Instructor: Victoria McReynolds

Architecture Design Studio III


Course Coordination

Course Syllabus

Course Schedule

Course References

Wiki Help

Student Handbook

University Catalog


Course Readings

01_See Seeing


03_Solar Observatory

Cardiello, Romina
Crosby, Kyle
Escareno, Alan
Flowers, Brittany
Garcia, Cecilia
Gold, Chas C
Matz, Jonathan T
Napier, Rick
Olvera, Oscar
Patterson, Trelyn M
Rey, Levi
Salazar, Savannah
Sheek, Joshua
Warmack, Kaitlyn


Observational Tension

Working from the intersection of your original device and today's conversation on program, space, and events, build three models that demonstrate observational tension through spatial and material control. Select a type of visual observation that extends inherent properties within your device, such as peep, glimpse, gaze, show, engage, or voyeurism. Refine sectional placement, boundary thickness, and material translucencies to further emphasize the tension of observing across spaces and activity within spaces. Select a three inch section of your original device which to build at 1/2" scale. Use the increase in size to further refine boundaries, materiality, and apertures to generate your chosen observational opportunities.

Wednesday (3/30)
(3) 1/2" Observational Section Models: 6" width, refined material types (variations on transparency), refine boundary assemblies (stereotomic, tectonic)
Site Team Work: Model, Drawings, Panoramas

--Victoria McReynolds 17:57, 25 March 2016 (CDT)

Phase 02 Wrap Up + Site Work

Upload revised Phase 02 work from Monday & Wednesday and Phase 02 narrative to your individual wiki page. Additionally upload Tschumi reading notes to the Course Readings page.

We will jump back into describing and understanding the site according to technical relationships rather than site characteristics as we make this transition into Phase 03. In this frame it is the physical lasting boundaries that define the technical site features. Site Model Team will focus on the base with a removable site plug, topography, buildings, and utilities. Site Drawing Team will define the site through an orthographic unfolded, cross section axonometric, and longitudinal axonometric series. While Site Panorama Team is to provide imagery that places us directly in the site as one were to experience it standing or walking. Complete Site Work is Due Wednesday, 3/30. This Friday, each team will present progress work through 11"x17" print outs.

Site Model Team: Cardiello, Gold, Matz, Olvera, Salazar, Sheek
Site Drawing Team: Crosby, Escareno, Flowers, Warmack
Site Panorama Team: Garcia, Napier, Patterson, Rey

Friday (3/25)
11"x17" Site Progress Work
Posted Tschumi Reading Notes
Phase 02 upload narrative and revised work

--Victoria McReynolds 10:08, 24 March 2016 (CDT)

Phase 02 - Field Review

Listed below are minimum requirements for phase 02 field studies. All Phase 02 content is to be uploaded to your wiki page by the end of the day Friday, March 11. Physical models and Composite Drawings are to be photographed and scanned appropriately for upload to the wiki.

(1) 36"x36" Map: Use, Circulation, Ground, Weather
(1) 4"x36" Site Images

(1) 1/64" Site Map, 8"x8"
(1) 4"x12" Ground Source Use
(1) 4"x12" Ground Source Shadow
(1) 4"x12" Ground Source Weather

Individual Situation 01
(1) 1/16" Site Accumulation Model 01
(1) 36" length, Situation Site Plan 01: selected mapping information, model ghosted, situated device plan cut @ 4'
(1) 18"x36", Situation Composite Drawing 01: base drawing, ground opaque, clear film section

Individual Situation 02
(1) 1/16" Site Accumulation Model 02
(1) 36" length, Situation Site Plan 02: selected mapping information, model ghosted, situated device plan cut @ 4'
(1) 18"x36", Situation Composite Drawing 02: base drawing, ground opaque, clear film section

--Victoria McReynolds 15:28, 10 March 2016 (CST)

Revisit + Revise

All group maps must evolve, revisit content documented and commit to drawing detail conditions on the site from the minute to the macro. Include conditions both above and below the ground plane as they relate to the group topic. The concluding group maps for Wednesday are to be distinctly different from one another because the information you are mapping is radically different. Provide eighteen group images of site conditions that further identify specific information as it relates to your map.

