Thank you for all your hard work! I need you guys to make revisions and finish things up, and post a link to Dropbox on OpenLab before Friday at midnight so I can give you a grade.

The weak point for most people was in the 2d drawings. Make sure you have these finished, and that your plans have spaces labelled, etc. As many of you found, it is very hard for the jury to talk about your project when we don’t have this basic level of documentation to understand your proposal.

Finish your renderings – get people in them and make sure you are depicting what you are proposing.

Finally, please photograph all your models if you haven’t already, and get those images on your boards.

Thank you – and have a great summer!

For final presentation, Wednesday 5/24:

All boards should be landscape format, 24×36. Please print Boards #1, #3, #4 for Monday!

Board #1: Site Process

  • (3) site diagrams (no scale)
  • Existing site photographs – choose a few that you think are important
  • Section drawings of vehicular and pedestrian path – make sure to label these!

Board #2: Site Design

  • Exterior Renderings
  • Site Plan – use at least 1″:50′, show scale and North arrow

Board #3: Climate Data and Facade Design

  • Climate Data – make sure these are labelled and readable
  • Unfolded Facade diagrams – color-coded ‘flattened’ model
  • (4) Climate/ Performance diagrams:  daylighting: windows and skylights, summer ventilation, passive solar: winter sun exposure, summer sun blocking, views
  • Photos of lasercut facade iteration models

Board #4: Interior Design

  • Bubble diagrams of program, color-coded for private, semi-public and public, with circulation shown
  • Diagram showing massing process – show how you generated your base iterations
  • Photographs of 3d-printed initial models

Board #5: Line Drawings and Interior Renderings

  • Plans, Sections and Elevations at 1/16″ = 1′ scale
  • at least (2) interior renderings


  • initial 3d-printed iterations
  • initial facade iterations lasercut models
  • final facade design lasercut model
  • final site model

For Monday, 5/8:

Lasercut a small site model to show your site design. Start with a scale of 1″ = 50′, and see how much material is required.

Before you start to lay out the site model for cutting, you need to finish the site design. Small changes to the topography can be made using the control points to the site surface (F10). Hard-lined cutouts will need to be made with boolean difference – extrude the site surface first to create a solid. If your building is set into the site, you will need to make a cutout that your building model can fit into.

Use the contour command to slice the site surface into outlines to be cut on the laser cutter. Use a 2′-0″ spacing between contours – this corresponds roughly to layers of 2-ply museum board or chipboard.

You will also need to think about making a simplified model of your structures to place on the site model. This is an ideal application for 3d printing, but be sure to get into the print queue this weekend, so you have some hope of getting your model by finals.

For Wednesday, 5/3:

Make three line drawings of the site, using curves and patterns from your building iterations. These are strictly 2d – don’t worry about assigning the lines to specific features.

Using parts (or all) of these three drawings that you like, make a design for the site. You should include all elements that you need – driveways, walkways, parking, common space, planting.

Upload PDFs of the three drawings and your finished site plan to Openlab before class.

For Monday, 5/1:

Facade Design

  1. Unfold models for both Common and Typical unit. This is the same thing we did earlier with facade iterations – keep the pieces together and arrange them so that you can still make sense of the form from the flattened version.
  2. Color-code flattened model based on requirements you have determined in your environmental diagrams:
    • Transparent (allows vision and sunlight)
    • Translucent (allows sunlight only)
    • Screen (does not block weather, but reduces vision and sunlight)
    • Opaque A
    • Opaque B (solid – divide your facade into two types of solid materials. You can start thinking about what these materials might be)
  3. Design surfaces and openings. You will need to work back and forth between 3d and 2d here – make decisions on size, shape and pattern. If the surface is transparent, does this mean a framed opening or openings, or is the whole thing a transparent material (like a curtain wall)?
  4. Update your 2d elevation drawings from your 3d model.
  5. Make a lasercut model for the Common unit and for the Typical unit. The focus of this model is material differences, so feel free to mix it up or to use different materials to make your point.

