GRADUATE COURSES IN ARCHITECTURE
Design Studio I-II
Graduate design studios are interactive and interdisciplinary environments where students are offered the opportunity to pursue their chosen area of specialization by means of extensive research and design. They are encouraged to form international academic links and produce research-based, exploratory and innovative work.
Architectural Research Methods
The aim of this course is to prepare the students to do research in the field of architecture. Course contents include the scope of architectural research, standards of research quality, and research strategies. Students are familiarized with such notions as qualitative, quantitative, correlational and experimental research. They are familiarized with academic writing standards and ethical aspects of academic research.
The seminar course focuses on research methods in architecture. Students are exposed to principles of academic research in scientific disciplines including concepts like qualitative and quantitative research, problem definition, testing, documentation and methods of data collection. They will also be introduced to diverse theoretical approaches to research.
The masters thesis marks the culmination of graduate studies where students engage in extensive research on a topic of their choice, which addresses a specific question that contributes to current architectural discourse and/or practice. Guided by a supervisor, they are expected to engage in independent and rigorous work towards their chosen area of expertise. The end product can be a written thesis or a design project accompanied by an extensive report.
GRADUATE ELECTIVES IN ARCHITECTURE
Contemporary Theories in Architecture
This course focuses on the current state of the architectural discipline from contemporary theoretical perspectives. The aim is to develop students’ interpretive skills in architecture in order to enable fresh approaches to design. While the first part of the course is devoted to architectural theories of the modernist heritage, the second part engages with contemporary approaches to architectural discourse that claim a break from the modernist tradition.
Technology and Architecture
This course addresses the influence of scientific and technological developments in urban planning and architecture from the historical point of view. It poses such questions as: What are the relationship of industrialization and the recent scientific and technological developments and their impact on cities, buildings and society? How do these developments affect the behavior of human beings and how can they influence the quality of living? What is the relationship between architecture, building technology and engineering?
Architecture and Modernity
This course provides an understanding of the relationship between architecture and cultural modernity. Explicating the premises of the Enlightenment and its rationalist basis, lectures and discussions focus on the continuation of the Enlightenment heritage as well as oppositional positions beginning with Romanticism and unfolding through various avant-garde movements of the 20th century. The aim is to provide an understanding of the heterogenous character of modernity both in architecture and in the larger field of cultural production.
Contemporary Urban Cultures
After a preview of modernist urbanism and development of modern urban cultures, this course focuses on how traditional notions of the city, community and public realm are challenged in the age of globalism and the birth of global cities. By means of case studies, selected critical readings, seminar discussions and student presentations, such issues as urban effects of the global flow of capital, large scale migration and the status of public spaces are examined. Students are familiarized with the concerns of everyday urbanism, new urbanism and post-urbanism in terms of the relationship between urban culture and planning.
The aim of this couse is to introduce the range of theoretical frameworks to understand and interpret spatial practices in relation to the materiality of space. The couse covers readings and discussions on critical spatial theories and the interpretation of particular urban and architectural spaces from an interdisciplinary perspective. Discussions focus on the relationship between everyday spatial practices and design disciplines through the understanding of social and cultural factors.
The creation of alternative living environments is a current issue due to increase in natural disasters, rise in sea levels and mass migrations to cities all over the world. These include the development of concepts and technologies for eco-friendly floating cities inspired by sustainable offshore settlements. This course tackles these complex issues and aims at investigating innovative concepts and technologies.
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Architectural Discourse
The aim of this course is to develop students’ critical interpretive skills in architecture by introducing them to architectural and historical texts and their interpretations by leading contemporary theorists including philosophers and cultural theorists as well as architects and architectural historians. The course focuses on architectural discourses and practices in relation to such contemporary theoretical frameworks as structuralism, post-structuralism, post-colonial, feminist and psychoanalytical theories.
Performance Based Design
This course focuses on the way by which different disciplines can be integrated towards innovative design concepts which deal with soft and hard aspects in building design. Emphais is placed on interdisciplinary collaboration towards concept innovation. During the conceptual phase of the design, important decisions are made especially on the technical and engineering performances in relation to the form of a building. These performances can be used by the architect as a source for inspiration to design innovative concepts and products.
Advanced Computational Design
Advanced computational design is an emerging approach that uses the power of the computer to aid the design process and which involves different approaches to design. This course provides design and programming knowledge which enables writing parametric and associative programmes to allow experimentation with visual programming environments. It provides a framework where various design ideas can be quickly generated and evaluated. The use and evaluation of complex geometric models will help students to understand programming concepts and in turn, learn more about new approaches to the design process.
This course emphasizes the importance of building façades as media between outdoor and indoor environments. Similar to a living form the façade is considered as a selective skin for water, solar light, and contaminants in the surrounding air. Hence the sustainable façade becomes a control mechanism contributing the optimization of energy in buildings. Students will learn passive and active strategies for such control focusing on themes like material properties, the significance of openings, solar collectors and photovoltaic technologies.
Building Rating Systems
Many decisions concerning the building process and design choices are not the outcome of a rational assessment of alternatives, but have grown to be standardized at regional levels. Planning, designing and building involve different professions and the problems and the gathering of information depend on the people involved in the construction process. A community of different professionals need guidance via rating models to achieve objective evaluations. This course introduces rating models and software systems currently in use, and provides an overview of the theoretical background of their development.
Building and Energy
The main concern of this course is thedesign of energy efficient and sustainable buildings by using both traditional and modern techniques and methods. It addresses issues of energy efficiency in buildings and how to apply innovative technologies to plus energy buildings. Students will be familiarized with such devices as photovoltaic cells, solar panels, chimneys, passive solar strategies, the solar house concept, floating structures and simple heat transfer calculations. The course also addresses the green building concept and performance criteria developed by such organizations as LEEDS and BREAM.