Course Lists

Architectural Design Course List

Take a look at titles and descriptions for the Architecture Design department's courses offered.

AD 200 Integrated 3D Design

Develops basic design literacy and teaches basic problem solving methods and skills in preparation for tackling complex design problems in architecture, object and furniture design as well as numerous other areas of construction and fabrication, including sculpture, ceramics, packaging, environmental graphics etc. Students are introduced to a basic vocabulary of three-dimensional form making, space making and they learn to solve simple design problems methodically, with creativity and imagination. Design exercise are integrated with skill building assignments from concurrent courses in representation and fabrication methods.

AD 201 Methods

Coordinated with AD's Fall Sophomore studio, students are introduced to issues of representation, architectural drawing methods and modeling. Also, to shop techniques in wood, metal, plaster and other materials. Students will learn how best to match ideas and concepts with representational techniques.

AD 205 Structures

Focuses on questions of the structural and material integrity of buildings and other large constructions. Topics covered by the course will include the behavior of materials, analytic methods, and case studies. Students will follow course material in multiple media, including required texts as they conduct experiments, take field trips, complete group projects, make class presentations, and more. They will inquire as to what makes a given structure best able to hold itself and additional weight up without collapsing. The course will provide a basic grounding in the analytic and design methods known as statics and strengths of materials. Through a range of case studies and projects, students will develop their abilities to identify structural systems and design new structural strategies.

Prerequisite: AD 200

AD 210 Interior/Exterior

Expands on the set of core phenomenology of architecture introduced in the first semester and also expands the realms of meaning and complexity of the design projects. Students investigate the mechanisms by which spaces take on meaning and the relationships between art, space and architecture. From ideation to problem solving, students are guided to construct a framework of design process and practice that is rigorous, yet personal. The students conclude this course with a body of carefully crafted architectural drawings, scale models and documentation of their design process.

AD 211 Digital Envir &Drawing Methods

An introduction to creating digital drawings for architecture. Students learn to digitally draw and model, utilizing a wide variety of software including Adobe's Creative Suite, Autocad, SketchUp, Revit, Rhino, 3D Studio Max, and V-ray. In addition, students learn to use high end rendering plug-ins, and will develop an understanding of scale, lighting and materials in 3D environments.

AD 225 Emerging Practices

The critical practice lecture series is intended to introduce students to a broad range of contemporary art and design issues and practices. The series will include local, national and international speakers representing both emerging and established practices.

AD 230 Mind the Gap

This course takes students on a journey to chart the planting of 500,000 trees to help alleviate urban blight in Baltimore. Working with external partners, students gain invaluable skills in mapping data spatially and drafting actionable plans for measurable change. They learn to identify and deploy datasets to create overlays that pinpoint geographic hotspots of disinvestment and urban neglect. From these charts, they map out precise plans for the tree plantings, helping to turn the areas from barren concrete to luscious green. In this way, the course partakes of a radical new notion of greening for equity.

AD 251 Intro Architectural Design

In this introductory studio, students are immersed in the philosophies and strategies of solving three dimensional design problems in general and spatial design problems in particular. Students integrate multidisciplinary competencies they may already have with new design skills. Projects explore idea generation, concept realization in 2D and 3D media including basic orthographic drawings.

AD 300 Architecture Lab I

Urbanism and technology are the central themes of the Architectural Lab 1 studio. Students work on urban projects of intermediate scale that are public in nature and which demand close consideration of physical and social contexts. Beginning with detailed analyses of specific sites, students go on to develop programs and technically resolved architectural proposals for their sites. In developing their proposals, students address basic problems of light, circulation, materials, construction, and structure and learn to find creative solutions to each.

Prerequisite: AD 210

AD 310 Architecture Lab II

The City and culture are the central themes of the Architecture Lab II studio. This studio continues the introduction of increasingly complex architectural problems and more critically informed design strategies. Students learn to analyze cities as indexes of social, cultural, historic and political forces. Using Baltimore as a subject large scale design inquiry is initiated and elaborated through more detailed design exploration at the scale of the interior and exterior of inhabitable space. Research and mapping techniques, contemporary design strategies for sustainable urban environments and digital + physical modeling are among the skills that are introduced in this studio.

Prerequisite: AD 300

AD 311 Building Technology

Introduces current building technologies and industry standards. Students will study the structural, environmental and design issues involved is selecting and customizing building technologies. Although traditional building systems will be discussed, there will be an emphasis on current and emerging technologies.

AD 351 Materials and Fabrication

Explores the world of materials and the processes utilized in transforming them. It will address both traditional building materials and systems as well as new materials, technologies and emerging digital fabrication potentials. Students will engage in hands on building projects as well as research projects. Students will also gain a familiarity with the equipment and processes in MICA's digital fabrication (dFab) studio facilities.

Prerequisite: AD 210, or permission of instructor

AD 399 Special Topics in Arch Design

The learning objectives of this course will be geared toward a specific topic of current interest generally not covered in other courses in the department. The specific topic will be announced in the course schedule.

AD 400 Architecture Lab III

Independently driven creative work developed within a focused subject of inquiry and directed by architectural design questions. It is carried out through intensive research, study, and design explorations that culminate in a thoroughly developed architectural design proposition. It is also fully recorded in a final document. Students will develop a new level of competence and skill in independent research and the design outcomes of the research. Then they will be asked to define an area of interest and investigation that will lead to the definition of a thesis project through a thesis statement or proposal. The proposal sets into place the general topics and particular strategies according to which the student will work.

Prerequisite: AD 310

AD 401 Advanced Drawing Concepts

Studies how architectural drawings and models, as an autonomous art form, transcend the literal communication of information or what is commonly called 'the blue-print'. Students study precedents in architectural drawing and communication, follow readings in theories of projective drawing and study representational strategies that use the power of architectural drawing to raise questions and to reveal the Architect's critical intent. In addition, students will execute a series of class drawing assignments, which will in some cases supplement thesis design work conducted in AD 410.

Prerequisite: AD 400 Concurrent enrollment in AD 410 required

AD 410 Architectural Lab IV: Thesis

The final design studio of a student's career at the department is their thesis. Directed and critical prompts prior to the semester open the way for each student to identify individual areas of interest and to develop and focus of their thesis project. Students strive to achieve project complexity within a critically informed and creative design process, they are asked to exercise interdisciplinary thinking and demonstrate design outcomes at the most professional level they are capable.

Prerequisite: AD 400

AD 411 Professional Development

Focuses on career preparation and development in the field of architecture whether students wish to focus on continuing onto graduate school or if they wish to enter professional practice as an intern or junior project designer. The course will touch on topics such as portfolio preparation, interview techniques and these topics are discussed and explored with visiting speakers, and during visits to design firms and architecture offices in the city.

Prerequisite: AD 310