Fall 2021 ARC Electives

Any 500 level or higher graduate course at UB can count as an elective in the M.Arch program. If a student wishes to take a course outside of the Department of Architecture, they must work with the department offering the course to register. The courses below are offered by the Department of Architecture. Note that many of these courses have limited seats because they are dual listed with an undergraduate course. 

Additional technical methods and intellectual domain seminars can also be used as electives in the M.Arch program. 

ARC 521 Special Topics: Global Practices in Design- Ken MacKay


This course will be taught as two parallel narratives regarding Global Practices in Design. The first narrative will be a class by class overview of important movements in art, architecture and design over the past century. Key movements will be examined in relationship to the social, political and economic factors which either played a role in its formation or which was reacted against. The intent of this approach to instruction is to provide students with a framework by which to recognize the societal forces which have an impact on the production of art, architecture and design.

The second narrative of the course will survey small, cutting-edge architecture firms across the globe. We will begin with a review of the theory of 'critical regionalism' proposed by Kenneth Frampton in the 1980's and follow that up with several readings that reinforce and/or question the validity of this theory. Students will then focus on the work of architects and artists working in different countries across the globe. The intent of the course is to facilitate students understanding of the design process used by various architects and to critically examine the relationship of this design process to the particular social, political and cultural milieu of the region in which each architect is generating the work.​

ARC 548 Building Project: Small Built Works- Bradley Wales


Topics vary annually.  Past topics examined design/build projects as a complex system of enterprises producing built facilities and altering environments. Included field trips, hands-on steel fabrication and erection, concrete demolition, concrete pours, pattern making, painting, landscaping, stone setting, as well as shop drawings. 

ARC 549 Architectural Materials- Annette Lecuyer


This seminar will focus upon the tectonic, the convergence of poetry and technique in architecture. The course will explore innovative uses of materials through the examination of a series of contemporary buildings by distinguished international architects. It will seek to develop an understanding of how technical decisions in the deployment of materials, construction systems and details can be directed towards conceptual and cultural ends.

ARC 584 Professional Practice 2- Josh Budiongan


This seminar will examine options for career development in architecture and design. We will recognize traditional design based careers, but focus on developing a wider scope of career development for the built environment, explore pathways and build networks for early career growth and other opportunities. We will welcome a range of guest speakers, analyze readings, and share perspectives through discussion. Students will also develop conceptual career roadmaps and/or business models.

ARC 582 (Professional Practice) is not a prerequisite for this course. ARC 582 can not be subsituted for ARC 584. 

ARC 590 Shinohara- Georgios Rafaildis


Over the last year, we all spent a lot of time at home!

In this course, we will take a closer look at domestic space by engaging with the work of the Japanese architect Kazuo Shinohara. He was arguably the most influential architect of modern Japan despite the fact that most of his built work (35 out of 42) consists of houses, most of them of small to modest scale. Shinohara is a rare example of a notable architect who was as committed to investigations of domestic space. His work can be described as puzzling and enigmatic and can yield very different readings. In this course, we will endeavor to find out why his work has been so influential within architectural discourse. We will aim to develop our own idiosyncratic interpretation of Shinohara’s houses.

Students will be responsible for studying a single Shinohara house, understanding it intimately and presenting it to the class. Students will be expected to engage in weekly discussion during class.

ARC 591 Special Topics- Youngtack Oh (Banham Fellow)


Course Title: Walking the turtle

“Whereas anthropology seeks to understand what it means to be human, architecture provides conditions for being human and responds to the human condition” (Askland, Awad, Chambers, Chapman, 2014). 

The course will explore anthropological approaches that find relevance in the colloquial and create a more holistic approach to socially constructed facets of the built environment. The aim of the class is to redefine accepted notions of data and find alternative ways to represent them-  to find deeper associations and wider implications in little details of everyday life. Respecting the energetic relationships that make up a city and championing the multiplicity of all those involved, the research will aim to cultivate the daily tactics and creative interpretations employed by the inhabitants of Buffalo, and its environs. With increasing urbanization and diversification of populations, spaces are being continually reimagined, repurposed outside the utopian vision of the architect or the planner. It behooves the discipline to constantly and critically reexamine the historicism that defines architectural knowledge today. Broader and more progressive frameworks will help us define them more accurately and acknowledge new perspectives of the human condition. The course is interested in the serendipitous ways paths will cross, in the variety of spaces that are enjoyed or rejected. These constellations will serve as keepsakes of collectivity and a means to inform architectural processes of its social agency. Looking at temporalities and nuances of meso and micro scale events throughout the city and employing anthropological fieldwork methods such as participant observations, surveys, and interviews, the course will compile an archive of some of the overlooked, neglected, or forgotten forces that make up the fabric of Buffalo.

ARC 616 Research Methods- TBD

This course is recommended to be taken during the same semester as Directed Research (those planning for thesis in Spring 2022). 

The ultimate goal of the course is to guide graduate students to develop a methodological and theoretical grounding for their thesis projects. We will do this through reading assignments, writing exercises, group discussions, and peer review sessions. By the end of the semester, each student will have the opportunity to develop a high quality research prospectus. This course is less about deep theoretical discussions on research than a pragmatic, “how-to” dive into devising a specific roadmap and organizational configuration tailored to each student’s thesis work.

Class Schedule

For more specific information on courses including scheduled times, days, modality and restrictions, please see the class schedule. Instructors contact information can be found in the UB Directory