Selected Undergraduate Design Studio Projects--Architectonics Spring 2015


Professors Mersiha Veledar, Adam Longenbach, Savina Romanos

Elements: A Scalar Play In Marks, Elements, Objects And Constructions 

First year sets the course for an elementary understanding of the Foundations of Architecture. This studio teaches the underlying principles of tectonics within a body of autonomous figures of various typological elements such as columns, walls, windows, doors, skylights and stairs. The individual “kit of elements and parts” framework creates an array of new inventive figures and possibilities in structural, formal, composite and programmatic configurations, becoming a generating lexicon of design.

The studio coursework is set by the exploration and experimentation within the kit of elements and parts progression in scale and learning how to draw and design to scale, at multiple scales.

SCALE CAN  ________.  Scale is a fundamental principle of architecture and one of the most crucial challenges every young architect should begin to examine and understand through basic observations in proportions, measures, constructions, assemblies and most importantly, arche-typical conditions in space. These become key studies in creating new inventive typologies in form and structure.

FULL SCALE: DETAILS [1:1]: Windows, Doors, Skylights, Columns, Floors, Walls, Stairs



In the last phase of the Studio, students are encouraged to identify the next critical scale of their project, where they can choose between two extreme scales: field vs. fragment scale.

For the projects who chose a reduced FIELD condition scale, it becomes critical to invent a sequence of site marks that could generate a new SITE DOMAIN. Students scale down their unique objects, cut into their TABULA RASA sites to begin to test how they could work in parallel with either the remainder of the projects generated by the entire studio as well as their own individual project syntax. Explicit and implicit projection of grids, details, objects and vectors sets the underlying basis of construction towards a new invented site armature. 

For the projects who chose an enlarged architectural FRAGMENT scale, it becomes critical to select a key crop of the project that describes a specific programmatic function, for example, one showing an entry condition.  This fragment re-introduced how each project and their prospective element have trans-formed during the semester in the conceptual categorization and active engagement in the larger dialogue on the FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS of architecture. 


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.