Individually, each select three ground source images for use, shadow, weather. Camera view is to be perpendicular to the ground plane and specific to the content of use, shadow, or weather. Use the frame as a means to edit out irrelevant information. Refer to Lebbeus Woods post on Common Ground which so eloquently describes the rich texture of city streets and sidewalks. Additionally provide at minimum a page of notes from the Stan Allen "From Object to Field" reader.

Wednesday (3/2)
per group
(1) Revised Group Maps
(18) Group Images, relevant to map content
(9) Ground Source Images, 4"x36"

--Victoria McReynolds 17:55, 29 February 2016 (CST)

Orchestrate the third condition

Revise your device orientation and the way natural light passes into and across your device to create a third condition, an event that ultimately brings about an unexpected light/shadow effect. Shape the form to appropriate natural light in a manner that reveals another understanding into the spatial organization of your device. Illustrate the performance of natural light and casted shadow in a 4"x36" photostrip of still images from a specific day of the year at latitude 32 degrees.

Write a half page project narrative that describes the following: introduce the device with title & character, describe the significant features of your optical instrument, give examples of how the device captures, redirects, and extracts both electric and natural light, and provide a description of the qualitative spaces that occur within your device - essentially describe why your device is worth visiting.

Friday (2/19)
(1) Revised Device
(1) Project Narrative, draft
(1) Natural light and shadow Photostrip, 4"x36"
(2) Device Sections, double line wall, no poché, longitudinal orientation, people profile, bond paper 11"x17"
(2) Base Section watercolor, watercolor paper, interior light and exterior shade shadow studies
(2) Device Plans, double line wall, no poché, longitudinal orientation, people profile, bond paper 11"x17"
(2) Base Plan watercolor, watercolor paper, interior light and exterior shade shadow studies, people profile

--Victoria McReynolds 18:17, 17 February 2016 (CST)

Shaping Darkness

Work as thoughtfully considering darkness as you have the light. Commit to a north orientation that best uses the passing daylight and seasonal changes to produce shadows which reinforce your device character. The two best shadow profiles from this orientation are to be documented via ink wash, one per plan. Use the saturation of the Dark Device Drawing to see new correlations within your device. Use the line conventions provided Friday to convey cavities, light path, apertures, and extraction. Modify the brackets to account for depth in the axonometric aperture diagram. Drawing information of the ghosted device and selected construction lines are to remain in the distant background.

Revise parts of your device to solve more than one shortfall. Design solutions that consider multiple factors: for example habitation of the person, the shaping of light, and casted shadow.

Wednesday (2/17)
Revised Device
(1) Revised Dark Device Axonometric, matte 36"x36"
(2) Device Sections, double line wall, no poché, longitudinal orientation, people profile, bond paper 11"x17"
(2) Base Section watercolor, watercolor paper, interior light and exterior shade shadow studies
(2) Device Plans, double line wall, no poché, longitudinal orientation, people profile, bond paper 11"x17"
(2) Base Plan watercolor, watercolor paper, interior light and exterior shade shadow studies

--Victoria McReynolds 20:00, 15 February 2016 (CST)


Revise device, drawings, and images to best demonstrate light shaping, various spatial qualities, and formal differences of degrees.

Friday (2/12)
(1) Refined device to include population, avoid the five common errors, use 1/4" scale person
(3) LED light performance image of device, 8.5"x5" each
(3) Sun light performance image of device, 8.5"x5" each
(2) Device Sections, double line wall, no poché, longitudinal orientation, people profile, bond paper 11"x17"
(2) Base Section watercolor, watercolor paper, interior light and exterior shade shadow studies
(2) Device Plans, double line wall, no poché, longitudinal orientation, people profile, bond paper 11"x17"
(2) Base Plan watercolor, watercolor paper, interior light and exterior shade shadow studies

--Victoria McReynolds 20:47, 10 February 2016 (CST)

Orientation and Shadow

When iterating your device to accommodate people recall that powerful work flows from problematic conceptual spaces and conditions; not from resolved spaces, Elliott Earls 2014 Artist-in-Residence Lecture. Avoid the five common errors of (1) dumbing down, (2) defaulting to the domestic, (3) forgetting the sixth plane, (4) neglecting transparency, and (5) full reveal. Consider inclusion of the person as a design opportunity to create space that engages the individual - for example Ludwig Leo's interactive design in the DLRG building.

