RISD Summer Programs course: Introduction to Architectural Design

Introduction to Architectural Design

This course enables students to explore both the conceptual and practical realms of architecture through a series of studio projects, with supporting lecture content. Discussions focus on how experience, daily use, culture and aesthetics influence the field of architectural design, while studio projects develop a creative yet rigorous design process through drawing, model making, and critique. Initially, students complete design exercises that develop understandings of three-dimensional form, material properties, architectural scale, and spatial experience. As the course progresses, students apply these principles to a site-specific design project with programmatic needs. Individuals with or without design experience are welcome, as projects are suitable to each student’s background.

Design by Morgan Spaulding

RISD degree students: This course offers 3 transfer credits with pre-approval from your department head using the “Transfer Credit Prior Approval for Major/Non Major Credit” form, found on the Registrar’s Office Forms page. Submit the signed form to the Registrar’s office and then complete the online course registration.

Course #0221
Nathan Friedman

Schedule A
June 21–July 27, 2021 (no class July 5)
Mondays + Tuesdays, 10 am–1 pm ET
Online, Live

Tuition $2,300
3 Credits



Nathan Friedman

Nathan Friedman is a practicing architect in Mexico City and cofounder of the design practice Departamento del Distrito, working at the intersection of politics, identity and the built environment. His research on the 19th-century constitution of the US-Mexico border was recently presented through the exhibition Attending Limits at the WUHO Gallery, Los Angeles and the Bibliowicz Family Gallery, Cornell University with support from the Graham Foundation. His writing has been published in Art Journal, MAS Context, Scapegoat and Manifest. Friedman is a former editor of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Thresholds and has previously worked for Eisenman Architects, SMAQ Berlin and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam, focusing on a contemporary art museum in the heart of Moscow’s Gorky Park. He holds an MS from the Department of History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art at MIT and a BArch from Cornell University.

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