Course Materials

Department of Architectural Technology                                                Spring 2020






                       3 lecture hours, 3 credits

The old comparable course was ARCH 3561 Architectural Office Management. Degree audits may show either number or title.

 Barbara Smith Mishara                                                     

I am available for discussions and additional help.

Office Hours: Tuesdays 10 am – 2pm and by appointment. My schedule varies; email me to confirm I’m available. Of course, you are welcome to drop-in any time. My “office” is located in V205-207.

 Course Description: The course will provide an overview of basic business practices found in an architectural office, applying the principles, understanding the reasoning and offering examples in everyday office situations.  The course will provide a comprehensive look at architectural practice, with emphasis on the management of firms and projects.  The course is designed to help the student with an understanding of the everyday realities of practice and to help prepare for licensure.

Prerequisites: Building Technology IV ARCH 3531(old ARCH 2430) with a grade of C or higher

Required Texts:

Paul Segal, Professional Practice: A Guide to Turning Designs into Buildings, Norton, 2006. [ISBN 0393731804] This book is mandatory. It is available new from Amazon for $ 21.95 (paperback) and as a Kindle e-book. An older edition is acceptable; the page numbers might vary.

Recommended Texts/References

The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice [Student Edition], published by the AIA Press, 1996. [ISBN #1558351396] This May be out of print, but available in the library and used

 Architect’s Professional Practice Manual, by James R. Franklin, McGraw Hill Companies, Inc., 2000. [ISBN #0071358366]

 Writing for Design Professionals, by Stephen A. Kliment, W.W. Norton & Company, 1998. [ISBN # 0393730263]

Class Participation Policy:

No more than 10% absences are permitted during the semester. For the purposes of record, two late arrivals are considered as one absence. Exceeding this limit will expose the student to failing at the discretion of the instructor due to lack of class participation and mastery of class material.

If you arrive after I take attendance, remind me, at the end of the class, to mark you present. Otherwise, I will mark you absent. If you leave during the break, you will be marked absent for the entire class.

Participation in class discussions is an important aspect of this course.

Academic Integrity: 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.

Course Structure: Course format will include a combination of the following activities:


Lectures will be given by a qualified instructor and possibly invited guest experts on the weekly topic.

  • Activities:

Students will participate in class discussions, and work in teams to apply the knowledge and concepts to the formation, marketing, and management a conjectural architectural firm. Individual and group work will be posted on Open Lab, our digital platform.

  • Research Activities:

Students will be given directed readings and be required to correlate their readings with the class activities and assignments. Supplemental research will be encouraged to promote a greater analytical and critical understanding.

  • Presentations:

Students will participate in written, oral and graphic presentation of course subjects and issues identified through their reading, writing, and lab work.

Course electronic tools:


  • I will use Blackboard to post course documents like this syllabus and links to articles. I will also use it to post announcements, so verify you can receive e-mails from the Blackboard site. .

Open Lab

  • This is City Tech’s digital platform. Our blogging and collaboration will occur here.
  • If you are not a member, go to and join Open Lab.
  • Then find our class site “ARCH 4861 Professional Practice Spring 2020” and sign up as a member in the course.
  • I would appreciate it if you included your image in your profile. You do not have to use your name as a handle. However, the site is public. If you don’t want your photo available, include another image or graphic.
  • The assignments on the Open Lab web site will be written and at times will include images and graphics. Some assignments will be subjective; there is no right or wrong- only a lack of clarity or ideas unsupported by facts. Other assignments will require factual information.
  • Regard the site as a professional forum. Use sentences, punctuation and spell check.
  • I encourage you to write your piece in Word and then copy and paste it into the site.
  • Categorize your posting properly. If you submit it in the wrong category or in uncategorized, I may not give you credit.
  • Generally assignments will be due on Mondays by 6 pm and comments by Tuesdays 12 noon. Some projects will be ongoing.
  • Work submitted late will receive a lower grade based on the amount of time it is late. There will be no penalty if an assignment is submitted within one week of the due date. After this time, the penalties will be severe. However it is better to hand in work at any time. Any points are better than 0!
  • No question is dumb. If I don’t know the answer, another student might be helpful or I will find someone who knows the answer.

