Contact Us
Growth and Structure of Cities Program
Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Ave.
Bryn Mawr. PA 19010-2899
Phone: 610-526-5334
Fax: 610-526-7955

Introduction to Architectural Design

An introduction to the principles  of architectural and urban design

Class time: Tuesday evenings 7:30 - 9:30pm
Location: Rockefeller Studio - Bryn Mawr College

Prerequisites: The prerequisites are flexible, but you will do best if you have taken 190 Form of the City, 253 Survey of Western Architecture or 254 History of Modern Architecture. (It is possible to take 253/254 simultaneously with the class) Foundation in Art at Haverford or equivalent. You must obtain permission of the instructor. 

Course Objectives:

  1. To establish a basis for developing architectural design skills.
  2. To offer beginning-level architectural drawing instruction to those  interested in working on a portfolio.
  3. To offer insight into the concerns of the architect for those interested in  architectural history.

Course Description:

In this class will be  given a series of design exercises ranging in length from one to five weeks. The issues of human dimension, scale, proportion, function, context, structure, style, beauty, and symbolism will be addressed within the limits of each  problem.

Class time will be spent primarily in group discussion and criticism of your  work. Tuesday nights will be reserved for individual critiques. You will work  one-on-one with one of your instructors for approximately fifteen minutes. These critiques are extremely important and it is mandatory that you attend. Friday  afternoons the class will meet together as a group to discuss the work you have been doing. On the days that projects are due, there will be a final "jury" or  presentation. For three of the projects, outside critics will be invited to  discuss your work. This is to ensure that a diversity of opinion and approach is  presented to you.

Through drawing, discussion, and criticism, a common architectural vocabulary will be established. The particular issues raised by  each design problem will be thoroughly investigated. Readings will augment the  class, though they will not be emphasized. We will suggest sources for you to investigate if it relates to something you are working on.

While learning basic design in the classroom, you will be encouraged to increase your awareness  of your surrounding. Gaining an understanding of what is wonderful about  American space and buildings will be underlying emphasis of the course. The rich architecture of Philadelphia and its suburbs will serve as the primary source for examples.

The Readings:

This book may be a good elementary reference:

Architectural Graphics 2nd Edition, by Francis D.K.  Ching.
Van Nostrum Reinholdt; Florence, Kentucky

You will be referred to other sources as they relate to specific issues in your personal design orientation.