Special Topics (Arch 390/Arch 790)

Undergraduate students enroll in ARCH 390
Graduate students enroll in ARCH 790

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
Frank Lloyd Wright Design Language Seminar
ARCH 390/790
(University of Wisconsin – Madison, College of Engineering 351)
Mark Keane
Students will gain a beginning understanding of Wright’s architectural design process, his methods, tools and processes in building design and construction. The semester design project will involve the design of a “Gift Box” to Wright – the traditional semester ending project at Taliesin for students studying under Wright. Through the design process students will gain an understanding of integrated systems of components, assemblies and sub-systems limited only to your imagination and your understanding of Wright.

Draw – Along Lectures:
Unity Temple
Build a Prairie Home
Early Work
Modern Masters
Robie House
Winslow House
Prairie Language
Coonley and Prairie
JWax and Wingspread
Goetsch and Usonia
Beth Shalom
Taliesin East
American Systems Building
Katsura Palace and Japan
Rudolph Schindler
Price Tower and the Illinois
Dudok and the Dutch
Studio 1032

Milwaukee, WI and Racine, WI
Burnham Properties
Johnson Wax
Hardy House

Madison, WI
Unitarian Meeting House
Pew or Gilmore Residence
Jacobs I
Middleton Hills

Spring Green, WI
Romeo and Juliet
Hillside Home and School

Oak Park, IL
Unity Temple
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
Walking Tour of Oak Park and River Forest

Hybrid course: F@F + on-line + site visits

Rough Cut: Mass, Material Microclimate
ARCH 390/790
Alex Timmer

Increasingly architects are asked to design buildings that address the environmental concerns of our contemporary and future condition. This is typically achieved through the adherence to well-established standards and guidelines. While programs like LEED have provided much-needed clarity; that clarity has come at the expense of a more comprehensive assessment and radical innovation. As William W. Braham notes, LEED has resulted an increase in the market penetration of environmentally focused practices, but it has done little to promote the fundamental change that is necessary. [1] This course seeks to resist these established approaches and instead advance our ability to address environmental concerns as designers through a dialogue with material. A dialogue that welcomes material agency as an active and critical participant by beginning the design process with material experimentation.

How do we use our advanced digital tools to better leverage such material processes? How might we as designers consider the entire life cycle of material, from matter to product, as the domain of the architect? To address these questions, we will be looking at the potential of wood and timber products for their thermodynamic, aesthetic and tectonic opportunities at various scales of production and fabrication. Working closely with a local tree farm to harvest the thinning, we will process that material into lumber and produce small-scale structures. The course will begin by exploring the process of harvesting of wood, studying how it grows and how the farm functions as a system. As part of this research, we will examine various contemporary timber products. Next students will use the rough cut lumber harvested from the farm to design and mock up different timber products of their design. This seminar will conclude with the design and construction of a small-scale structure at the farm. Subsequent years will expand on the first year’s research and build additional structures.

[1] Braham, William W. Architecture and Systems Ecology: Thermodynamic Principles of Environmental Building Design, in Three Parts. Routledge, 2016.

Interpretive Design
ARCH 390/790
Nicholas H. Robinson, AIA, NCARB

Architects are the hidden puppeteers in society whose decisions either help or hinder our progression toward a better tomorrow. Architecture is a field where personal experience is the best teacher and what you don’t know can undermine good intentions. This course will explore methodologies for designing in unfamiliar socio-economic climates and provide an opportunity to adopt the mindset of selfless service.

Mini Projects:
Students will engage the UWM campus through short in-class research methodology exercises.

Final Project:
State Representative David Bowen has an interest in developing neighborhood markers/monuments for various districts throughout Milwaukee. The students will have the opportunity to explore the context of Milwaukee, learn about historical events/policies which shaped the current climate and attempt to use the information gathered to create a neighborhood marker/monument. Students will be evaluated on evidence of listening and accuracy of interpretive design.

