university of virginia / school of architecture / fall 2002
arch 305 – introduction to digital analysis and representation in architecture
course syllabus - 9/2/02
Venice Blurred (w=6.25, h=1, dpi=72, blur=300, ang=2, cntrst=90)
“The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.”
-Arthur C. Clark
“Technological possibilities are irresistible to Man.”
-John Von Neumann
Monday 2:00 – 3:00 (Campbell Hall - Room 158) Lecture / Discussion / Video Screenings
3:00 – 5:30 (Studio or SOA Lab) Tutorials / Workshops / Production
visiting assistant professor
soa - campbell hall 125 - uva
434.924.6448 [office] hours by appointment only
434.466.6507 [cell] for emergency only
Course Web Site: http://www.faculty.virginia.edu/arch201/fall02/digital_home.html
This introductory course explores the possibilities of digital analysis and representation in architecture.
Weekly exercises will expose a broad range of design applications and communication techniques. The
primary focus of the course will be the development of skills required to express analytical and creative ideas
utilizing digital multimedia. Emphasis will be placed on the exploration of both two and three-dimensional
techniques of diagramming, collage, montage, assemblage, abstraction, etc. The course explores a variety of
software applications such as Photoshop, Form-Z, Dreamweaver, Flash and In-Design.
1. SKILLS / INTEGRATION: The primary objective of the course is the development of skills enabling
integration of digital multimedia technologies into the design studio. Every effort is made to coordinate
exercises of the course with those being investigated in studio.
2. CONNECTIONS: In addition to utilizing a multitude of software packages, the course material will
engage broader questions related to technology, culture, and design. Weekly lectures, readings, and
video screenings investigate a wide array of topics ranging from the history of technology to current
theoretical issues engaging the digital realm. Furthermore, the course explores the intersection of
traditional arts (painting, sculpture, photography, etc.) with digital media - investigating new and
exciting possibilities brought forth by computational technologies.
3. ADVANCEMENT: It is the intention of Arch 305 to serve as an introduction to computing
technologies. It is expected that all students will ultimately participate in more advanced modeling,
rendering and digital imaging courses during the third and/or fourth years of study at UVA.
Lecture + Studio / Lab Format
The course has been broken down into two areas:
1. Lectures will be focused on the presentation of research, images and films related to the course
agenda. In addition, discussions will focus on the assigned readings and other related topics of
interest. Lectures are meant to be provocative introductions to a complex host of issues. In addition,
lecture based tutorials will introduce digital imaging software, three-dimensional modeling, and basic
2. Studio / Lab sessions will be focused on developing practical skills related to software applications.
During these sessions participants will be encouraged to experiment with multiple software
applications working towards the completion of a weekly assignment. Several assignments will be
directly related to Arch 201 studio work and may be incorporated into the studio design process and
used for presentations.
Arch 201 + 305 Integration
"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."
- Vincent van Gogh
It should be expected that with each new software introduction there is going to be an initial period of basic
learning. During this time you will be working through tutorials, reading through your books, memorizing
commands, etc. Although this period of learning will be quite frustrating, complete with system crashes and
file corruption, it is critical that you stay focused and keep moving forward. It is expected that ideas and skills
developed in Arch 305 will be applied directly to your work in studio. Several studio assignments, including
your final projects, will have explicit computer-based requirements. Do not wait until the last minute to learn
these applications. Rather, you should expect to learn and experiment on a daily basis throughout the
The two courses, while technically operating independently, have been designed to compliment and enrich
one another. Your studio critics and teaching assistants will be able to provide only general assistance related
to technology and software issues. Due to the size and format of the course, a great deal of self-motivation
and independent learning will be necessary. Your greatest single resource will be your fellow classmates.
This cannot be stressed enough. With over seventy computer users operating in a single space, there is
bound to be at least one person who can help you. Get to know your studio neighbors, check-out what is on
their screens, exchange ideas, and have some fun!
