College of Fine Arts - Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation - Carnegie Mellon University

College of Fine Arts – Learning Objectives Samples

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48-200 Architectural Composition (Kai Gutschow, Athur Lubetz, Eric Fisher, & Ulrish Flemming)

The following list of outlines the pedagogical content and knowledge base of the course.  Students are encouraged to use it as a checklist for directing their design process.  The list, ?, will be used as a reference for the evaluation of student work by the faculty.  Such evaluation will seek to assess the degree to which the work, particularly the final work, indicates mastery of the following:

  • Problem Comprehensive:
    • Comprehension of the goal of the assignment and commitment to explore its salient possibilities.
    • Comprehension of cogent experiential, identification and contextual issues in the process of architectural composition.
    • Evidence of a clearly established scope and priorities in the design proposal.
  • Analytical Design Skills:
    • To gather, organize, and summarize information necessary to appropriately study a problem
    • To distinguish and construct relationships defined by fact, preference, and judgment.
    • To articulate a clear and comprehensive architectural concept which is verified during design development.
    • To discern, and to appropriately use, narratives in the consideration of architectural meaning.
    • To comprehend the characteristics, uses and significance of architectural elements and principles of their composition.
    • To analyze order, intention and program in historical design examples, as well in one’s own proposals, with clarity and precision.
  • Synthetical Design Skills:
    • To invent and construct alternative formal and spatial organizations in response to evolving priorities.
    • To resolve form, space, structure, material, color, and texture in the articulation and composition of parts.
    • To anticipate patterns of human occupancy in the definition of form.
    • To make formal synthesis consistent with architectural intention and desired image.
    • To resolve composition at various levels of detail.
  • Communication Skills:
    • Completeness, craft, and expressiveness in sketching, drawing, and model-building to represent designs at various stages of resolution.
    • Precision and clarity in the use of works and architectural terminology, as evident in written and oral presentations and in studio discussions.
  • Design Process:
    • Ability to revise and refine proposals in response to evaluations (critique) and lecture content.
    • Discernible improvement over the course of the semester.
    • Concern for aesthetic quality and cultural context of architectural production.
    • Consistent self-direction and critical thinking.

48-240, 79-227 History of World Architecture (Diane Shaw)

In addition to establishing the basic chronological and stylistic evolution of architecture, the class will also be examining the variety of factors that influenced the design of key buildings.  Throughout the class we should keep asking ourselves, “why did this building look the way it did?” and keep discovering that there are a multitude of factors that explain the creation and evolution to the built environment.

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Identify the hallmarks of and rationales behind a variety of world architectures
  • Make educated deductions why, when or how buildings or sites were designed that way
  • Identify and explain different types of urban plans and relationship to buildings
  • Correctly use the basic vocabulary of architecture and architectural history to develop skills of description and analysis
  • Cultivate a base of historical literacy that will permit the student to undertake more intensive study in upper level courses

48-312/317 Site Engineering and Foundations (Christine Mondor)

This course is intended to give a base level of knowledge regarding issues of site design and construction.  Students learn the basic concepts that will inform observation and decisions on a project.  Student should also be able to manipulate the concepts of work with a specialist when necessary. The objectives include:
  • The student should be able to make judgments and recommendations regarding proposals and designs.
  • The student should be able to estimate the behavior of materials and components and the means to satisfy predictions related thereto.
  • The student should understand the means and methods that related professionals may use as a member of their project team.

48-330 Architecture Design Studio: Site (Christine Mondor)

This course is intended to allow students to synthesize technical knowledge and design intention regarding issues of site design and construction. Students should be able to:

  • Identify multiple ways of relating to site in precedents and their colleagues work. They should be able to generate their own alternatives and synthesize them into a cohesive project.
  • Demonstrate building construction, structural design, and architectural composition gained in prior semesters’ courses.
  • Demonstrate an ongoing exploration of the details of occupancy.
  • Collaborate in a team to generate, evaluate and document design decisions.
  • Show evidence of a consistent exploration of alternatives.

48-338 European cities in the XIX century: planning, architecture, preservation (Francesca Torello)

The students at the end of the course should be able to:

  • Collect and analyze data on a given historical situation, outline historical context.
  • Read, evaluate and compare written contributions on the topic (articles, materials from web pages on the internet).
  • Independently research necessary missing information.
  • Identify points of view, position of different actors.
  • Discuss critically.
  • Present their work to an audience of peers.
  • Follow method guidelines to produce short written work on independent research.

48-343, 79-471 American Built Environment Since 1850: City and Suburb (Diane Shaw)

In addition to establishing the basic chronological and stylistic evolution of American architecture, the class will be examining the variety of forms and the variety of factors that influenced the design of buildings and communities.

By the end of the course, student should be able to:

  • Identify building types and styles of architecture and settlements (urban, suburban, rural).
  • Identify and understand the significance of gender, race, and class on architecture.
  • Identify and understand the evolution and influence of building materials and technologies.
  • Be able to apply all of the above categories in an analysis in “unknown” sites and make educated deductions why buildings and sites were designed in the way they were.
  • Develop skills of critical analysis, historical research, and writing.