Related Skills Development:
Public Speaking

History/Theory Courses

Contemporary Criticism and Urbanism
ARCH 304 (M.Arch theory)
Whitney Moon
The goal of this course is to provide students with a closer understanding of the role of criticism in contemporary architecture and urbanism. Spanning from the 1950s to the present, architecture and urbanism will be critically examined through a series of weekly themes aimed to address key texts, concepts, theories, and projects that contributed to the development and transformation of modernism, postmodernism and the contemporary. Through lectures, a close analysis of readings, writing assignments, and discussions, students will gain an understanding of the paradigmatic authors, designers, and precedents central to contemporary criticism and urbanism
MOS – Michael Meredith & Hilary Sample, various works, NYC, 2017
Urban Design
ARCH 340/UP 751
Carolyn Esswen

Research, design, and learn about the elements of urban design that create vibrant cities. Public spaces, complete streets, neighborhoods, waterfronts, and sustainable urbanism. Class topics range from historical development patterns to detailed designs.

Course Objectives

  1. Increase awareness of urban design characteristics and urban pattern of the built environment.
  2. Explore urban design elements of neighborhoods based on past and current project examples.
  3. Explore and understand different types of public spaces and streets.
  4. Provide an opportunity to apply design strategies within a drawing exercise for a Milwaukee neighborhood.

    A New Normal
    ARCH 533
    Filip Tejchman

    How do the instruments of practice contribute to determining the numerous states of subjectivity within which Architecture operates? What are the numerous external forces that architecture is committed to responding to and how can we identify those that are outside of the scope of the discipline?

    There are multiple contingencies and indeterminacies that the discipline of Architecture finds itself committed to addressing and manipulating. Some of these, such as building codes and zoning regulations, are legal in nature and contribute to defining what the subjective limits of the profession are. Others emerge from a social-ethical contract that all service professions endeavor to address and which constitute a code-of-conduct that can be best described as one part due diligence and another part altruistic interventionist. More recently the undeniable transformation of the environment has cultivated an increased interest in architecture’s responsibility and agency in managing the various energetic ambient flows that surround us.

    Architecture is thus perpetually challenged to negotiate between opposing demands which occupy a spectrum between the rhetorical and the instrumental. Rhetorical functions are concerned with the logic of the narrative through which architecture attempts to produce meaning, while instrumental functions address the methods, the tools, and the techniques by which these aims are satisfied.

    There is no doubt that significant influence can be exerted by an image, or by the tool through which that image was created. For Marshall McLuhan, this simultaneity of the tool and the message indexed the transition of society from one fixated with objects to one obsessed with images. But does this claim hold true for architecture? Given that instrumental representation —the production of instructions for building — is the principle focus of practice, it would seem that this proposed confluence of media and meaning is problematized in architecture. Or, has architecture always been the exception and maintained control over the instruments through which it projects its ambitions; have we always been a profession of expert media manipulators?

    This history and theory seminar will be structured as a retroactive detective novel that examines several distinct moments in architectural history, corresponding to the transformation of the discipline/profession in relationship to its instruments. In weekly meetings, students will provide short written responses to assigned readings and present research based on the subject. Topics such as Energy, Time, Nature, Labor and Capital, will provide the thematic lenses through which our studies will unfold. We will assume that the history of architecture has until now privileged the aesthetic performance of buildings and has always asserted that the medium and the meaning are the same. Our clues will be the artifacts, the drawings, the buildings; you will learn how to lift the veil of the architectural image and your outcomes will project into the future of what constitutes practice.

    THINK! Like a Designer
    ARCH 533/URBPLAN 692
    Don Hanlon

    How do successful designers think?
    What makes some people more creative than others?
    Do successful designers in different disciplines share certain ways of thinking and working?
    Are there basic rules, methods and protocols that help us succeed as designers?
    Why are some designers persuasive while others are not?
    What are their secrets for a winning presentation?

    Charting the Post-Apocalyptic Landscape
    ARCH 533/URBPLAN 692
    Ash Lettow

    Remember, the end is ever present.

