Architecture Courses A 201 – A 212

Monterey Resort

A 201
Creative Design Process

3 units
Architects are hired for creative problem solving, but schools don’t always prepare students to fill this role. This course explains the principles and practices of highly creative design.
Textbook: Creativity: Beyond the Myth of Genius, by Robert W. Weisberg
Note: This book is out of print but available through used book dealers or
Alternate textbook: Creative Problem Solving: An Introduction, fourth edition, by Donald J. Treffinger, S. Isaksen, and K. Brian

A 202
History of Architecture: Renaissance to the Modern Period

3 units
A comprehensive and detailed review of the finest buildings of the past 600 years.
Textbooks: Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism, by Rudolf Wittkower
The Sources of Modern Architecture and Design, by Nikolaus Pevsner

A 203
Three-Dimensional Composition & Visualization

3 units
Architecture is a 3-D art form. The principles of composition and proportion are not difficult to master, and are very satisfying, once learned and applied.
Textbook: Drawing and Designing with Confidence: A Step-by-Step Guide, by Mike W. Lin

A 204
Perspective Drawing

3 units
Computers can do perspective drawings automatically, but it helps designers to understand the basics of what the computer is doing and to be able to do it themselves quickly and competently.
Textbook: Drawing As a Means to Architecture, by William Kirby Lockard
Note: This book is out of print but available through used book dealers or
Freehand Perspective for Designers, by William Kirby Lockard

A 205
Drafting in Design Development & Construction Documents

3 units
The basics of drafting standards and methods for creating architectural construction working drawings.
Textbook: Architectural Working Drawings: Residential and Commercial Buildings, by William P. Spence

A 206
Site Planning & Landscaping

3 units
Site planning is a career in itself. While architects are responsible for many vital site planning decisions, many such decisions are not well informed. This course demonstrates the best practices.
Textbook: Site Analysis: Linking Program and Concept in Land Planning and Design, by James A. LaGro

A 207
Building Design & Planning,
Intermediate Level, Part I

3 units
Many good architects cannot explain how they go about designing their buildings, and their methods remain mysterious. This course helps remove the mystery.
Textbook: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian Houses: The Case for Organic Architecture, by John Sergeant

A 208
Building Design and Planning,
Intermediate Level, Part II

3 units
Much contemporary architectural design theory involves making philosophical and political statements, rather than showing how to meet fundamental human needs. This course deals in depth with the identification of such needs during the design process. Includes a building design assignment, as provided by SFIA.
Textbook: A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction, by Christopher Alexander, et al

A 209
Building Materials and Construction

3 units
A technical examination of the most common construction materials, their characteristics, potential problems, and how to use them most effectively.
Textbook: The Science and Technology of Building Materials, by Henry J. Cowan and Peter R. Smith

Straw bale house designed and built by SFIA alumni

A 210
Introduction to Structural Engineering:
How Buildings Fail

3 units
This course has the same intent as course A 110, but on a more sophisticated and complex level.
Textbook: Why Buildings Fall Down: How Structures Fail, by Matthys Levy

A 211
Environmental Engineering and Ecological Design: Alternative Materials

3 units
Same intent as course A 111, but on a more elaborate level, and with greater emphasis on ecological design.
Textbook: Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, by Ross Spiegel and Dru Meadows

A 212
Principles and Procedures of Project Management

3 units
Most architects practice project management all the time and learn their skills on the job. Hence they often learn from others, who learned a mixture of good, barely adequate, and poor methods of practice. This course is a guide to the best practices.
Textbook: Managing the Building Design Process, by Gavin Tunstall

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