ARCH 1101 – Introduction to Architecture

Course Number: ARCH 1101 – OL50

Course Title: Introduction to Architecture

Course Description: This course provides a foundation for students entering the BArch | BTech program to develop a “visual literacy” of the built environment. Students explore concepts of design, composition, and construction in the context of the city through their direct experience of buildings. By practicing the basic skills of drafting, sketching, and reading about buildings, and with the opportunity to present their understanding to others through written assignments and verbal presentations, students will develop methods of representing and presenting architecture verbally and graphically.

Credits / Hours: 2 credits / 4 lab hours

Section Number: OL50

Pre/Co-requisites: Co-requisites: ENG 1101 (ARCH1112 recommended for Arch Tech/BArch majors)

Class Meetings

Online Space(s):

Class Meetings: On Zoom; Link will be emailed prior to class

Faculty Contact Info

Professor(s) Name:

  • Lynn Gernert
  • email:
  • I will answer your email as quickly as I can, within 24 hours; max. 48 hours

Online Office Hours/Information:

  • Mondays 1:30-2:30pm and Thursdays 2:00-3:00pm
  • Please email me for appointment and zoom link

Learning Outcomes

General Education Learning Outcomes / Assessment Methods
Learning OutcomesAssessment Methods
Upon successful completion of this course the student shall be able to:To evaluate the students’ achievement of the learning objectives, the professor will do the following:
Develop Knowledge from the range of architectural disciplinary perspectives presented in the course.Review student observations of site visits and lectures and assess written, graphic and oral reports.
Utilize Skills and demonstrate knowledge needed to facilitate communication and critical thinking.Assess student research and critical thinking abilities by monitoring weekly progress of lab work and readings.
Integrate knowledge and work productively to communicate ideas through oral, graphic and written media.Assess the students’ ability to integrate and communicate through peer and juried review of student presentations.
Course Intended Learning Outcomes / Assessment Methods
Learning OutcomesAssessment Methods
Upon successful completion of this course the student shall be able to:To evaluate the students’ achievement of the learning objectives, the professor will do the following:
Observe with a critical eye and engage in discussion on the subject of the course.Review student observationsand Assess the quality of critical thinking and contributions to discussions during oral and graphic presentations.
Research and investigate deeply into a given subject so as to contribute to the growth of knowledge.Assess student research abilities through written and graphic materials.
Synthesize and Apply what is learned to synthesize understanding and to complete assignments given in the class.Assess students’ ability to synthesize and apply what is learned from lab work and through the grading of assignments.
Communicate effectively through presentations to the class using written oral and graphic media.Assess the students’ ability to effectively present and communicate what is learned on a given subject.
Communicate effectively using a vocabulary developed throughout the course.Assess the students’ use of professional vocabulary during quizzes, oral presentations and written assignments.

Teaching/Learning Methods

  • This course combines class discussions on key topics and readings, and sketching and technical drawing labs.
  • Students are required to maintain a sketchbook for both note-taking during class and readings; and for their in class and homework sketches.
  • Students are introduced to and develop proficiency in basic architectural drawings through lab demonstrations and by drafting architectural drawings to scale.

Technology Requirements

  • Students need access to a device for video conference participation during class meetings and for office hours on Zoom.
  • Students need to set up a drawing work surface that will accommodate an 11″x17″ drawing size. Students may use a parallel bar, t-square or rolling ruler.
  • The course Supplies List includes a sketchbook, pencils, mechanical pencil, architectural scale, and triangle; list will be clarified during the first class.


Please see the Course Outline on the Schedule page.

  • Schedule may be altered at times during the semester; updates will be clarified during class meetings and in assignments.

Grading Policy

Project 1 – Small Building: 15%

Midterm: 20%

Project 2 – House Section: 10%

Urban Design Project: 15%

Final Project: 30%

Homework Problems: 10%

Class Etiquette & Netiquette

Students are expected to attend all class sessions fully. It is preferred, but not required, for students to have video turned on throughout the class. I believe we build a better, more engaging community together when we can see each other during class. Students are expected to manage their audio so as to avoid background noise and other distractions during class.


Excessive absences will be reflected in the student’s final grade at the discretion of the instructor, due to lack of class participation and mastery of course material. For the purposes of record, two late arrivals are considered as one absence.

Academic Integrity Policy

Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting and citation of sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the college recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension and expulsion. More information about the College’s policy on Academic Integrity may be found in the College Catalog

Course Resources

  • Required readings will be online at no cost to students and made available during the semester in the Resources section on OpenLab.
  • Recommended text: Francis Ching, Architecture: Form, Space, and Order. Wiley Publishing.  This is a good foundation text that students can also use in their design courses.
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