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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ann Marie Borys
ARCH 462
Seattle Campus

Spatial Composition in Architecture

Advanced introduction to compositional strategies in architecture. Drawing on a historical survey of the development of Western architecture, the seminar investigates different compositional strategies and their relationship to cultural values and systems of meaning. Intended as complement to the design studio.

Class description

After an introductory overview of spatial paradigms and the fundamental design attributes of space, we will focus on compositional systems of the 19th and 20th centuries with a focus on neoclassical and modern architecture. We will look at the work of some well-known architects and some that may not be as familiar. Readings will explore the symbolic and poetic dimensions of space.

Student learning goals

Recognize the roles of proportion and geometry in shaping memorable space.

Recognize commonly used paradigms (natural and historical) in describing and designing space.

Understand 19th century architectural developments that led to the emergence of space as a design element.

Understand major compositional systems of 19th and 20th century architecture.

Be able to effectively use compositional strategies as a part of a design process.

Be able to analyze the compositional premises of historical works and to express their logic in new ways.

General method of instruction

The course is a combination of lecture, discussion, and critique of student assignments.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Ann Marie Borys
Date: 05/10/2013