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Environmental Design Course List

View titles & descriptions for the Environmental Design department's courses.

Click a Course's Title to read its description .

Course # Course Title Credits
AD 200 Integrated 3D Design 3 credits
This course develops basic design literacy and teaches basic problem solving methods and skills in preparation for tackling complex design problems in architecture, object and furniture design as well as numerous other areas of construction and fabrication, including sculpture, ceramics, packaging, environmental graphics etc. Students are introduced to a basic vocabulary of three-dimensional form making, space making and they learn to solve simple design problems methodically, with creativity and imagination. Design exercise are integrated with skill building assignments from concurrent courses in representation and fabrication methods.

Co-requisite: Concurrent enrollment in AD 201 and AD 202 required for AD Majors. Non-Majors need permission to waive co-requisite.

AD 201 Fabrication Methods 1.5 credits
This workshop introduces the student to wood shop and metal shop techniques amongst others and to conceptual strategies for integrating material, details and construction. Students study the processes of making, their imprint on the work, as well as participate in conversations and readings that help connect materiality to a conceptually based approach to design.

Co-requisite: Concurrent enrollment in AD 200 and AD 202 required for AD Majors. Non-Majors need permission to waive co-requisite.

AD 202 Design Drawing 1.5 credits
Design Drawing introduces the methods of architectural representation into the rich visual vocabulary students bring from Foundation year. The plan, section, elevation, scale model making and axonometric are taught in counter point to the requirements of concurrent studio courses.

Co-requisite: Concurrent enrollment in AD 200 and AD 201 required for AD Majors. Non-Majors need permission to waive co-requisite.

AD 208 Visual Histories of the City 3 credits
This studio course examines how history, research and on-site experience inform studio practice. Students will combine visual and archival research techniques in order to investigate, analyze and document the stories that are told by the physical form of the city. The dialogue between Baltimore's development and that of the nation presents a unique case study through which students will unpack the spatial environment and history of the city. Visual material made from observation in various media - drawings, photography, recordings, etc - will be integrated with research findings to construct storybook-journals. The class will visit and collaborate with the Maryland Historical Society, who will archive the students' work. The Enoch Pratt library system and other sources of historic information around Baltimore will serve as important resources as well. Baltimore is home to a wealth of historically significant locations, and frequent field trips and independent, on-site art-making will be important components of the class. Locations may include MICA's own campus, Penn Station, Fort McHenry, The Washington Monument, The Basilica, Federal Hill, The Baltimore Museum of Art, and Camden Yards; as well as local churches, synagogues, and row houses, just to name a few examples.
AD 210 AD: Interior & Exterior 3 credits
This course expands on the set of core phenomenologies of architecture introduced in the first semester and also expands the realms of meaning and complexity of the design projects. Students investigate the mechanisms by which spaces take on meaning and the relationships between art, space and architecture. From ideation to problem solving, students are guided to construct a framework of design process and practice that is rigorous ,yet personal. The students conclude this course with a body of carefully crafted architectural drawings, scale models and documentation of their design process.

Prerequisite: AD 200, AD 201, & AD 202 Co-requisite: Concurrent enrollment in AD 211 and AD 220 Required for AD Majors. Non-Majors need permission to waive co-requisite.

AD 211 Digital Drawing 1 1.5 credits
Digital technologies are changing and the categories of 2D and 3D drawing are becoming blurred. This course focuses on the workflows between multiple computer drawing programs that students need to learn in order to explore and solve design and fabrication problems and to produce 2D and 3D output.

Prerequisite: AD 200, AD 201, & AD 202 Co-requisite: Concurrent enrollment in AD 210 and AD 220 Required for AD Majors. Non-Majors need permission to waive co-requisite.

AD 220 Obj Design: Body/Material/Form 3 credits
The subject of this studio is the material and ergonomic thinking that must accompany spatial thinking and architectural design. Students are introduced to concepts of ergonomics, and they learn to design at the scale of the body, incorporating systems of proportions and the systematic study of materials. Students research and identify ways to improve human conditions, brainstorm solutions, and create prototype products. Emphasis is placed upon innovative thinking, 2D and 3D mock-ups, model construction, and elegant technical solutions.

Prerequisite: AD 200, AD 201, & AD 202 Co-requisite: Concurrent enrollment in AD 210 and AD 211 required for AD Majors. Non-Majors need permission to waive co-requisite.

AD 225 Emerging Practices 1.5 credits
The critical practice lecture series is intended to introduce students to a broad range of contemporary art and design issues and practices. The series will include local, national and international speakers representing both emerging and established practices.
AD 251 Intro to Architectural Design 3 credits
In this introductory studio, students are immersed in the philosophies and strategies of solving three dimensional design problems in general and spatial design problems in particular. Students integrate multidisciplinary competencies they may already have with new design skills. Projects explore idea generation, concept realization in 2D and 3D media including basic orthographic drawings.
AD 252 Introduction to Object Design 3 credits
Can re-designing a water bottle help save the planet? What will the next iPhone look like? Why can’t my shoes recharge my cell phone while I walk? Design is about looking into the future. Design is about people. Design is about thinking, inventing, solving problems, collaborating, being curious, asking questions, and challenging everything. Design is about new forms, new structures, and new materials. In this course, students imagine the issues our future holds and design products to meet these challenges. At the same time, they become familiar with current design issues, new materials, smart technologies, and presentation techniques. This course serves as an introduction to the practice of product design: where creations are imagined, developed, and realized. Through workshops and hands-on experimentation, students invent products no one else has yet to dream up.
AD 258 Practices of Architectural Drw 3 credits
AD 300 Architecture Lab 1 4.5 credits
Urbanism and Technology are the central themes of the Architectural Lab 1 studio. Students work on urban projects of intermediate scale that are public in nature and which demand close consideration of physical and social contexts. Beginning with detailed analyses of specific sites, students go on to develop programs and technically resolved architectural proposals for their sites. in developing their proposals, students address basic problems of light, circulation, materials, construction, and structure and learn to find creative solutions to each.

