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Introduction to Desig

First Year Undergraduate Studio
New Jersey Institute of Technology

Successful learning requires curiosity, discipline, and precision. This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of architecture through the iterative process of making. The studio is conceived as a series of interrelated exercises that introduces them to a range of architectural issues, tools, and techniques, in order to increase their ability to visualize, communicate and execute their work. Each project provides students with an opportunity to synthesize the material and the technical within the arena of cultural practice, and focuses on a shared work ethic that situates technology at the core of our design thinking. By the end of the semester, students have a clear understanding of architectural composition and craft, along with an awareness of the issues that are central to both the profession and the discipline.

(Work by Estela Portugal, Elias Semaan, Patrycja Ptak, and Valeria Vivero)

Exercise 1, Silhouette to Volume: Students create a three dimensional volume through the extrusion of two dimensional silhouettes, to develop a basic understanding of architectural massing and exterior.

(Work by Megan Katapodis, mary Riccio, Az Zire Johnson, and Krunali Shah)

Exercise 2, Volume within a Volume: Students are introduced to the concept of poche through the nesting of an interior volume within an exterior shell. They learn to exploit wall thickness for program and structural stability. 

(Work by Patrycja Ptak, mary Riccio, Krunali Shah, and Valerie Vivero)

Exercise 3, Aperture: Continuing to develop their volumes from exercise 2, students create and develop a family of apertures to bring light, entry, and utility into their spaces. 

(Work by Krunali Shah)

Exercise 4, Program: Presented with a site for the first time, students develop a program for a retreat space. They create detailed room sections that specifically delineate use and movement, and employ those sections to generate volume.  

(Work by Mary Riccio and Megan Katapodis)

Exercise 5, Ground / Space / Volume: Students continue to develop their program and site strategies from exercise 4, and attempt to integrate earlier stablished concepts of form, poche, and apeture, to create a cohesive final project.