These last few studio sessions have introduced many new complexities from which to respond and refine: internal light, now natural sun light, and the populating of people. Continue to evolve the form and space of the device to support the characteristic diagram. With natural sunlight, use the sun peg diagram as a tool to observe the passing shadow. Determine the orientation by positioning your device so that the sunlight activates into and through the device at various times of day, and days of the year. Take multiple photos of both natural and LED light effects within and across your device. Select three photos from each light condition to crop, refine, and print as evidence of the light performance you have created.

Construct a wash drawing on watercolor paper that brings together the internal light effects of the LED and the external light effects from the sun. Refer to Nicole Lide and Christy Purcella device drawings as examples of light wash and annotation.

Wednesday (2/10)
(1) Refined device to include population, avoid the five common errors, use 1/4" scale person
(3) LED light performance image of device, 8.5"x5" each
(3) Sun light performance image of device, 8.5"x5" each
(2) Device Sections, double line wall, no poché, longitudinal orientation, people profile, bond paper 11"x17"
(2) Base Section watercolor, watercolor paper, interior light and exterior shade shadow studies

--Victoria McReynolds 20:17, 8 February 2016 (CST)

Device Population

Excellent progress made on the recent iteration of light shaping within your device. There is clear light capturing, redirecting, and extracting as well as complexity demonstrated through degrees of difference, to reference a section in Atlas of Novel Tectonics. The exercise now is one of populating your device. Consider both the quality of space according to light intensity and people density. Assign a scale to the device between 1/8" - 1/4" that best shapes a space worth inhabiting. When defining the threshold of entry and exit consider alternative orientations of your device that best accommodate movement into and out from the interior. Work within the same formal language of opening and enclosure you already established for your device. Explore section changes to set various boundary types, an edge can be created both from the termination of a floor plan or the introduction of a wall. Incorporate movement into your device, the play of light, and populating of people as theater.

Revisit drawings by Ludwig Leo and Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis Pamphlet Architecture 21 publication for variation in ways people may populate space.

Monday (2/8)
(1) Refined device to include population
(2) Device Plans, double line wall, no poché, bond paper 11"x17"
(2) Device Sections, double line wall, no poché, longitudinal orientation, people profile, bond paper 11"x17"
(1) Roll of Trace per person, charcoal, + graphite for monday studio exercises

--Victoria McReynolds 18:14, 5 February 2016 (CST)

Device Multiplicity

Refine your device according to the studio discussion today. Identify the dominant axis of your device from which to create two cut planes. Cut one planes in "plan" and one planes in "section", all drawings are to share the same long axis. Provide clear technical drawings, draw surface lines (not poché) for material, include conditions both forward and behind the cut plane. Apply techniques of line weights as it relates to materiality and proximity to the cut plane. Apply techniques of line types to enforce understandings of visible and hidden conditions additionally relationships of surface change in plane compared to edges of material. Refer to Faith Hardcastle and Adam Perez device drawings as examples of line work. Include standard name, title and graphic scale on all drawings.

Consider Alice in Wonderland after she eats the mushroom and is shorter and later after she becomes taller, explore the size of a person within your device. Choose four different sizes and populating people at various densities. Locate fascinating spaces within your device and positions figures to take advantage of those spaces. Include people figures as grey profiles with translucent masks.

Friday (2/5)
(1) Device refined
(1) Device Plans, double line wall, no poché, bond paper 11"x17"
(1) Device Sections, double line wall, no poché, bond paper 11"x17"
(4) Populated Device Sections, 8"x17", bond

--Victoria McReynolds 19:42, 3 February 2016 (CST)

Device and Character

Identify one device based on today's studio discussion to develop for Wednesday. Strengthen the correlation between your device and the characteristic diagram. Work back and forth between the 2D drawing and the 3D model to best define the heart of the device. Continue to build upon larger themes of illumination, materiality, multiple cavities, and engaging the context. Provide hands free device performance and identify intended orientation to adjacent planes. Do not let one interpret the relationship between the context and device. Define this space and distance so your device engages the context as intended. Successful light performance occurs only through multiple iterations of device refinement. Articulate connections, avoid flat patterns and enhance one's craft.