Prerequisite: AD 210, AD 211, and AD 220 Co-requisite: Concurrent enrollment in AD 301 and AH 250 required.

AD 301 Building Technology 1 1.5 credits
Building Technology 1, together with Building Technology 2, forms a sequence of learning for students to learn about the materials and methods of building construction. This course, the first part of the sequence will integrate hands-on exercises such as the experimental load testing of architectural forms, visits to local construction sites and materials testing labs in order to teach the behavior and use of materials on the scale of a building, Students learn how material properties determine construction systems in general and the details of a design project in particular.
AD 302 Digital Drawing 2 1.5 credits
The course will build on the knowledge base from Digital Drawing 1 by introducing more advanced exercises including rendering and animation. Students will learn to create drawing sets from their model in Revit. The course will introduce advanced lighting and material setups, animated objects, HDRI lighting and key frame animation.

Prerequisite: AD 211

AD 310 Architecture Lab 2 4.5 credits
The City and Culture are the central themes of the Architecture Lab 2 studio. This studio continues the introduction of increasingly complex architectural problems and more critically informed design strategies. Students learn to analyze cities as indexes of social, cultural, historic and political forces. Using Baltimore as a subject large scale design inquiry is initiated and elaborated through more detailed design exploration at the scale of the interior and exterior of inhabitable space. Research and mapping techniques, contemporary design strategies for sustainable urban environments and digital + physical modeling are among the skills that are introduced in this studio.

Prerequisite: AD 300

AD 311 Building Technology 2 1.5 credits
The study of architectural building systems and the relationship between design strategies and building systems will be focus of this course. This course will build on research completed in Building Technology I and further explore architectural systems, principals of assembly, sustainability and innovative technologies. Case Studies, Site Visits, Design-Build Exercises and Guest Experts will all be used throughout the course.

Prerequisite: AD 301

AD 351 Digital Fabrication for AD 1.5 credits
Digital Fabrication applies the student’s working knowledge in 3D software platforms such as Rhinoceros, to the workflows and machine platforms of Digital Fabrication. Students learn to use 3D printers and CNC routers. This course focuses on the fabrication of forms that are conventionally difficult , it emphasizes applications of digital fabrication in the field of Architecture and Design and on the implications of digital fabrication as a mode of industrial production.

Prerequisite: AD 211

AD 353 Urban Design 3 credits
Introduces urban design in a studio format and covers issues of form, spatial relationships, and the mix of intention and circumstances to shape our cities. Students look at the city at a variety of scales: the street, park, and larger civic spaces. They examine the forces such as geography, transportation, political structure, and others that influence the design of cities. To build an understanding of urban processes, students look at cities through a variety of lenses, namely experiential, historic, and political. The studio includes research, readings, and short-term and longer-term projects. The longer term project includes looking at a site within Baltimore City in collaboration with the Baltimore City Department of Planning. The class concentrate on urban areas of Baltimore but look at other American cities and cities around the world as well.
AD 354 Topics in Object Design 3 credits
This studio concerns real-wold design projects, where students will receive problems framed by the client. Students develop innovative objects that address the problems and end-users will test concepts during multiple sessions. Students will also have the opportunity to develop their projects into final prototypes and even have them produced! Through workshops, hands-on-experiments and inspiring presentations, students will develop their design skills to help them become better thinkers, problem solvers and interdisciplinary designers.

Prerequisite: AD 220

AD 400 Architectural Lab III 6 credits
Design Thesis is an independently driven creative work developed within a focused subject of inquiry and directed by architectural design questions. It is carried out through intensive research, study, and design explorations that culminate in a thoroughly developed architectural design proposition. It is also fully recorded in a final document. In Thesis 1 you will develop a new level of competence and skill in independent research and the design outcomes of the research. You will then be asked to define an area of interest and investigation that will lead to the definition of your Thesis project in your Thesis Statement or proposal. The proposal sets into place the general topics and particular strategies according to which you will work.

Prerequisite: AD 310

AD 401 Advanced Drawing Concept 1.5 credits
This course studies how architectural drawings and models, as an autonomous art form, transcend the literal communication of information or what is commonly called 'the blue-print'. Students study precedents in architectural drawing and communication, follow readings in theories of projective drawing and study representational strategies that use the power of architectural drawing to raise questions and to reveal the Architect's critical intent. In addition, students will execute a series of class drawing assignments, which will in some cases supplement Thesis design work conducted in AD410.

Prerequisite: AD 400 Co-requisite: Concurrent enrollment in AD 410

AD 410 Architectural Lab IV: Thesis 2 6 credits
The final design studio of a student's career at the department is their Thesis. Directed and critical prompts prior to the semester open the way for each student to identify individual areas of interest and to develop and focus of their Thesis project. Students strive to achieve project complexity within a critically informed and creative design process, they are asked to exercise interdisciplinary thinking and demonstrate design outcomes at the most professional level they are capable.

Prerequisite: AD 400

AD 411 Professional Development 1.5 credits
This course focuses on career preparation and development in the field of Architecture whether students wish to focus on continuing onto Graduate School or if they wish to enter professional practice as an intern or junior project designer. The course will touch on topics such as portfolio preparation, interview techniques and these topics are discussed and explored with visiting speakers, and during visits to design firms and Architecture offices in the city.