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Architectural Design BFA

The architecture faculty foster a welcoming, friendly, and highly participatory culture in their classes.

Coursework is enriched by field trips to building and construction sites, seminars on leading design issues, precedent study, and research on the nature of materials and technologies.

Upon completion of the program, students will be qualified to apply for and obtain positions in a range of architecture firms or to continue study in graduate-level architecture schools across the country. They may also pursue the option of attaining a nationally accredited Master of Architecture degree at MassArt, with an additional five semesters following the four-year undergraduate program.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learning through making:
    - Demonstrate ability to work in local community contexts.
    - Understand architecture through constant analysis, fabrication, and exploration of the material consequences of design.
    - Demonstrate abilities to work collaboratively across disciplines.
    - Take appropriate risks to explore possibilities.
    - Understand the realities and limitations of modern practice, accounting for environmental consequences and factors in sustainability.
    - Blend art, design, and applied science in the design of energy efficient built environments.
    - Understand building details, and state-of-the-art digital tools support design, presentation and modeling.
  • Learning and studio culture: Contribute to the department’s inclusive culture by actively participating on committees, through mentoring, and reviews.
  • Learning through critical thinking and presenting:
    - Produce work that clearly exhibits the diverse canons of building design, so that teach of these vocabularies inform building production, ideation, and performance.
    - Demonstrate the use of ordering systems, diagramming, and research in urban and building precedents to develop upper-level solutions.
    - Ground projects in parallel and divergent histories of architecture and the cultural norms of a variety of indigenous, vernacular, local, and regional settings in terms of their political, economic, social, ecological, and technological factors.
    - Understand social equity broadly, including social justice, accessibility, and civic engagement as it relates to architectural design.
    - Understand the relationship of culture, environment and the built world.
    - Use quality investigative research, writing, and graphic analysis in the design process.
  • Learning current building practice, technical skill, and knowledge:
    - Assess user needs as well as site and building constraints in the pre-design process.
    - Interpret current building codes and regulations and apply to projects.
    - Make technically precise drawings that reflect the complexities of a design, using digital and analog techniques.
    - Outline material specifications and construction of models illustrating and identifying project assembly, systems, and components appropriate for a building design.
    - Understand and use principle structural systems, gravitational, seismic, and lateral forces along with basic physics and mathematical principles.
  • Learning through research and integrated solutions
    - Make design decisions within a complex architectural project while demonstrating broad integration and consideration of environmental stewardship, technical documentation, accessibility, site conditions, life safety, environmental systems, structural systems, and building envelope systems and assemblies.
    - Understand and conduct research in the following three areas:
       1. Research in Building Science and as Scientific Inquiry—addressing materials, technical details, climate, and ideas in construction that support innovation in sustainability.
       2. Research in the Humanities—including the social systems, historic and therapeutic nature of applied humanistic theories to design problems.
       3. Research in the Artistic Realm—those practice-based issues that address qualitative, rather than quantitative, issues in design.
  • Learning through professional practice:
    - Understand the architect’s responsibility in all projects regardless of locale.
    - Understand the ethics of professional practice.

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