For Monday, 4/24:

Finish your drawings (plans, sections and elevations) for your individual unit and for the Common Unit.

You will use these drawings as a background for several diagrams describing your approach to the following environmental factors:

  • daylighting: windows and skylights
  • Summer ventilation
  • passive solar: winter sun exposure, summer sun blocking
  • views

With each of these diagrams write a short paragraph describing your design strategy.

Post your diagrams on the blog before class.

For Wednesday, 3/5:

Midterm Review Order (Groups of Three or Four):

Group 1: Berkay, Pooja, Melissa

Group 2: Cristian A, Daniel, Randy

Group 3: Jean, Julio, Zelene

Group 4: Stephanie, Jaden, Scarlett

Group 5: Fareez, Naomi, Kristian L

Please be printed and ready today – remember, your group cannot go until everybody is ready. Bring everything you have – models, the three boards, if there are additional things you have drawn or made during your process, bring it in, no matter how rough. Good luck!

For Monday, 3/3:

We’re working up to our midterm review on Wednesday.

You need to make plans, sections and elevations for your chosen iteration. Aim for a 1/16th = 1′ scale on your sheets, and lay them out on a 24×36 sheet. In addition, lay out and print at least a rough draft of the other sheets you will need. Here is the breakdown (all 24×36 sheets):

Sheet 1: Climate data, selected site photos. Print this in color.

Sheet 2: Site plan and site section. This should be black-and-white. Make the site plan as large as possible on the sheet (possible scales are 1″ = 50′, or 1″ = 100′). Make sure you have a graphic scale and a north arrow (there are examples you can use on the Illustrator template). Put the site section on the bottom of the page, a heavy line with light grey poche below it extending to the bottom of the page.

Sheet 3: Plans, sections and elevations – also black-and-white.

Make sure you have all your models done.

For Wednesday, 3/29:

You will make a “bubble diagram” of your program and print out on 11×17 (color) to pin up. Make circles in Rhino corresponding to the minimum program areas listed in the project #2 description. Start arranging them – if the circles are touching, it means they have a direct connection to each other. Identify where the main entrance will be, and think about other factors like availability of sunlight, privacy, views, single-height or double-height spaces, etc. Once you have an initial layout, resize your chosen iteration until it is roughly large enough to accommodate the program. Use make2d to make a drawing showing your mass on the site, with the bubble diagram on top. In Illustrator, color-code the bubble diagram according to private, public and semi-public, and show the internal circulation using the same colors we used for the precedent diagrams.

Repeat the same process for the mass with the shared/community program. If you need to use more than one level, identify a location for stairs and elevator, and show the upper floor directly below the ground floor.

For Monday, 3/27:

You will build (3) models of (1) of your iterations (three different models in total).

Once you have completely boolean’d your object, use extractsrf and then join to group faces together that will unroll/unfold together. Scale your model so that the result will be the size to hold in your hand. Use unrollsrf to unroll/unfold each piece.

You are going to make three iterations of transparent areas (cutouts) on your unrolled models. Treat this as a graphic (2d) design exercise – don’t think too much about program or habitation – just make three different approaches to solid v. transparent surfaces.

Lasercut (or cut by hand) – use fairly thin material, 2-ply museum board or Bristol (best), 2-ply chipboard (less best), and assemble them for Monday.

For Wednesday, 3/22:

Prepare for pinup a 24×36 sheet with your chosen site layout and circulation path. Write a paragraph describing your proposal, and be ready to explain it in class. Include any data from Climate Consultant that you think is important to make your case.

For Monday, 3/20:

Work on your 3d prints – the filament is now in the fabrication lab, you should be able to get it by asking a CLT.

Tutorial for getting your model ready is here.

For Wednesday, 3/15:

Part I: Create a 2d diagram describing your chosen site arrangement. This is similar to your earlier massing diagrams (except it is in ‘plan’ form): keep it simple and boil it down to the important moves you are making. Identify any site features that you feel are important – you can use Google Earth and the photographs of the site to get a feeling of different parts of the property. Include a site section that corresponds to your chosen layout – figure out a way to identify correspondences between the section cut and the diagram.