Course assignments:

  1. Blog

You will be required to write and post assignments on the Open Lab web site. See specific assignments for required word count. The intent of this blog is to encourage your reflection on issues we have discussed in class, to foster your integration of knowledge and practice and to give you an opportunity to use professional terms and concepts. Topics will be announced weekly. You will be graded on

  • Format and mechanics
  • Language
  • Communication
  • Use of references and professional terms and concepts
  • Analysis/ synthesis

We will discuss the rubric or grading criteria in class. You will have a one week grace period after the due date to post the material. After this time, there will be severe penalties for lateness. I urge you to keep up with the assignments. You always have the opportunity to revise your work. Do not remove the original post. Submit another one with the same title and the notation “revised”.

When the topic is announced, I will also give you the category under which to post. The title of your post should be unique and reflect what you have written. I have listed some tags, but you are free to add additional ones.

  1. Blog summary

At the end of the semester, I will ask you to gather all your blog posts into one Word document. You might wish to add transitional sentences between posts. This is to be submitted in a paper version and emailed to me. Name the file “your last name_blog 4861_2020 1 Spring”

3. There will be three take home exams

 4. Each student will submit a resume, “elevator pitch” and seven year life plan. Submit the final versions to me via email. Name the files with your last name_resume, your last name_elevator pitch, your last name_seven year plan. I will not accept and return any work that does not follow this format.

 5. A group research project and presentation. We will discuss this in class.



Weekly Course Outline
UNIT 1 The Architect

January 29  Week 1:

Course Introduction, Requirements, Objectives, Policies and Outline

Overview of the Building Industry and Architectural Profession

Reading: Segal, p 11-29

These articles may be of interest.

“Why Architecture?” NCARB, 14 May 2018,

Deutsch, Randy. “107 Reasons Why You, Architect, Matter?” Life of an Architect, 5 Jul. 2011,

Doroteo, Jan. “9 Reasons to Become an Architect.” ArchDaily, 24 Aug. 2016,

“Careers in Architecture.” NCARB, 14 May 2018,

Zilliacus, Ariana. “21 Careers You Can Pursue With A Degree in Architecture.” ArchDaily, 7 Nov. 2016,

Hubbard, Brandon. “10 Potential Career Paths within Architecture.” The Architects Guide, 21 Jan. 2017,

Ahmed, Yosra M. “7 Types of Architects and What They Do.” Arch20, 30 Apr. 2018,

 Assignment: Sign into our Open Lab site. Post 300 words on what position you would like in the building industry.  Category: dream job

 February 4 Week 2:

Architectural Licensure / Registration and the AXP Program

Parties in the Construction Industry

Reading: Segal, p 11-34

February 12  College closed for Lincoln’s birthday

February 19 Week 3:

Owner /Architect Agreements and Architects’ Services

Reading: Segal, pp47-72

American Institute of Architects, AIA Document B101 – 2017 Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect, 2017,

Assignment: Reflection on case study

February 26 Week 4:

Owner /Architect Agreements and Architects’ Services (cont)

Reading: as above


March 4  Week 5:

Fees and business terms of owner/architect agreement

Reading: Segal, pp 73-84

EXAM 1 Due Tuesday March 10 by 6 pm via email. Name file “your last name_exam 1”

 UNIT 2  The Construction Process

March 11  Week 6:

Project Delivery Methods and Contracting for Construction

Reading: Segal, pp 41-46, 90-102

American Institute of Architects, AIA Document A201-2017 General Conditions of the Contract for Construction, 2017,


March 18 Week 7:

Contracting for Construction

Reading: as above


March 25 Week 8:

Contracting for Construction (cont)

Reading: as above


April 1 Week 9:

Contracting for Construction

Reading: as above


 Tuesday, April 7 Week 10  (Classes follow a Wednesday schedule)

            Marketing Architectural Services

Reading: Segal, Chapter 3


EXAM 2  Due Tuesday April 21 by 6 pm via email. Name file “your last name_exam 2”

No class April 8 and April 15 Spring break

UNIT 3 Project Management Issues

April 22  Week 11:

Insurance and Legal Matters Dimensions, Professional Ethics, Codes and Regulations

Reading: Segal, pp 110 -116


April 29  Week 12:


Reading: Segal, Chapters 1 and 2


May 6 Week 13:


Reading: Segal, pp 118 – 127


 Exam 3 due Tuesday May 13 via email by 6 pm. Name file “your last name_exam 3”

May 14 Week 14: EXAM 3


May 20  Week 15: Student Presentations of Term Project

Enjoy the break!