    The end of the world lies within what we have built. The first debates between Voltaire and Rousseau as to the causes and effects of the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake dislodged extent conceptions about the chthonic and celestial origins of the End. In other words, the disaster was not just a singular Judgement but a constellation of natural events and human response. The earthquake exposed the new territories of contrived and actively constructed apocalypses. After the quake, the built environment became a means to register how and possibly why the world could end.
    The apocalypse and its requisite “posts” have resurged as a topic of interest in mass entertainment and while these stories provoke relevant moral questions situated in seductive vistas of ruination and potential rebirth; they all share one thing in common. Each story emerged from and was informed by looking at the seemingly banal, contemporary world within which we dwell. In constructing their narratives, authors and artists place our world under visual and conceptual scrutiny to fabricate the ends of their composed worlds. However, they also identify specific, crucial elements of reconstruction to ensure that the end is never really the End.

    Clouds, Spectres and Crowds, Charting the Post-Apocalyptic Landscape is an effort to locate the multifarious guises and subsident shapes of the end as it is latently described within the arc of modernity. Modernity needed to produce antiquity to advance and in turn embedded within itself, the properties of its varied forms of decline. The end of the world has become institutionalized, even polled to advance specific ends and privilege certain means of survival. Apocalypse has shifted beyond anticipatory notions of temple veils being torn from top to bottom or a descending New Jerusalem and has been placed squarely within the capitalist market in the hopes that there is no end to expansion. This course will not prepare you for the end of the world but as we explore and analyze our contemporary landscape along with its history, it may help you be conversant as to the provocative forms of its decline.

    Remember, the end is ever present.

    Practice Courses

    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

    It can be stated for certain that romantic sentimentality, which accepts and conserves ‘old monuments’ in a modern townscape, will come into real conflict with the necessary renewal of the housing and traffic system, which is what defines the city.

    1926 Theo van Doesburg – Intellectual leader of the modern movement

    In a planning policy that is based on achieving a synthesis there can be no place for too scrupulous a concern with monumental property, and the preservation of a monument will only be justified if its individual value is undeniable, if it does not stand in the way of vital social and economic developments and expanding traffic requirements.
    1968 Mart Stam, Europe – Urban planning leader

    This course offers students an introduction to the principles of historic preservation and adaptive reuse for application in professional practice. The loss of historic buildings and sites has reduced our collective sense of identification with the past and its ability to provide economic, social, and emotional well-being. This course examines both the theoretical principles of historic preservation as well as the practical challenges of keeping old buildings. By reviewing preservation initiatives of cities and countries from around the world, we become better equipped to develop solutions to our preservation challenges here at home. This course connects students with local, national, and international preservation organizations in order to take advantage of the latest scholarship on building retention and reuse. Additionally, this course tracks the latest technical developments in building research, documentation, restoration, and reuse. A special emphasis is on aggressive reuse of existing buildings and structures and the many challenges associated with their retention. This course, as part of the graduate concentration in preservation studies, will allow students to enter architectural practice with specialized skills to work both the private and public realms of historic preservation.

    Emerging Digital Technology: Revit Skills Workshop
    ARCH 583
    Gil Snyder

    OPEN ONLY TO STUDENTS ENROLLED IN ARCH 825: The Space of Appearance

    This seminar evaluates the Building Information Modeling (BIM) environment. BIM offers designers the opportunity to integrate design, detailing, and construction management through Integrated Practice (IP).

    Skill in developing BIM technique is the focus of this course. The goal is to establish a rational approach to the design process that can serve as a method for approaching architectural design work as a professional. The focus is reinforced with an integrated method. This integrative model of academic instruction combined with professional support is a progressive pedagogical model that can insure continued currency with rapid advances in the application of emerging technologies within the practice of architecture, including drone applications and virtual reality.

    The course structure is based on the “second studio” model of technology pedagogy. This consists of a set of demonstration workshops and seminar discussions that establish the parameters for analysis of the problems at hand. These lectures are given in conjunction with project-based digital model reviews that allow the student to demonstrate the variety of information learned in the course and in the co-requisite ARCH 825.