Wednesday (2/3)
(1) Refined characteristic diagram
(1) Refined device related to characteristic diagram, 8.5"x11"
(3) Light performance image of device, 8.5"x5" each
(1) Wiki post CJ Lim Device reading notes in the Course Readings section
Complete Optical Analysis Work

--Victoria McReynolds 17:40, 1 February 2016 (CST)

Constructing Devices

Machines are social before being technical. - Guilles Deleuze, Foucault (Minneapolis, 1988) p.13

Multiplicity, Imagination and Activation are three key properties exhibited by devices. Utilize your characteristic diagram as a departure point for optical path redirection, light capturing, and context engagement. Compliment the modeling with reading of CJ Lim's introduction and conclusion of "Devices: a manual of architectural + spatial machines". Organize a single page of notes outlining key points in the reader.

Device via Redirect / Capture / Extract
With the lens, frames and apertures of your optical instrument as the backbone, construct three device models which interpret your Characteristic Diagram. Introduce variables which subvert the designed optical path to see seeing through methods of Redirect, Capture, and Extract.

Redirect : Manipulating Constraints

Focusing upon the optical paths, apply spatial modifying techniques such as expand, bisect, stretch, shift in scale, inverting proportions, and reconfiguration of boundaries.

Capture : Constructing Culverts

The intention of capturing light is to materialize light. This is accomplished either by interrupting or redirecting the path of light. Positioning planar or linear elements to intersect with the optical path introduces a surface for reflection. Constructing room to diverge a path of light offers another method of capturing light.

Extract : Activate Context

Externalize illumination beyond the designed boundaries to activate surrounding through light and shadow play. Engage the floor, wall, edge and/or adjacent surface by orchestrating the resultant light effect. Consider distance, angle, reflectivity and light levels between your device and the surrounding context.

For Monday (2/1)
(3) Device Models
(1) Reader Notes, single page outline

--Victoria McReynolds 13:46, 31 January 2016 (CST)

Diagrams + Vessels

Characteristic Diagram

Mechanics meeting the atmosphere. Identify a characteristic quality of your optical instrument unique to its performance of light or staging of space between the observer and object. Allow your understanding gained through analysis determine a driving feature essential to the nature of your instrument. Define a Characteristic Diagram that summarizes the cognitive analysis of your instrument while establishing a trajectory of potential. Consider degrees of extreme possibility when creating the diagram. Exhaust the potential and perpetuate "errors" within the instrument design in order to arrive at a diagram that originated from analysis but moves beyond the given parameters to suggest a compelling atmosphere. What is suspenseful, uncertain, exciting, mysterious, tense, thrilling, tragic about your diagram. Compliment your line work with a title for this Characteristic Diagram.

Optical Diagrams

Diagram three conditions of your instrument: internal controls (spatial & material), external constraints from instrument to viewed object, and internal constraints of the optical path. For internal controls, diagram the spatial and material elements of the optical path(s) of travel, such as cavities, lens, frames and channels. Include proportional relationship analysis, such as line of symmetry, point or axis of rotation, angle or reflection. For external and internal performance diagram the light behavior by following geometric optics analysis. Major light lines and points to diagram are: Optical Axis, Focal points, Object distance, and two Collimated light ray. Refer to Astronomical Optics for visual guidelines (also located under course references). In addition to the light path, annotate the necessary distance, and proportional relationship.

Light Vessel

Light play with LEDs. Create two vessels that captures the light of a single LED source utilizing basic modeling materials: trace paper, chip board, museum board, mat board, etc.. The objective is to create a vessel geometry that produces the clear illumination of light, or at minimum is definably visible in the studio space lit by ambient light. Provide an optical viewing threshold into the vessel. The direct LED light source shall not be visible. This vessel is a product of geometry, materiality and reflected light.

Refine Technical Analysis

Revisit work produced for Wednesday and refine based on conversation in studio. In summary, all optical drawings are to be technical drawings of just the material defining the boundary of the optical cavity. Each optical path drawing is to exist on its own clear film sheet. Refine base technical drawing to show detail and form specificity of the optical instrument. Maintain clear cut plane, poché, and content beyond cut plane within each technical drawing. Rework the collage to better demonstrate the fantastic and specific quality of your instrument.

