Portfolio & Professional Representation
ARCH 390/790
Ash Lettow

This course will focus on building a variety of comprehensive approaches to the professional presentation of architectural and urban planning concepts, materials, and ideas. The targeted outcome is the construction of a portfolio and corresponding presentation that concisely and comprehensively communicates each individual’s unique body of work. This document will be built using a media flexible approach, allowing for print, digital, and web application as needed for professional and graduate school interviews. In class lectures, demonstrations and critiques will focus on fundamental approaches to design: typography, layout, graphics, color, content, editing, and form. Methods of digital and photographic documentation will be addressed using a variety of imaging technologies. The Adobe Creative Suite will be utilized to produce master documents for print and web design. Professional writing will be heavily stressed and will include a C.V. and refined supporting materials for the portfolio and presentation.

Visible Certainty: Diagramming & Mapping Information
ARCH 390/790
Chris Cornelius

With information and data becoming increasingly available to architects and designers and a multitude of computational means of reading this information, it is becoming imperative that designers be able to interpret and translate this info into meaningful design inspiration. This course will focus on the importance, theory and fundamentals of diagramming and mapping information, space and concepts in a manner relevant to architects. Students will be asked to render visible their own areas of investigation. These may include studio projects, graduate thesis projects or other self-initiated interests.

Arch-390-790 - Chris Cornelius
Urban Spelunking: Exploring the City through Drawing
ARCH 390/790
Mo Zell

Discover the in-between places of the city, those spots less traveled, and those that have yet to be brought to life with a new way of seeing. Students will use various forms of charcoal to investigate the light and shadow found in these cityscapes. Previous drawing experience is NOT required.

This seminar leaves the classroom behind and uses the city as our laboratory. Class days will be spent drawing on site in and around the city.

Arch 390-790 - Mo Zell
Frank Lloyd Wright Design Language Seminar
ARCH 390/790
Mark Keane
Immerse yourself in the world of Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s greatest Architect. This hybrid class meets as a seminar, and on-line for a draw-along lecture series. Optional field trips to Wright sites in Chicago, Spring Green, Madison, Milwaukee, and Racine will unlock the fundamental design principles to this Wisconsin born architect who created Modern Architecture 15 years BEFORE the Modern Movement began in Europe!

Wright was born just after the Civil War and practiced Architecture until the Space Age at the age of 92. Born in Richland Center, Wright started his education as a freshman in Engineering at UW. On-line course with optional field trips. Draw-along to digital video lectures and hands-on projects.

Contemporary Criticism and Urbanism
ARCH 304 (M.Arch theory)
Whitney Moon
Disciplinary methods and themes through rigorous readings of texts and objects concerning contemporary architectural criticism, and histories and theories of urban form and urban planning.
History & Theory of Urban Design: From Ur to Dubai
ARCH 533 (M.Arch theory)
Don Hanlon
The goal of the course is to provide an overview of urban design history and theory. Though the lecture topics are roughly chronological – from ancient origins to speculations about the future – the emphasis of the course is the morphology of cities, that is, a study of factors that produced distinct urban forms over time.
Introduction to Building Information Modeling (BIM)
ARCH 382 (M.Arch practice course)
Oscar Avila (LEC 001) and Dan Cesarz, AIA – HGA Architects and Engineers (LEC 002)

Principles of Building Information Modeling and the interface and workflow of Autodesk’s Revit.

While Revit is primarily used as a production tool in the industry, the course will look at some of its lesser explored benefits as a design tool. Almost all firms both locally and globally are looking to use Revit for the information it contains outside of creating construction documents. There are inherent efficiencies in using the program as a design tool that are just beginning to be explored in the industry. Course topics to include: conceptual massing and adaptive components within Revit, its graphic capabilities both native to Revit (rendering and materiality) and in add-ins (such as Revizto and Enscape), virtual reality, point clouds, green building studio, as well as the introductory to add-ins such as Dynamo. No experience is required for any of the software mentioned.

ARCH 382 – Introduction to Building Information Modeling (BIM) - Oscar Avila and Dan Cesarz, AIA – HGA Architects and Engineers
Introduction to Historic Preservation
ARCH 560
Matt Jarosz

Research, discussion and case study development to explore political, social/historical, economic and design/restoration issues of preservation and adaptive use of buildings.

Emerging Digital Technology: Revit Skills Workshop
ARCH 583
Gil Snyder

OPEN ONLY TO STUDENTS ENROLLED IN ARCH 825: BIM STUDIO, this 3-credit workshop is taught by professional BIM trainers from the offices of Eppstein Uhen Architects, Milwaukee, and coordinated by Professor Snyder. Students enroll in the seminar/workshop simultaneously with the IP_BIM studio. The seminar is taught in a dedicated EUA computer training lab using Autodesk® Revit® building software.