Part II: You are going to do an Accessibility Assessment of your path from exiting the bus or subway station that you take to get to school to reaching the 8th floor. Enter your notes on this form:

For Wednesday, 3/8:

Continue working on your formal iterations. Make sure you have a “family” of versions of your initial objects, so when you multiply them they are not necessarily all the same. Remember that you don’t know what scale these shapes are, and that you don’t know which direction is up. Look at them from different 2d views, in elevation, in plan – are they much more interesting from only one view? How can you use the rules to create variation from other views?

Create at least (5) more iterations, either completely new or versions of your initial five, and post them to the blog before class.


11 Week Project (70% of final grade)

DESCRIPTION The objective of this project is for students to develop and apply a design intention to a built structure with a small program. Students will be expected to develop a logic between the interior and exterior of the project. Particular attention will be paid to the layout of the interior spaces. Sustainable design features will be addressed and considered.

SITE A conceptual site in Woodstock, NY will be provided.

PROCESS Students will develop a concept to apply to the design of a cluster of five houses for one or two seniors each, and shared common space for guests and recreation. Students will research sustainable design features that might be considered in the design of the houses. The design should incorporate a coherent relationship between interior and exterior spaces.

PROGRAM You have been asked to design a cluster of houses for a co-housing development of five senior couples in the woods.

What is Co-housing?

Cohousing is an intentional community of private homes clustered around shared space. Each attached or single family home has traditional amenities, including a private kitchen. Shared spaces typically feature a common house, which may include a large kitchen and dining area, laundry, and recreational spaces. Shared outdoor space may include parking, walkways, open space, and gardens. Neighbors also share resources like tools and lawnmowers.

Households have independent incomes and private lives, but neighbors collaboratively plan and manage community activities and shared spaces. The legal structure is typically an HOA, Condo Association, or Housing Cooperative. Community activities feature regularly-scheduled shared meals, meetings, and workdays. Neighbors gather for parties, games, movies, or other events. Cohousing makes it easy to form clubs, organize child and elder care, and carpool.

What is Senior Co-housing?

Senior cohousing is distinguished from standard cohousing in being designed by and for seniors who would prefer to live without the excitement of young families, and with designs that assist them living independently for as long as possible. Senior-friendly can refer to either multi-generational or seniors only communities. They both modify the cohousing model to create physical and social environments that allow people to flourish as they get older.

Cohousing opens up new alternatives for seniors to take control of the inevitable, to live as independently as possible, as long as possible. Cohousing living arrangements support individual’s well-being physically, socially, and emotionally, and offers aging adults a way to live among people with whom they share a common bond of age and experience—an entirely new way to house themselves with dignity, independence, safety, mutual concern, and fun.

Active seniors like the idea of planning and managing their neighborhood and their own care, living with others of like mind, being close to old friends, and knowing that physical and social needs will be met in their last quadrant of life.

A Rhino file with the site can be found here, along with pictures of the site, and a site survey.

The full program, including structural requirements, can be found here.

For Monday, 3/6:

For class, you will create (5) different formal iterations:

  1. Start with a 2d profile (a curve or polyline), and extrude it into a solid – keep things pretty simple.
  2. Make a second profile, and extrude it into a solid as well.
  3. Combine these two solids using one of the following methods:
    1. Boolean (union, difference or intersection): overlap the two shapes, and either add, subtract or take the intersection of them.
    2. Stacking – place one on top of the other, touching but not overlapping.
  4. Now take your combined shape and multiply it using one of the following operations – you can also go back to the first three steps to create more variations:
    1. Field and Variation – repeat the shapes in an x-y grid. Is every copy the same, or are they different? If they are different, how are they related? What sort of variations can be created just by rotating and scaling the objects? Is every cell filled, or are some empty? Is every cell the same size, or do they vary in size? Is the grid rectangular, or does it flow? Make sure you know the rules you are making up for your system.
    2. Series and Variation – repeat the shapes along a path. Is every copy the same, or are they different? If they are different, how are they related? What sort of variations can be created just by rotating and scaling the objects? Is every space filled, or are some empty? Is every cell the same size, or do they vary in size? Is the path angular, or does it curve? Make sure you know the rules you are making up for your system.
    3. Puzzle Pieces – invent a way that your pieces can fit together like a puzzle. Is every piece the same, or is there variation? What sort of variations can be created just by rotating and scaling the objects? Is every space filled, or are some empty?

