air quality, solar systems, lighting systems, and acoustics.

B.7  Building Envelope Systems and Assemblies: Understanding of the basic principles involved in the appropriate selection and application of building envelope systems relative to fundamental performance, aesthetics, moisture transfer, durability, and energy and material resources.

B.8  Building Materials and Assemblies: Understanding of the basic principles used in the appropriate selection of interior and exterior construction materials, finishes, products, components, and assemblies based on their inherent performance, including environmental impact and reuse.

B.9  Building Service Systems: Understanding of the basic principles and appropriate application and performance of building service systems, including lighting, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, communication, vertical transportation, security, and fire protection systems.

B.10  Financial Considerations: Understanding of the fundamentals of building costs, which must include project financing methods and feasibility, construction cost estimating, construction scheduling, operational costs, and life-cycle costs. 



Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with documented disabilities.  In order to receive accommodations, students must obtain a letter of accommodation from the Center for Disability Resources. The Center for Disability Resources (CDR) is located in Life Sciences Room 218, telephone 312 567.5744 or