Programming for Architectural Design
ARCH 586 (M.Arch practice)
Brian Schermer

Analysis and development of architectural programs: goals, user requirements, socio-cultural determinants, design criteria, site selection and analysis, building type analysis, code analysis, and cost projections.

  • Learn strategies to define the scope and nature of a future architectural project.
  • Become familiar with programming research strategies and tactics that are prevalent in contemporary practice.
  • Apply research knowledge with the aim of creating better design.
  • Understand how clients and practitioners engage in collaborative dialogue.
  • Learn about factors and trends that shape the design future.
  • Focus on community-based nonprofits for a genuine service learning experience.
Urban Design as Public Policy
ARCH 749/UP 857
Carolyn Esswen

What makes cities great places to live, work, and play? This seminar covers a variety of urban design topics and how regulations impact the built environment. Practice based examples and exercises are balanced with theory of city planning and design.

Course Objectives

  1. Increase awareness of urban design characteristics of the built environment and how they impact the overall character of public spaces.
  2. Understand the types of regulations and guidelines that impact urban design decisions.
  3. Provide awareness of sustainability and new urbanism regulations that can improve the built environment.
  4. Provide an opportunity to apply design and regulation strategies for a local site.
    The Built Environment and Real Estate Development
    ARCH 780
    Robert Monnat

    A course providing an understanding of the relationships between economics and architectural design and skills in manipulation of variables in both areas on real projects.


    Historic Preservation Studio
    ARCH 635/835
    Matt Jarosz

    This studio focuses on the interrelated problems of historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and the design of new construction. These issues are investigated through design interventions in complicated and controversial physical, social, and political settings. The purpose of the studio is to go beyond the hypothetical and to use real programs and real budget constraints to address matters of design, heritage research, technology, and building construction with extant buildings and environments. These existing conditions will not merely serve as the default backdrop for new design interventions, but will, in fact, determine the most appropriate reuse function and visual expression for a new generation. Our philosophical partners in this undertaking will be the vast and growing collection of visionary leaders who understand that existing buildings need to be the baseline component of smart growth.

    In this studio the designer will function as both a technical and social researcher, understanding an existing historic building on a much deeper level than is required of other design studios. Design proposals will be generated by a keen understanding of the existing building(s), their material reality, the architects and artists responsible for their creation, and their importance as a cultural treasure. Analysis and synthesis will be both technical and theoretical, with design proposals avoiding neo-historicism and advancing the matter of contemporary building technologies, just as the historic artifact that we are working with had done. This approach is the only way to generate truly creative, engaging, and intelligent proposals. The semester is divided into two major design projects and one short documentation project. It also includes a short preservation study trip to Chicago.

    Arch 635/835 - Matt Jarosz
    Washington Park Collaborative Studio
    ARCH 645/845 URBPLAN 858
    Arijit Sen

    This studio trains civic-minded architecture students to communicate, hear, listen and work with local partners at the Washington Park and Sherman Park neighborhoods of Milwaukee. These are two racially, economically and culturally diverse neighborhoods known for artist communities and active neighborhood groups. We will collaborate with local residents and institutions in order to consider changes, interventions and new ideas for the neighborhood. Quorum Architects staff will serve as mentors for students and commit to attend design reviews. This studio is part of a consortium of three upper level art, architecture, dance and design courses that explore how multidisciplinary design practice can engage professionals, academics and local cultures and communities.

    Traditionally design studios produce “ideas” in the form of design proposals, development ideas and drawings. In this studio we hope to articulate the design methods and research information that underpin design responses. We ask: How and why is design a social act? Who do we design for and how do we design? What are the rules, moves, processes that constitute the language of design practice? This studio is based on theories of performative and embodied placemaking explained in the writings and academic works of John Dewey, Sophie Wolfrum, Pierre Bourdieu, Arijit Sen and Setha Low.

    Fall 2017 studio will focus on getting small projects built on site. See to see studio work from Fall 2014-16.

    Arch 645/845 - Plan 585 - Arijit Sen
    Designing Density
    ARCH 645/845 URBPLAN 858
    Ray Isaacs

    Imagine that sustainable, high-density development, based on public transportation were not wishful thinking, but mandatory. Recent planning and design laws make that the case in Switzerland, were land is protected and housing demand is high.

    Scheduled reconfiguring of the Main Train Station in Montreux affords opportunities for a spectacular example of intensive urban development over a regional transit hub. The site is centrally situated in a lovely city, with fantastic views of Lake Geneva and the French/Swiss Alps. Mixed-use will be encouraged, housing will be most desirable.

    In this course students will research and analyse the city and region, study European urban development and housing design, develop an urban design concept, and design buildings and open spaces within the concept.

