Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 3 hours / session

Course Overview

The purpose of this course is to offer, to any student, the chance to experience design as it is done in architecture.

In 4.101 we say that you experience design if this happens: You fashion a collection of places attuned to a pattern of life, and then you find a spatial organization that yokes those places into what we call a formal order. You then look to see whether that formal order gives you a hint about, say, where to put the structure of your building, what materials to use in building it, and where to place openings. If your formal order suggests nothing (or says really stupid things) then you backtrack and seek another one. But if your formal order talks to you and things seem to fall into place almost of their own accord – if they "concatenate," as we say in 4.101 – then design will have happened, right before your eyes, by the actions of your own mind and hands.

To ensure that this experience happens for you, we give you a vocabulary of the kinds of places you'll work with, we focus on two specific ways of organizing space, and we work with just two materials – concrete and wood frame construction. Not that this limits your creativity: we want to lower the number of possibilities you have to deal with from "infinite" to "more than you can possibly imagine!"

You'll do two design projects: a preliminary one to learn design skills, and a final one to test and demonstrate those skills. There is no prerequisite for 4.101: we'll teach you all you need to know.

Note: Required for Architecture majors.