Could it be that what a practicing architect might reasonably ask for in a theory of representation is not a perfect match between the object and its representation, but rather to accept the impossibility of an accurate transcription of vision as a fundamental starting point? In other words, that the operative power of the system is precisely its abstract, structural character, and not its ability to transcribe, or fix something as ephemeral as visual perception.”

Stan Allen, “Vision and Perspective” Practice: Architecture, Technique and Representation, 2009

Bulletin Description:

Foundation of Art & Design is a studio course on the basic art and design principles and formal relationships that underlie all visual disciplines, using drawing, media, and collage. Students expand their ability to see, and develop their creative and problem-solving skills in art and design. Modeled after Pratt’s first-year foundation of art and design program and taught by professionals artists and designers, this course will expand students’ aesthetic awareness, strengthen their portfolio, and provide a basis for further study.

Detailed Description:

Foundation is a course that addresses the basic principles that underlie all visual disciplines. Students expand their ability to see, and develop their creative and problem-solving capacity. Students are asked to leave behind any preconceptions or predetermined “style”, and to be open to new ways of working, in order to expand their abilities and more fully understand their creative potential. At times process may take precedent over “product”, but learning to see and think will ultimately result in stronger work.

Drawing, design principles, and color relationships will be explored, sometimes separately and sometimes overlapping. An emphasis will be placed on working objectively from direct observation. However, some work will be more expressive, abstract, or conceptual. Students will learn about line, shape, form, and value; about structure and space, about principles of two-dimensional design.

Through guidance will always be offered by the instructor, it will sometimes be necessary for students to find answers for themselves. No prior experience is required or expected. What is required in order to succeed in this class: pay attention, accept challenges and unfamiliar approaches, take risks, use your imagination, work hard!

Each session will begin with a public critique with the participation of the entire group. We want to foster an atmosphere of sharing ideas and criticism freely. Critique should be positive and constructive, emphasizing areas of excellence and identifying opportunities to push projects beyond assumptions. You will have studio production time each class where individual/desk critiques are possible.


Course Outline + Schedule:


Wednesday July 6th:

  • Introduction to Foundation (meet in Higgins Hall South 112)

Intro to Drawing + Sketching within architecture and design.

Workspace setup, materials and tools + line-weights, types and point annotations.

Blind Contour Sketching + workplace setup

Thursday July 7th

  • Introduction to Technical Drawing + Model Making

    Techniques of architectural projection: grids, the unfolded and folded cube

Introduction to rule based operations: subtractive and additive

Recursive Lines + Subtractive Cubes

Weekend Finalize 2D grids and 3D cubes. Photograph process + post to Blog.


Monday July 11th

  • Sectional Analysis + Figure Ground (meet in Higgins Hall North 306A)

Seeing within, transformation, pattern, positive and negative space, operate upon photographs and drawings. Analog and digital manipulation.

Transforming the Cube: Slicing, Scale, Rotation, Layering, Folding, Pleating

Wednesday July 13th

  • Rendering Light + Shadow

Introduction to three-dimensional representation through sketching + shadows

Combining graphite, Ink, and Charcoal rendering techniques for tonality.

Advanced Cube Transformations: Recording Time: Sequential Shadow

Thursday July 14th

  • Collage: Composition + Juxtapositions (meet in Higgins Hall North 306A)

New relationships between photographs and drawings to generate new narratives of space, time, environment, and subjects. Compose + aggregate within generated grids.

ReImaging Space

Weekend Finish analog and digital cube transformations and compositions.

Photograph and upload to Blog. Print and mount to foamcore.


Monday July 18th

  • Translation – 2D to 3D

Extract a family of components from transformative drawings and translate into 3D through folding techniques. Make 2.5 relief model of a selected drawing.

Photograph family.

Material Collage

Wednesday July 20th

  • 2D – 3D Aggregation Patterns

Algorithmic aggregation techniques using your family of components. Test variations of rules to form part to whole relationships. Photograph sequence of making.

Spatial Systems

Thursday July 21st

  • Body Forming

    Test 2D + 3D aggregation patterns in relationship to a structural idea derived from provocative formal analysis of the human body. Tectonics.

Structural Systems

Weekend Finalize aggregate models, photograph, and post to blog.


Monday July 25th

  • Photography Workshop

Documenting 2D and 3D work for portfolio ready images. Set up camera + lights.

Wednesday July 27th

  • Finalize Work Output (access to Higgins Hall North 306A)

Print final images of work and mount

Thursday July 28th

  • Exhibition Installation + Final Project Documentation

Friday July 29th or Saturday July 30th

  • Exhibition + Reception