ARCH 102 Architecture Design Studio II (3) – January -May 2018

ARCH 102 Architecture Design Studio II (3)

Lec-35, Lab-70, field trips

Credit, Degree Applicable

P/NP Available


A second design studio course in a sequence that expands upon fundamental architectural principles and concepts within Architecture and Design. Students explore topics related to design process, site, program, place, order, space within simple architectural problems.


After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Outcome 1: Create architectural solutions to a set of project requirements
  • Outcome 2: Evaluate a proposed architectural solution against project requirements
  • Outcome 3: Analyze and communicate design processes visually, orally, in writing, and models (hand and digital)
  • Outcome 4: Use a 2D and 3D architectural language that responds to site, program, materials, and structure
  • Outcome 5: Understand how architects create an iterative design process

The focus of the design problem this semester is community. Creating a viable and livable and nurturing community in a setting that inspires creativity and imagination.

Students will have sketch assignments each week to sketch urban “nodes” in Noe Valley, “Boulevards” directed towards points of interest, retail streets, and farmers markets, urban “corridors” etc. Students will have a sketch “day” on February 20th to walk the Mission (Valenica Street, Mission Street) from 25th Street to 16th Street to sketch out nodes, retail, parks and other community spaces.

Invisible Cities- Studies in Magical Realism and Urban Design

  1. A small city – Semester Long Project Broken into roughly 14 Assignments
  2. Suggested Semester Reading: Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
  3. This is a project for an imagined deep future. War and climate change have destroyed the cities. The only safe zones are within formally uninhabited areas like the deserts or forest clearings. Cities are being created over and near oasis, or near rivers far from the cities.
  4. The default SETTING for your city will be the Burning Man SITE, Black Rock Desert 123 miles northeast from Reno (nearest city) and 342 miles NE from San Francisco. Note that “Burning Man” housed 70,000 people in 2015, and I am asking for a small city of 800 people, roughly 1/10th the size of Burning Man. Water supply to Burning Man was 1.5 gallons per person per day.
  5. The Burning Man Site is 7 square miles (2.6 Miles x 2.6 miles) . We therefore will be no bigger than 1 mile x 1 mile.
  6. The cities are to be created from metaphorical reconstructions of bio, chemio, physio or geo-mimesis. However, this semester we will focus on “materials” and the knowledge spectrum of chemistry- from its simplistic definitions to as far as a student can take it with Instructor approval.
  7. I am looking for lots of models this semester as well as a “broad brush” approach to form making where your cities will be sculptural and compelling and narrative driven in terms of FORM. I am NOT looking for any kind of repeat of Burning Man.
  8. Have no fear though; again, we are interested in the FORM of the city as a minimum. And we will encourage you all to add as much detail as your team can muster.

Assignments – Spring 2018

Assignment 1: Due Tuesday January 22nd

  1. The first four weeks of class will involve the creation of a “Mandala” or Gestalt image of a city that you will use to create a “light” fixture. In other words I am looking for a “self-contained” city image in the first 4 weeks that will be serving a double function as an actual light fixture. You will go to a hardware store to easily get a colored led fixture and plug (or similar) to light your sculpture.
  2. Periodic Table
  3. Students will choose a minimum of four elements from the Periodic Table that will provide the basis of a material or will come from a material that they will also choose.
  4. DELIVERABLES: Students will present an analysis of the elements and the materials they choose in a 250 word sketchbook assignments using at least 6 legible sketches in addition to 250 words.
  5. If you choose Iron, or water, or Gold etc.for instance – then examine the material – tell us everything you can about it both metaphorically, historically culturally and chemically. Tell us at least 7 different things from each material chosen. Be poetic. Be creative.
  6. Water = liquid= fluid form
  7. Iron = metal = folded and bent elements = hardness etc.
  8. Gold= precious metal- its rare and reminds us of the sun
  9. Ask Dave for guidance as much as necessary to help form your report
  10. You may form teams to design your city.
  11. Students should start sketch ideas for the city as a whole (at least three) by Thursday January 17th.
  12. your city could be a mountain range of granite
  13. it could be a coral reef of concrete in a “liquid” form
  14. it could be a glass city etc.
  15. The materials/elements may change during the semester if the student so chooses and with the permission of the instructor
  16. This semester long project will examine bio, geo, chemio, and physio-mimesis but through the lens of chemio-mimesis.