    Time and expense will not allow for site visits. However, the instructor was the urban designer/architect for the initial phase of the project and has a lot of information and material for your use.

    The (un)Making of the Museum
    Mo Zell

    This studio uses the museum exhibition as a vehicle to question and provoke issues relevant to architecture, culture and society. Architecture as a discipline unites formal and social issues in the construction of cities, buildings, spaces, and experiences. Using the museum collection as a context in which to research, question and construct narratives, students are provided an opportunity to exploit the connection between pleasure and necessity as they relate to objects (collection), installation (form + materials) and culture (society).

    Students will be (un)making the museum by MAKING a series of nontraditional exhibits – ones that provoke new ways of seeing and understanding art and space. This is a design/build studio. Students will be constructing all of their projects at full-scale with real materials. The final installation project will be built onsite at the Chipstone Foundation in Fox Point.

    Weekly visits to local and regional museums will be part of the studio including in-depth discussions with museum curators. An interest in physically making things is a must.

    ARCH 650/850
    Filip Tejchman & Karl Wallick

    This studio will undertake a systematic examination of the technology, methods, and forms utilized in the United States Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. We will research, explore, design, and prototype a diverse array of potential building components in order to create a kit of parts for the Solar Decathlon team.

    In partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Engineering and regional industries such as Trek, ABB, and others, this course will function as a workshop and laboratory for testing a variety of strategies in consideration of a joint entry in the competition.

    Lighten Up
    Kyle Talbott

    The Lighten Up studio explores the experiential impact of daylight. When designers consider architecture as a device for capturing daylight, roofs, apertures and surfaces take on new significance. Roofs billow and compress. Apertures reorient and thicken. Surfaces respond with texture and color. Daylight brings architecture to life as a sculptural medium. The complex relationship between fixed mass and ever-changing light is a powerful generative force. When designers follow the implications of daylight, they discover new formal and structural possibilities and their designs transform in unexpected ways. This generative aspect drives the Lighten Up studio, and students should expect to unlock a speculative architecture grounded in the behavior of daylight.

    Students learn about the science of daylight, and they apply the science through creative, open-ended empirical experimentation. In this way, students undertake a deep study of key aspects of light, including: channeling light through mass, balancing light in space, gathering light with texture, producing caustic effects, reflecting images, reflecting color, emanating glow and filtering color with translucent materials. Students also study the screening of light through diaphanous structures, brise soleils, and kinetic shade systems.

    Mapping the wild and elusive flow of illumination requires special visualization techniques. The Lighten Up studio introduces students to an arsenal of such techniques, including: material and digital shadow boxes, vista models, light-controlled sectional models, kinetic models, illuminated sectional perspectives, GIF animations, parametric aperture modeling in Grasshopper, chronological light simulations and light analysis diagramming.

    Students begin the semester by exploring various lighting effects through creative experiments. Students produce models, maps, renderings and other research artifacts to document the effects. Working together at the conclusion of this phase, students compile their formal, structural, textural and chromatic studies into a book – a record of the experiments conducted by the whole studio. Leveraging their new understanding of daylight, students then design two emerging building types in the healthcare sector: a rheumatology center and an inclusive medicine clinic. Due to some important pharmacological advances and shifts in medical culture in America, communities nationwide have growing demand for these building types. Because of the special nature of these facilities – their special uses and small size – they provide ideal sites for the implementation of exquisitely designed daylight.

    IP_BIM Comprehensive Design Studio
    ARCH 825
    Gil Snyder

    Building Information Modeling (BIM) is rapidly emerging as the tool of choice for building design, construction, and facility management. The studio focuses on joining design and technology in a fully integrated environment that draws from professional engineering and software consultants as a resource. It seeks to underscore the development of appropriate strategies for working with BIM technology in an integrated practice (IP) mode, both as a powerful force for design and as a critique of contemporary practice.

    The semester is organized around the following:

    • the 6-credit IP_BIM Studio] taught by Professor Snyder with collaboration from consulting engineers in a dedicated SARUP studio;
    • a 3-credit BIM seminar/workshop [ARCH 583: Revit Skills Workshop] taught by professional BIM trainers from the offices of Eppstein Uhen Architects, Milwaukee, and coordinated by Professor Snyder. Students enroll in the seminar/workshop simultaneously with the IP_BIM studio. The seminar is taught in a dedicated EUA computer training lab using Autodesk® Revit® building software.

    The studio adopts a materials-based pedagogy and is focused on research and experimentation with applications.

    Arch 825 - Gil Snyder
    Comprehensive Design Studio: A Green/Blue Urban Lab
    ARCH 825
    Jim Wasley

    Imagining a New Headquarters for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District

    This Comprehensive Design Studio will take on the challenge of designing a new headquarters office and water quality laboratory facility for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD). This corporate office, laboratory and public outreach complex will replace the existing building across from the Harley Davidson Museum on Second Street.