Finally, document your (5) iterations in a similar way that we created our massing diagrams – choose a camera view, and use Make2d to show the steps that you used to build each iteration. Choose the camera view carefully – you may need to switch views at the final step, but see if you can lead us through the rules that you have invented.

For Wednesday, 2/29:

You will print the following 24×36 sheets for pin-up:

  • all plans
  • circulation diagram
  • massing diagram
  • interior rendering
  • climate data

In addition, you will lay out the following in a letter-size booklet (template here) – make sure to export as “facing” pages and don’t export the first page. (Also, replace the red boxes with your own work)

  • all plans
  • circulation diagram
  • massing diagram
  • interior rendering
  • climate data

Make sure you are using the correct fonts. Post a link to a PDF of the booklet before class, and print it and your 24×36 boards.

For Monday, 2/27:

You will make a diagrams out of your floor plans, showing the following:

  • internal and external circulation
  • private, semi-public and public space
  • structural elements and structural grid

You must use the Illustrator template provided  hereIf you use a Mac for your work, you need to use this template – the fonts will not work correctly otherwise. Pay attention to the colors used, the lineweights, arrows, etc. Post a version of your diagram before class to get credit.

For Wednesday, 2/22:

Please arrange your drawings on 24×36 sheets with the revised massing diagrams and print before class. Try to get them at 1/16″ = 1′, if they don’t fit either double the scale to 1/8″ or half it to 1/32″.

For Friday, 2/17:

Please post your revised 2d drawings to Openlab, with the revised massing diagrams.

For Wednesday, 2/15:

2D Drawings

You will need to have the following drawings from your Rhino model:

  • (4) Elevations – remember to show the ground cut-line in a heavy lineweight, nothing else should be cut.
  • (2) Sections – chose two key sections from your house. At least one should show stairs or other means of getting from floor to floor.
  • Plans, including a roof plan

Arrange your drawings in Illustrator on one or more 24×36 sheets – you should start with 1/8″ = 1′, but you may need to reduce the drawings to 1/16″ = 1′ to get them to fit.

Here is the procedure for getting your drawings:

Elevation – make sure you are in a “side” or “front” view, it must not be a perspective view! Select your geometry and use Make2d to create a 2D projection of the view. Make sure that hidden lines are not selected, and that “keep source layers” is selected. Group the output as soon as possible, so you can keep that drawing together.

Section – again, make sure you are in a 2D view. Use the Clippingplane tool to create a clipping plane. Remember to check the properties of the clipping plane  object so that it is visible in the section view. When you find the section that you want, go to the top view and use the section command to get the section lines at the location of your section. Put these lines on a separate layer called “section”. Now go to your side view, select your geometry, and use Make2d to create the base view. Now select the lines created by the section command and use Make2d to project those lines. Make sure the two sets of lines are aligned, and group them together.

Plan – this is the same as the Section, except cut in the Top view rather than a side view. The difference is that your cut should be 4′ above the floor level.

When you have all your drawings, export them to Illustrator as an AI file. Chose the scale that you want when you export – you can always scale them by 50% in Illustrator if you need.

Post a JPG of your board on the blog, and have your PDF ready so we can look at them on the screen in class. If you have not posted the other assignments, you must post them before the next class to get credit!

For Wednesday, 2/8:

Lay out your Climate Consultant data on a single 24×36 sheet, and post to Openlab.

