Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course introduce architectural design through critical analysis of significant buildings, from post-war to today; provide basic knowledge both on the theoretical aspects and on architectural design and control tools; exercises and Design Laboratory are structured to realize the design project of a simple architectural body.

Course contents

As architectural synthesis of a cultural process from the value of permanence of some "archetypal forms" and not as a natural process of description and representation of the needs arising from it, the course program is based on the conviction that the project needs to a cognitive work, in which the study of the theory and the exemplary work of some masters is defined as a prerequisite for the understanding of contemporary thought.

Therefore, in the formation of a personal process of creation, a teaching of architecture based on the use of "forms" and "types" passed down from history, becomes necessary in both its unitary dimension and as a set of parts which can be analyzed according to constituent elements, organized according to a precise order set out in the rules of composition.


The course's activities, focusing on the structural and formal aspects of the project, will focus on a first phase on the study of selected architectural works, defining its cultural horizon through the knowledge of the theories of composition that have led them to move later on the formulation of design proposals for a small architectural body.

The subject of the course is the dwelling, studied in its many declinations, to reach the decisive dialectical relationship that architecture establishes with the city. In particular, it will be investigated that residential architecture that, exempt from reductive references of the historical or modernist style, will tend to demonstrate the absolute value of some formal principles of architecture, irrespective of naïve stylistic definitions.

The course is divided into three parts: a cycle of theoretical lessons held by the lecturers, a cognitive phase based on critical / analytical exercises and a phase of project implementation of acquired knowledge. The course will be followed by a series of seminars, reviews and presentations on the state of progress of the works produced by students.

As far as the application aspects are concerned, the activity carried out by the students is aimed at producing project with drawings and architectural models. In the first phase, the student, supported by teaching material and bibliography provided by teachers, will devote himself to the study of an example of housing trying to understand, through conceptual drawings and 3d reconstructions, the rules, proportions, geometry and design theme. The student, identifying components and constituent elements of the architectures and re-examining the choices that led to the application of these elements, will test the transition from principles to language, recognizing the project as a significant result of a theoretical construction, not defined by simple invention operations, but following specific disciplinary principles. The assumption of grammatical and syntactic elements, such as acquisition of both rules and methods, will allow for the compositional control of those elements necessary to define the entire architectural organism.

In a second phase, the student is invited to carry out an architectural project on the subject of the dwelling, demonstrating that he has understood the knowledge transmitted from the theoretical lessons and the techniques of study and representation employed in the critical drawings of the first part of the course.


A specific bibliography will be provided during the course; for a theoretical framing of the topics dealt with during the year, it is recommended to read the following books:

- C. Rowe, The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa and Other Essays, MIT Press, 1976;

- O. M. Ungers, Architettura come tema, Quaderni di Lotus, Electa, Milano 1982;

- L. Quaroni, Progettare un edificio. Otto lezioni di architettura, Kappa, Roma, 2001;

- Peter Eisenman, La base formale dell'architettura moderna, Pendragon, Bologna 2009;

- A. Trentin, T. Trombetti, Architettura e costruzione. La declinazione strutturale da Gustave Eiffel a OMA, Quodlibet, Macerata 2016

Assessment methods

The exam test will consider the quality of exercises and discussion on the topics discussed during lessons, with references to the bibliography of the course. In addition to drawings, particular importance will be attributed to the ability of the student to use proper and correct disciplinary terminology, both during the presentation of his work and through the writing of texts.
The exam will be preceded by a seminar, to which all those enrolled in the course are obliged to participate.
All of the materials below are required to support the exam:
- analytical exercise boards
- book A3 with the collection of materials processed during the course.
- models
- design exercise boards
At the end of the seminar, the student who completes the required drawings can do the exam. Specifically, the exam will take place with the display of the graphical material relating to exercises and project.
Public presentation, is a moment of examination, the exam committee will evaluate all the elaborates and the presentation of the tables and models.

Office hours

See the website of Annalisa Trentin