    This will involve both urban design, architectural design and civic space design. At the urban scale this means the creation of a context sensitive urban building while transforming their waterfront site along the Menomonee Canal into a civic space celebrating the ECOLOGICAL ROLE OF WATER in the city.

    The project will be designed as a LIVING BUILDING. The program includes the offices and water quality laboratories of the MMSD and a new public outreach facility: The Green Infrastructure Center of Excellence.

    As a COMPREHENSIVE studio, you will cycle through the project in detail from programming to environmental systems design to construction detailing, and will produce a comprehensive presentation of your individual designs.

    LOTT Clean Water Alliance Headquarters
    Olympia WA
    Miller Hull Architects
    Murase and Associates Landscape

    Advanced Design Studio: Wild Style: A Hip-Hop Museum
    ARCH 850
    Chris Cornelius

    In 1983 the film “Wild Style” was released bringing hip-hop, graffiti art and break dancing to a much wider audience. This film is regarded as an important part of hip-hop history in that it was the first time this culture was introduced in the mass media. Hip-hop (and jazz) is regarded as a truly American-born art form. Its roots are in New York and its Burroughs and it is inextricably tied to graffiti art and breakdancing.

    This project will be a museum for hip-hop recognizing it as an important art form. The Cornell University Library has recently started archiving hip-hop, legitimizing it as an art. This studio project will be sited in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn, New York and will be a home for a collection much like the one at Cornell. We will concern ourselves with a very specific time-frame in hip-hop history that is its origins, in the late 1970s, to 2000. We will examine the associated art forms of graffiti and breaking along with MC-ing and DJ-ing. Travel to the site will not be necessary or required. All of the site information will be provided for you.

    Advanced Design Studio: Veil/Unveil
    ARCH 850
    Sebastian Schmaling & Brian Johnsen
    Fitzhugh Scott Distinguished Professors in Practice

    The pursuit of transparency has been an enduring theme in the project of modernity. With its roots in the Enlightenment’s search for empirical knowledge and its efforts to uncover the complexities of the physical world, early modernists were quick to embrace transparency for its promise of dematerialization and weightlessness. Siegfried Giedion effectively rendered transparency synonymous with modernity, forcefully perpetuating the fantasy of total transparency as a “sign of the triumph over gravity,” one that facilitated an unprecedented “simultaneity of inside and out” to reconcile the individual and social spheres. Transparent architecture eventually became a metaphor for a new kind of society in which nothing would be hidden and everything would be exposed to public view.

    Of course, the concept of total openness, by definition, requires the rejection of all forms of interiority – the annihilation of protective thresholds traditionally demarcating the private sphere inside from the collective’s penetrating gazes outside. In the age of Snowden, it has become increasingly apparent that our obsessive “rituals of transparency” (Jean Baudrillard) have become an engine for unbound anxiety and social paranoia that sharply contradicts transparency’s original promise of truth and liberation. With our privacy on constant display and our personal liberties at serious risk, it is clear that modernism’s uncritical embrace of transparency has failed.

    This studio will focus on the conceptual roots and aesthetic opportunities embedded in the concept of veiling as an alternative to the tyranny of transparency. Looking at the architectural veil in a variety of forms, we will explore strategies for nuanced modes of visual porosity by stretching, layering, stacking, perforating, and weaving different materials. Students will be ask to test the boundaries of an architecture that oscillates between masking and revealing, an architecture that mediates between reality and deceit and challenges the spatial border between the apparent world and the phenomenal world.

    We will investigate the design of a complete architectural project in considerable breadth and depth, focusing on the range of normative conditions that need to be addressed in the design process. The vehicle for our semester-long design exploration will be a new mosque in Milwaukee. The architecture of mosques is a fertile ground for architectural experimentation and innovation because the Quran does not dictate specific archetypal forms for houses of worship. Historically, mosques were more than just religious centers; they were places for social gatherings and cultural exchange thoroughly embedded within the surrounding urban fabric. Milwaukee’s new mosque aspires to continue that tradition and create a vital center for Wisconsin Muslims and their neighbors of all creeds.

    It is important to note that in this studio, we are not interested in litigating current political affairs or engaging in superficial religious critiques. Instead, we are utilizing the conceptually rich and culturally complex program of the mosque to address fundamental architectural concerns that transcend particular denominations or cultural affiliations. We will pay particular attention to questions of tectonics and experiment with various methods of fabrication, assembly, and joinery techniques in the design of architectural veils and screens. The studio will require design inquiry through model making at all scales; an interest in the making and craft of physical objects is therefore a prerequisite for participation in this studio.