Weekly Assignments / Submission of Work
1. Homework - Each Monday you will be assigned a homework exercise focused on developing a
particular skill covered during the lecture. Typically, these will be due in printed 8.5” x 11” format at 12
noon on the following Monday. These are to be submitted to your individual studio folder located in
the Arch 305 submission mailbox located outside my office. Always make sure you write your name,
studio, date and submission time on the back of the sheet. You will also be required to write a brief
description of your work on the back of this sheet. These will be returned to you the following week. In
addition, you will be submitting several assignments digitally through the shared class folder.
2. Notebooks – You are required to maintain a notebook of your computer work and class notes
throughout the semester. Included in this notebook will be all class handouts and readings. This
notebook will become a record of your progress throughout the semester and help you organize all of
your work throughout the term. It is highly recommended that you update your notebook weekly.
* The notebook requirements are: 1” Binder (with clear plastic covers for inserts and pockets), divider tab
inserts with five tabs, with the following labels: 1. Arch 305 Syllabus, 2. Weekly Handouts, 3. Weekly
Readings, 4. Weekly Assignments, 5. Lecture Notes.
The class will meet from 2:00 to 5:30 pm on Monday. All classes will begin in room 158 with a lecture which
will typically last one hour. From 3:00 – 5:30 pm you are required to be working on your weekly assignment
on a computer either in studio or in one of the school labs.
You are required to check-in and out at each class meeting. A sheet indicating your time of arrival / departure
will be provided at each class meeting. Attendance is mandatory; any unexcused absences are unacceptable.
Any more than two will seriously jeopardize your chances for successfully completing the course. An absence
will be excused, with documentation, for medical reasons, family emergency, extraordinary acts of God, etc. If
you know that you will be unable to attend, you must e-mail or call me in advance. Tardiness and early
departure are like wise unacceptable: two late arrivals or early departures will be classified as an absence.
10 Assignments 5% (each)
Midterm Project 10%
Final Project + Notebook 20%
Collaboration and the Honor Code
The format of the course requires extensive collaboration with your classmates. The studio environment is the
perfect setting for learning computer design skills – the “cross-fertilization” and intensity of studio will help
each of you to learn from your peers and become teachers yourselves. Nevertheless, it is imperative that you
complete all assignments on your own. If you receive assistance that you feel is above and beyond the call of
duty, you must give that person credit in your submissions written description. Needless to say, the UVA
Honor Code will be strictly followed. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to talk to me.
2 Zip Disks (100 MB)
5 Blank CD-R (Writable CD) + 1 Blank CD-RW (Re-writable CD)
The disks will be used primarily for back-up and day-to-day data storage purposes. The CD-ROMs will be
used for graded submissions and long-term storage of your final projects. You are responsible for backing-up
your own files. This should be done as often as possible. Always keep redundant copies on multiple disks
and/or on your home directory accounts. Your name, studio, telephone number and e-mail address should be
clearly labeled on all storage material.
Required Books / Reading
These books are available at the UVA Student Bookstore. You may also purchase them through local
booksellers such as New Dominion (on the Downtown Mall) or an on-line retailer such as “amazon.com” or
“barnesandnoble.com”. At this time, the Peachpit Press edition of Photoshop 7.0 is unavailable, so we will be
using the Photoshop 6.0 book. There are only very minor differences between version 6.0 and 7.0. You will
also be given several outside readings throughout the term.