Assignment 2: City ideas and sketches – DUE: January 18th

  1. The city will be for 800 people or roughly 200 families. The cities will provide retail, government facilities, entertainment areas and housing. DELIVERABLE 1: Student teams are to develop at least 6 sketch ideas and beginning models for their city ideas. They are to build at least 3 sketch models.
  2. There is no motor transport in the city.
  3. The city must tell a “story”, a narrative, from soft to hard, walled to open, North to south.
  4. The city will use propane and water cisterns and perhaps wells
  5. Students must choose at least two locations for discussion with the instructors.
  6. What is the narrative or idea or concept for your city?
  7. It should be a mandala and provide a “gestalt”.
  8. Is it a new kind of forest? A mountain range? A sea? How will it use materials and chemistry?
  9. DELIVERABLE 2 : Create 3 or more sketches to diagram how your project metaphorically uses the mimesis directives (bio, geo, chemio, physio) (in addition to the sketches required in “A” above).
  10. I am interested in overlaid concepts- more than one.
  11. One of the concepts must be “material” based and privilege the “chemistry” metaphor for the semester.


Assignment 3: Housing -4 week assignment

  1. Start by designing a Studio apartment 1,2 and 3 Bedroom apartment. – January 25th – Prepare sketches for a typical Studio and 1- bedroom apartment – Building a model of the apartment. Experiment with how you will bring light into the apartment based on your concept.
  2. Entry
  3. Kitchen
  4. Bedrooms
  5. Living Dining (combine with kitchen)
  6. Note that the apartments can be in many different buildings or in one family buildings – you will need to house 800 people or 200 families (the Millennium Tower in San Francisco houses 439 apartments for instance. The Millennium Tower could solve our “city” problem, in effect, except that our proposal will be no more than 2 stories high.

Assignment 4: Housing

  1. Assemble the housing elements- work on developing
  2. Lobbys
  3. Connectivity to city

Assignment 5: Housing

  1. Locate the housing in the city you have created.
  2. Let it fill the overall design
  3. Let it fit into the overall design you have created
  5. Elevations
  6. Plans (minimum 1/8”=1’-0”) with 1/16”=1’-0” for overall plans of apartment buildings
  7. 6 sketch perspectives
  8. Model
  9. Note that the general disposition of housing may change as you finish your city.

Assignment 6: City Center

  1. 4 week assignment- Government Meeting Rooms- Sketch general ideas for your City Hall.
  2. Government meeting rooms and city hall
  3. Locate the city hall.
  4. The chamber could and perhaps should hold 400 or more people
  5. Research San Francisco City Hall over the next 4 weeks for knowledge
  6. Mayors office
  7. Treasurer’s Office
  8. Security Office and Jail
  9. Deliverable: General location and sketch layouts in your sketchbooks. 3 sketches minimum per team member

Assignment 7: Mayor’s Office

  1. The mayor is the leader of this isolated town- in effect its President
  2. What does the mayor need to function effectively?
  3. Conference room
  4. Small library
  5. Kitchen
  6. Dining room
  7. Near his home or his home will be a part of the Mayors office
  8. DELIVERABLES: General location and sketch layouts in your sketchbooks. 3 sketches minimum per team member

Assignment 8: Treasurer- Treasury and Treasurer’s office

  1. This office can also have a mint to print or coin money
  2. It should be a part of the BANK
  3. Deliverables General location and sketch layouts in your sketchbooks. 3 sketches minimum per team member
  4. Security Office and Jail
  5. Judges room
  6. Jail Cells or some similar type of disciplinary space
  7. Deliverables General location and sketch layouts in your sketchbooks. 3 sketches minimum per team member

Assignment 10: Town Library, Town Art Museum , Entertainment Facilities
Assignment 11: Theater – for movies and performances etc.
Assignment 12: Retail shops
Assignment 13: Food Markets
Assignment 14: Final Presentation

David Kesler is a Multi-Disciplinary Architectural Firm in San Francisco

David Kesler is a multi-disciplinary firm specializing in architectural services for residential, commercial, and institutional clients.