Finish your Rhino model, and post your completed massing diagram to Openlab (if you have not done so).

A tutorial for using Climate Consultant can be found here.

02 Rhino modelling and Massing Diagram

For Monday, 2/6:

Model your precedent house in Rhino. Pay attention to the following:

  • Use solid modelling whenever possible. When you extrude a wall, for example, the result should say “closed polysurface” under the properties when you select it. This will allow you to use booleans and the wirecut command to make more complex shapes out of simple ones.
  • Use layers as much as possible. This will allow you to turn objects on and off to more easily work on the model.
  • Use the pictureframe command to bring in an image of a plan or elevation (for example) and the scale command to properly scale it. Make sure to set the units before you start modelling!

I would like you to make a series of simple diagrams showing the massing decisions that were made in designing the house.

  • Use simple shapes, just enough detail to get your point across.
  • Keep as much the same (scale, elements, graphic style) in each step of the diagram – what changes should be what you’re trying to show.
  • Make sure to change the perspective camera to parallel under the view properties.
  • Use namedview to save your view when when you find the camera view that you like.
  • Again, use layers to organize your modelling, so each step is in the same place in the camera view.
  • Model your arrows in Rhino.
  • Use make2d to make a 2d projection of your camera views. Remember to set “Maintain Source Layers” and to only check “Hidden Lines” if you need them in the drawing.
  • When you have all of the diagram steps and have arranged them, select those drawings in Rhino and export as an .AI (or Illustrator) file. You should now be able to open the drawings in Illustrator. Adjust the lineweights, add any additional lines or fills you feel the diagrams need, add brief explanatory text (use the fonts in the Illustrator template) and export to PDF  and PNG. Post the PNG  file before class as a new post on this blog.

01 Introduction to Project 01

Mon 1/30 Class: Course Introduction

Discussion: Precedent Studies
CLT: In-class tutorial on preparing presentation boards in InDesign

Assignment: Precedent Study- Part 01

Prepare a precedent study on a house from the list below that will be assigned to you. Research the architect and the house and understand the architect’s design concept and the layout of the house. In your presentation be sure to include the architect, year the house was built, location, square footage, design concept, sustainable design principles, sketches, plans, sections, elevations, 3d views and photos. Be able to explain why the house was designed the way it was and locate all of the major spaces in the house.

  • How did the location of the house (urban/rural, cold climate/warm climate) effect the design of the house?
  • What sort of formal methods do you think the architect used to come up with the form of your house?
  • Who do you think was the client for the house? What can you tell about them from the design of the house?
  • How do you think our concept of home has changed from when the house was designed?

Format on 24×36 sheets and post a link on Open Lab. You can find an InDesign template for your use here and an Illustrator template here.
PRINT and prepare to present the assignment in next class.


1. Andrew Geller: Hunt House/ Pearlroth House/ Elkin House

2. Charles Moore: Sea Ranch Condominiums

3. MOS Architects: Museum of Outdoor Arts Element House

4. Charles Lazor/ Blu Dot: Flat Pack home

5. Charles and Ray Eames: Case Study House

6. LoTek: Weiner Townhouse

7. Jean Prouve: Maison Tropicale

8. Loblolly house, Maryland US, by Kieran Timberlake Architect

9. Y House, Steven Holl

10. Lambert House, Richard Meier

11. Tower House- Peter Gluck

12. Delta Shelter, Olson Kundig

13. Simpson Lee House, Glenn Murcott

14. Seasonless House / Casos de Casas, Castelló Spain, by Irene Castrillo Carreira y Mauro Gil-Fournier Esquerra Arquitectos

15. Le Corbusier: Maison Cook

16. Barnes House: Patkau Architects

17. UNStudio: Moebius House

18. Mies Van Der Rohe: Tugendhat House

19. Curtain Wall House, Tokyo Japan, by Shigeru Ban

20. Enric Miralles, Benedetta Tagliabue: House in La Clota

Tools: Adobe InDesign

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