    The semester is organized as a 3-credit BIM seminar/workshop taught by professional BIM trainers from the offices of Eppstein Uhen Architects, Milwaukee, and co-taught by Prof 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®.

    Research Methods in Architecture
    ARCH 585
    Brian Schermer

    This course focuses on asking questions about architecture and approaches to seeking answers to those questions. Students will systematically investigate alternative research strategies and become familiar with a broad range of methods used in architectural research. As an introductory course, it is intended to provide:

    • Leverage for students to articulate their own research questions about architecture and develop strategies to investigate them.
    • An opportunity to develop knowledge, especially as a “pre” pre-thesis about a particular aspect of architecture
      or a specific place type.

    • Insight about how architectural research is used in contemporary architectural practice.

    Some students may already be oriented toward conducting primary research on a topic, and thus take this course to help them along that path. Others may be less inclined to focus on specific research questions and are more interested in exploring how research can be applied in design and practice. This course is designed to be useful to both types of students.

    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.

    Design Studios

    Mixed Undergraduate/Graduate Students

    Adaptive Reuse
    ARCH 650/850
    Matt Jarosz
    BSAS students enroll in ARCH 650
    M.Arch students enroll in ARCH 850

    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 semester includes three different types of preservation design challenges.
    The first project will be the documentation and research of a landmark building, challenging students to understand the historic artifact through laser scans, drones, photographs, research, AutoCAD drawing creation, and existing conditions analysis. This project will elevate student understanding of existing construction and the challenges of retention in a hands-on field workshop setting with professional, practicing craftsmen and preservation companies.

    The second project will be a design intervention challenge. We will be using an existing, vacant, historic Milwaukee building and proposing a new use. Interventions will be aggressive and dramatic and will include internal modifications of structure and layout along with rooftop expansion and wall penetrations with new sheathing and building enclosure systems. The focus will be on manipulating and modifying the existing.
    The last project will be a new addition to an existing international landmark building. Students will be able to choose a historic building and site in Japan or the ongoing studies being conducted at SARUP for an addition to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois. This project, like the previous two, will include extensive examination of the existing through a series of site visits and guest lectures.

    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 don650-850-je. This approach is the only way to generate truly creative, engaging, and intelligent proposals.

    Milwaukee Environmental Justice Research Lab
    ARCH 650/850/ URBPLAN 858
    Arijit Sen
    BSAS students enroll in ARCH 650
    M.Arch students enroll in ARCH 850
    M.Arch/MUP students enroll in URBPLAN 858

    This is a research studio investigating the dynamics of climate and environmental justice. The studio team will explore Milwaukee’s North Side (Washington Park, Sherman Park, Martin Drive, Midtown, and Metcalf Park area) to identify case studies that explain how issues of environmental and climate justice influence the production and experience of our everyday built environment. This studio serves as a local partner for the Humanities Action Lab, a national coalition of universities, community organizations, and exhibiting venues currently preparing an international traveling exhibit on climate and environmental justice. During the studio, we will work with community members and environmental scholars to map, document, identify, and problematize case studies that exemplify the complexities of environmental justice in our study area. Students will conduct considerable secondary research and readings.

    The Fall 2018 studio will focus on urban acupuncture — planning small catalytic projects, on-site installations, and planned interventions. They will work with community residents and other stakeholders. Our goal is to articulate “design methods” and research methods that may help us understand how design can respond to environmental problems. We ask, “Who do we design for and how do we produce equitable design? What are the rules, moves, and processes that constitute the language of equitable design practice?”

    See www.citizenarchitects.weebly.com to view studio work from previous semesters.

    Columbus, Indiana
    ARCH 650/850
    Chris Cornelius
    BSAS students enroll in ARCH 650
    M.Arch students enroll in ARCH 850

    This studio will discover the culture of place by a careful reading of context. Students will be asked to discover/develop the origins of place: to be cosmographers. You will then be asked to develop an experiential map of that place: to be cartographers. Finally, this studio will create an architectural translation of findings through the design of a small worship space for Columbus, Indiana.