Photoshop 6 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide
by Elaine Weinmann, Peter Lourekas, Peachpit Press; ISBN: 0201713098; 1st edition (January 25, 2001)
Inside Form Z : Guide to 3d Modeling and Rendering
by Eden Greig Muir, OnWord Press; ISBN: 1566901898; 2nd edition (December 3, 1999)
Bibliography - Primary Sources (see the course web site for all internet / “pdf” based listing)
John Beckmann, Editor. The Virtual Dimension (Princeton Architectural Press, USA, 1998)
Neil Leach, Editor. Designing For a Digital World (RIBA Future Studies – Wiley-Academy Press, UK, 2002)
William J. Mitchell. e-topia “Urban Life, Jim – but not as we know it.” (MIT Press, USA, 2000)
Daniela Bertol. Designing Digital Space (John Wiley and Sons, NY, 1997)
Maia Engeli, Editor. Bits and Spaces (Birkhauser Press / ETH, Basel, 2001)
Hans Ibeling. Supermodernism: Architecture in the Age of Globalization (NAi Publishers, Rotterdam, 1998)
Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York – published 1978 (Montacelli USA, 1994)
Rem Koolhaas, S, M, L, XL (Montacelli USA, 1995)
Koolhaas, Boeri, Kwinter, Tazi, Obrist (editors) MUTATIONS Harvard project on the city (ACTAR, 2001)
Ray Kurzweil, The Age of Spiritual Machines (Viking, 1999)
John Rajchman. Constructions. see essay “Future Cities”, p. 109. (MIT Press, 1998)
Richard Rhodes. Visions of Technology (Simon + Schuster USA, 1999)
Marshall McLuhan. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (MIT Press, 1994)
Migayrou and Brayer, Editors. Archilab: Radical Experiments in Global Architecture (Thames + Hudson, 2001)
UN Studio / van Berkel / Bos. Move (UN Studio and Goose Press, Netherlands, 1999)
William J. Mitchell. City of Bits: Space, Place and the Infobahn (MIT Press, 1995)
Frank Lloyd Wright. The Future of Architecture – The Princeton Lectures 1953 (Horizon Press USA, 1953)
Architectural Design AD, Visions for the Future (Academy Group UK, 1993)
Batty and Longley. Fractal Cities. Academic Press, London, (1995.)
Georg Simmel, “The Metropolis and Mental Life” p. 69-79, in Rethinking Architecture (Neil Leach, ed. Routledge, 1997)
Neil Leach, The Anaesthetics of Architecture (MIT Press USA, 1999)
Arthur C. Clarke, July 20, 2019: Life in the 21st Century (Macmillan USA, 1986)
Steven Johnson, Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software (Scribner USA, 2001)
Charles Jencks. Architecture 2000 and Beyond, 2nd Edition(Wiley Academy UK, 2000)
Dennis Crompton, Editor, Concerning Archigram (Archigram Archives UK, 1998)
R. Buckminster Fuller, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, 1969.
Fuller, R., Buckminster: Synergetics. New York: Macmillan (1975)
Willian Gibson, Neuromancer (Ace Books USA, 1984)
Lebbeus Woods, War and Architecture (Pamphlet Architecture 15, PAP USA, 1993)
Technology / Science
Wilson,Catherine. The Invisble World: Modern Philosophy and the Invention of the Microscope. Princeton (1995)
Baark and Svedin. Man, Nature, and Technology. St. Martins Press. (1988)
Fox, Michael, Yeh, Bryant: Intelligent Kinetic Systems. Kinetic Design Group, MIT (1999)
Gordon, JE. The New Science of Strong Materials. Princeton Univ. Press (1984)
Willian and Thomas Zuk. New Technologies: New Architecture (WordCrafters USA, 1994)
James Gleick, “The Experimenter” in Chaos: Making a New Science (Penguin Books, NY, 1987) p. 188-211
Neil Gershenfeld, When Things Start to Think (Henry Holt USA, 1999)
Richard Feynmann, QED – The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (Princeton University Press, 1985)
Freeman Dyson, The Sun, The Genome and the Internet (Oxford University Press, 1999)
Wiener, Norbert. Cybernetics: Or, Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (MIT Press, 1948)
Wired Magazine (www.wired.com) *see Stewart Brand’s interview of Freeman Dyson (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/6.02/dyson.html)
General Science Fiction: HG Wells, Arthur C. Clark, Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep), Ray Bradbury, Aldous
Huxley (Brave New World), George Orwell (1984)
Things to Come / Journey to the Center of Time (HG Wells / William Menzies 1936), Tron (Steven Lisburger 1982), Blade Runner (Ridley Scott
1982), The Matrix (Larry and Andy Wachowski 1998), Gattaca (Andrew Niccol1997), Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (Hironubu Sakaguchi
2001), Minority Report (Spielberg, 2002)