Friday (1/29)
8.5"x11" Characteristic Diagram
8.5"x11" Diagram: controls (spatial & material)
8.5"x11" Diagram: internal function
8.5"x11" Diagram: external performance
(2) Light Vessels: led lamp, opening for the eye, no glare, materials are trace, chipboard / mat board
revise work from last studio session

--Victoria McReynolds 18:23, 27 January 2016 (CST)

Hashtag + Wiki

Build a studio image library, tag #lightshapers2502 on images relevant to studio explorations and observations.

Complete your individual wiki page profile by copying the code from one of the three live links and adjust names as necessary.

--Victoria McReynolds 18:21, 25 January 2016 (CST)

Evidence + Components


Identify the constant and variable light effects of your optical instrument by pushing light through all optical paths. Record the illumination results as you play with the instrument, for example open and close the shutter, change filters, or adjust the distance from the screen. Film every optical path's performance, whether it be the sight path, projection path or recording path. Test the light through the optical path in both correct and reverse orientation. Documentation effects by mounting the video camera on a tripod to retain a consistent frame as you expand and contract the distant variables between screen, instrument and light. Select multiple stills of the film in order to illustrate the evident range of your instrument performance. Arrange each "path of seeing" documentation on a separate 4"x36" landscape format page.


Comprehension of assemblies increase when things come apart. Get to know the innards of your optical instrument according to its parts. Prior to disassembling, position your camera in a marked location to video the steps, similar to Todd McLellan's new work film. This video is critical as a reference of sequence and relationships. Separate your instrument into primary components, for example the lens is separate from the cavity is separate from the door. Arrange these components on a clean white horizontal surface according to the internal performative logic of the optical paths of travel. Photograph the arrangement square to the camera with crisp lighting and contrast.

After documenting your arranged parts, construct a collage of your instrument unfolded. Start with the main optical cavity and work out towards the perimeter. A shared edge should tie the unfolded surfaces together. Many images may come from your elevation or component documentation, however it may be necessary to photograph some components specifically for the collage, such as interior elevations of the instruments cavities. Reference Mei-Fang Liao's bus collage

Technical Drawings - Draw a base plan and base section of your instrument illustrating material thickness and cavity sizes. Locate the section parallel to the optical path of travel. Include information that exists behind the cut plane. As an overlay, create a series of technical drawings that isolate just the material defining the optical cavity along the optical path. Poche cut material and include a graphic scale for both drawing types.

All drawings, diagrams and collage are to be completed digitally.

Wednesday (1/27)
4"x36" Instrument evidence film stills with 4" images, one film strip per optical path light direction
11"x17" Instrument components photo, document systems
11"x17" Technical Drawing: base plan
11"x17" Technical Drawing: base section
11"xW" Technical Drawing: optical plan(s), clear film
11"xW" Technical Drawing: optical section(s), clear film

>Revise Optical Instrument elevational documentation as discussed in studio - annotation, descriptive language, graphic scale, format on page.

--Victoria McReynolds 18:13, 25 January 2016 (CST)

See Seeing : Optical Instruments

Acquire an optical instrument from which you will become an expert through analysis, dissection and assemblage. The optical instrument must have a minimum of two lens, container, view port and does not digitally translate the image. The optical instrument must be intelligently assembled and capable of transmitting light through the optical path.

Places to find optical instruments may be thrift stores (such as Goodwill, Disabled American Veterans, Salvation Army), antique stores, Ebay, or Craigslist Lubbock.

For Monday, provide six excellent elevational photographs documenting your optical instrument square to the camera. Photoshop out the background so it is just the instrument on the paper space. Annotate key parts of the instrument utilizing descriptive language associated with the performance of the instrument. Provide dimensioning and a graphic scale from which to understand the size. Each elevation is to be printed on its own 11x8.5 landscape format page.

Be prepared with tools and a desk lamp to begin disassembling your instrument. Some desk lamp examples can be found at Staples, Ikea, McMaster-Carr, Jieldé or Artemide. Additionally locate a 5mm LED constant light source to build into your optical device. Radio Shack carries these items and offers a student discount.

Monday (1/25)
Optical Instrument
(6) 11x8.5 elevation documentation, annotated and dimensioned, of your optical instrument
- only one page is required to have the instrument make, model, and year manufactured

--Victoria McReynolds 16:30, 22 January 2016 (CST)