    Students will render visible their findings via well-crafted and detailed artifacts- buildings. These buildings will serve as a translative map from the ephemerality of culture to the corporeality of built form.

    Students will be required to travel to Columbus, Indiana for a site visit and tour over a weekend in late-September.

    The (un)Making of the Museum
    ARCH 650/850
    Mo Zell
    BSAS students enroll in ARCH 650
    M.Arch students enroll in ARCH 850

    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.

    Student installations at the Chipstone Foundation, 2015
    Prospect and Refuge
    ARCH 650/850
    Don Hanlon
    BSAS students enroll in ARCH 650
    M.Arch students enroll in ARCH 850

    Every successful architect knows that excellence in practice derives from a deep knowledge of design fundamentals: rules of formal composition, an ability to derive lessons from precedent through research and analysis, respect for the inherent properties of materials and mastery of diverse media in the design process as well as in representation.

    The goal of the studio is to help students acquire skill and confidence in design. To accomplish this goal, the objective of the studio is to devote basic disciplines of design to discovering creative architectural solutions. The method will be to study the relation of mass and void, light and darkness, color, movement and stillness, rhythm, scale, hierarchy, proportion and material reality within the theoretical context of ‘prospect and refuge.’

    ARCH 650/850
    Brian Schermer
    BSAS students enroll in ARCH 650
    M.Arch students enroll in ARCH 850

    “Small is beautiful.” So said the economist E.F. Schumacher.

    It’s not just economists who believe this. Architects, from Susan Susanka and her design of small houses to Rem Koolhaas’s tiniest projects (the “S” in “S, M, L, XL”) design have explored the aesthetic power of small scale architectural interventions. This studio will do the same. The goal is to create projects that are not only small and beautiful, but also punch above their weight in transforming the spaces around them. The sites will be on the UWM campus (that gaping atrium in the UWM Union) and an intersection within the city limits of Milwaukee. Keeping things small will also make it possible to explore in-depth those all-important details that will make these project valuable additions to your design portfolio.

    Urban Form
    ARCH 650/850 URBPLAN 858
    Matt Messner
    BSAS students enroll in ARCH 650
    M.Arch students enroll in ARCH 850
    M.Arch/MUP students enroll in URBPLAN 858

    This studio will take a critical look at the planning and design of urban space and urban buildings. The semester will be divided into two main portions. The first will focus on the urban design of a large tract of vacant land in Chicago. The second, longer project, will zoom in on the individual buildings within that urban design. Each student will be responsible for designing one programmatically and formally unique building on the site. When the projects are combined, the result will be a large diverse development comprised of the entire studio’s work.

    Since the time of the Roman colonization of mainland Europe through the use of castrum, through the, often misunderstood, building of mass public housing in the 20th century, the design of large urban spaces has played an immeasurable role in the development of contemporary civilization. Scale, density, and form each have implications on the lives of all those living in urban space. This studio aims to examine and exploit that condition through a better understanding of spatial and formal politics.

    The interaction between people, people and buildings, and buildings and buildings, make up the politics which architects must address at every stage of design. Unsurprisingly, these interactions are often most apparent in urban spaces, and the buildings built in them. Every aspect of a building has an effect on its relationship to the people and the world around it. Every aspect of a building shapes these effects.

    In this studio we will use this understanding to make informed decisions in designing a building for a very specific site in one of the most urban places in the world.

    Rem Koolhaas, Madelon Vriesendorp The City of the Captive Globe Project, New York, New York, Axonometric. 1972
    Marcus Prize Studio
    ARCH 650/850
    Kyle Reynolds
    BSAS students enroll in ARCH 650
    M.Arch students enroll in ARCH 850

    The 2018 Marcus Prize studio will pair Marcus Prize recipient and acclaimed architect Jeanne Gang with SARUP students to investigate the design and development of a cultural institution for Milwaukee that combines the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and the Milwaukee Public Museum into a single project. Students will investigate the potential opportunities in combining multiple institutions into a single building leveraging these possibilities to produce an exceptional architectural proposal.

    Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership – Image by Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing

    Design Studios

    Graduate Students Only

    Comprehensive Design Studio: The Space of Appearance
    ARCH 825
    Gil Snyder

    This studio is about curating a community. It focuses attention on the design of an Innovation Center made up of tech entrepreneurs, scientists, students, and other forward thinking people and organizations working together. On the one hand, it is a community of startups that benefit from the presence of established companies, their knowledge, and ecosystems. On the other hand, “Established companies [that] benefit from the unbridled ingenuity and fresh perspective of the young entrepreneurs and the accompanying pipeline of talent and potential business partnerships” collaboratively occupy the Innovation Center. The program proposed by the developers will be queried for its model of publicness and its capacity to construct a “space of appearance” that is large and diverse enough to make places for all of us.

    Specifically, the studio is formatted within the framework of Building Information Modeling (BIM), as manifested in Autodesk® Revit®, and its potent capacity to integrate design and technology. The program is derived from analysis of Foxconn’s recent proposal for design and construction of a High-Tech Hub and Incubator in Milwaukee’s central business district. The studio adopts a materials-based pedagogy and is focused on research and fabrication with applications related to the use of mass timber construction as an efficient ecological building system.
    The semester is organized around the following:

    1. a 6-credit design studio [ARCH 825] that is taught by Professor Snyder with collaboration from consulting engineers in a dedicated
      SARUP studio. This studio involves integrated collaboration with RP Lab Director Matt Mabee;

    2. a 3-credit BIM seminar/workshop [ARCH 583] taught by professional BIM trainers from the offices of Eppstein Uhen Architects, Milwaukee, and co-taught by Prof 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®.
    Image credit: Machine Element (Fernand Leger, 1924)
    True Colors: Foxconn’s Milwaukee Boarding School and Training Center
    ARCH 850
    Sebastian Schmaling & Brian Johnsen, Fitzhugh Scott Distinguished Professors in Practice

    The myth of “white” modernism – the notion that early architectural modernism categorically dismissed the use of color as antithetical to aesthetic purity – has been sufficiently debunked; still, polychromatic architecture remains an outlier in contemporary discourse, often met with smug contempt and casually derided as whimsical or capricious.

    This studio sets out to reclaim color as a legitimate design tool in the conception of contemporary architecture. In our studies, we will revisit definitive color doctrines by artists and theorists such as Goethe, Albers, Itten, Klee, and others, examine the role that the laisser-faire polychrome of late-Capitalist consumerism plays in contemporary culture, and test how the deliberate architectural application of color may yield profound and meaningful visual effects.

    Over the course of our semester-long design investigations, we will develop a complete architectural project in considerable breadth and depth, focusing on the range of normative conditions critical in the design for a large, complex building. We will pay particular attention to questions of tectonics and experiment with various methods of fabrication, assembly, and joinery techniques.

    The canvas for our design explorations will be an urban Boarding School and Training Center for Foxconn Technology Group, a multinational electronics manufacturing corporation that is moving its North American headquarters to downtown Milwaukee and plans to open an enormous factory in Racine County, one that will eventually employ 13,000 people. The Boarding School and Training Center, which will be located on a surface parking lot next to Foxconn’s downtown headquarters, is intended to provide the company with a constant stream of qualified personnel for future leadership positions. Conceived in collaboration with Milwaukee Public Schools, the school will be run as a charter school specifically targeting at-risk youths from Milwaukee’s central city. The boarding school program, which will include a dormitory, class rooms, laboratories, auditoria, and athletic facilities, will be complemented by a corporate training center, a public plaza, and structured parking.

    The studio will require a high level of intellectually curiosity, artistic ambition, and the ability to develop design concepts 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.