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Media and Computer Policy

DoArch Media Policy

The Department of Architecture defines Media as the medium(s) through which students and faculty produce work -- they can be hand-mechanical, digital, hybrids, etc. -- it is the process through which ideas are constructed, not simply represented. 

Media is a fundamental way of seeing and speculating about architecture. The role of Media at DoArch is framed by the relationship among three areas of study that are present throughout the curriculum: 1) History, 2) Tools and 3) Contemporary Practice. There are several pedagogical approaches to the role of Media that address the aforementioned areas of study. There are two primary contemporary approaches to teaching Media which affect the teaching at DoArch: 1) Integration into the studio sequence and 2) Stand-alone course sequence.  

It is impossible not to work or think through Media the studio. However, working through Media as primary vehicle for imagining and constructing architectural ideas is different than thinking of Media as a means to an end. Students are encouraged to not think about Media as a means to an end. Every studio in the DoArch curriculum specifically problematizes the role of Media.

In addition to studio, other course content is carefully designed to address Media in the context of the tools and spaces used by students. The spaces that are used include the construction (wood, metal and fabrication) shops, digital (computer and imaging) lab and the shared studio space. These are academic spaces in which Media is folded into the academic dialog shared between faculty and students.

Many courses within the DoArch curriculum will focus on Media. This Media Policy is not, however, connected to any single DoArch course in particular. This policy provides an overview of the academic and practical expectations of students’ engagement with Media.


DoArch Computer Policy

RIG (verb). Assemble and adjust (equipment, etc.) in readiness for operation.

RIG (noun). An apparatus, device or piece of equipment designed for a particular purpose.

The primary curricular position of the Department of Architecture is to give students an understanding of a conceptual framework to engage and maximize the design potential of digital tools comprising their own RIG. Students are expected to purchase a laptop computer during the fall of their second year as undergraduates. Successful completion of the program will require each student to develop proficiency with these technologies.

It is important to keep in mind that digital tools are continually changing and will do so throughout your academic and professional career. However, the fundamental concepts shaping computational design do not change as rapidly as software platforms and techniques. An agile RIG should be flexible, allowing students to explore the exchange of ideas and functions across different software. To facilitate and promote students’ aptitude with these tools, DoArch has developed these guidelines and policies.

DoArch encourages the purchase of a laptop as the primary piece of each student’s RIG. DoArch does not endorse the a specific computer model or brand. Students are responsible for meeting the minimum criteria for both hardware and software based on recommendations outlined here. Through the guidance of faculty and a creative, studio environment, each student is responsible for constructing and maintaining their own RIG.

  1. Students are responsible for the maintenance of their own RIG.
  2. DoArch encourages the purchase of a laptop as the primary piece of each student’s RIG.
  3. Students are responsible for providing and seeking hardware and software support for their RIG.
  4. Students are responsible for obtaining the necessary software to complete their course work. [Software can be purchased at the University Bookstore or online.]
  5. Students are responsible for testing and paying for output, which includes 2D & 3D printing and modeling. [On campus printing includes the Yeager Imaging Center, University Student Union, Self Printing, etc.]
  6. Students are educated in Media as part of the DoArch curriculum. Software training is NOT part of the architecture curriculum.
  7. DoArch does NOT endorse a specific computer model or brand.
  8. Software piracy is illegal.

Specifications

Hardware

Operating System

Windows 10 / 64-bit

MacOS 10.13.5 / Windows 10, 64-bit BootCamp

Processor

2.6 ghz quad core or faster

Screen Size

15” Full-HD (1080p) Minimum (1920x1080 Minimum) 

17” Full-HD Recommended

RAM

8 gb Minimum

Disc Storage

500 gb Minimum

Video Card

DirectX 11 or later strongly recommended

Storage

Each student should consider the role of systematic storage in the construction of their RIG. Systematic storage partly refers to an organized and recurring backup storage device that is updated manually or automatically. It is recommended that each student obtain additional external storage. External hard drives are well suited for archiving files and for supplemental storage. Small flash drives (also know as thumb drives, jump drives, pen drives or memory sticks) are well suited for transporting files between devices. Students are also encouraged to use their allocated box.com online storage to archive their work. Finally, it is essential to carefully develop a system by which digital work is named and organized.

Accessories

Each student may find additional hardware accessories (mice, keyboards, cameras, additional monitors, printers, etc.) to construct their RIG in order to support their work. An 11x17 color printer is highly recommended.

Output

Outputs will vary depending on the course, but will likely include two dimensional and three dimensional drawings and models. Students can expect approximate output costs to be outlined in course syllabi.

Software

Students are expected to obtain the software needed to complete the tasks and outputs required by their courses. Each student is expected to pursue the necessary aptitudes with regard to specific software tools. Addressing the implications and fundamental concepts of digital tools is a critical part of the DoArch curriculum. Direct software training, however, is not a standard part of the architecture curriculum.

The software platforms outlined below are integral to the development of each student’s RIG. This development is evident in the architecture curriculum through the relationship between hand-mechanical and digital processes. As student’s architectural education progresses, so will the capacity and composition of their RIG.

General Productivity

The list below is a basic outline of some of the most commonly used software for general communication. This is the communication and maintenance component of the RIG.

  • Microsoft Office (Available for student purchase at the University Bookstore.)
    • Word
    • Excel
    • Powerpoint
  • Anti-Virus + Malware (Available for student purchase at the University Bookstore.)
  • Email platforms (Available for student purchase at the University Bookstore.)

Basic Digital Concepts

The list of software outlined below is tailored to give the beginning architecture student a basic understanding of the implications of using digital tools. Many platforms will be introduced in a focused manner, concentrating primarily on the role of lines as a drawing and graphic medium. This is the drafting component of the RIG.

Digital Modeling

The list of software outlined below is tailored to give architecture students an advanced knowledge of the role and use of digital modeling. Many platforms introduced as part of the basic digital concepts will be expanded as modeling tools. This will also mark the introduction of parametric processes. This is the modeling component of the RIG.

Digital Collaboration

The list of software outlined below is tailored to introduce architecture students to the role of building information technologies (BIM). Many platforms introduced as part of digital modeling concepts will be expanded and unfolded as data and information management tools. This will also mark the introduction of workflows and collaboration across disciplines. This is the data and information component of the RIG.