IDRL serves as a“garage studio," a place to cultivate experiments, openness, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit in the SoA. IDRL will support the prospect of hands-on prototyping, patent, and commodification of ideas, fostering students with a “can do” spirit in bringing ideas into reality in a meaningful manner.

IDRL directly supports the Master of Science program in Building Technology in addition to MArch, BArch. and BA programs.

Core BT Courses for MArch, BArch and BA programs:


Materials and Assembly Principles (Arch4301/5301)

The course is organized around the materials of wood, masonry, steel, concrete, and glass, and will examine the nature and use of these materials through the lenses of historical, cultural, and technological developments. In addition to the properties and characteristics of materials, the course will examine methods and processes of construction and assembly, and put these in the context of contemporary professional design practices.

Environmental Principles (Arch 4302/5302)

This course discusses the concepts of building performance, and occupant health, safety, comfort, and principles of the thermal, luminous & acoustical environment in buildings.  The course is based on the three-tier approach: 1- basic strategies, orientation and form development 2- passive strategies as a primary design approach and 3- Mechanical systems to compensate for the shortcomings. 

Structural Principles I (Arch 4303/5303)

This course is a general introduction to statics and strength of materials. It is devoted to enhancing your intuitive understanding of the fundamental concepts that underlie structural design. The course involves a fair amount of numeric calculations to arrive at practical conclusions. In essence, understanding the structural logic of any calculations is what really matters. 

Structural Principles II (Arch 4304/5304)

This course offers an exploration of the structural design parameters that are involved in the design of buildings using several material palettes including wood, steel, and concrete.  One of the objectives of this course is to introduce an awareness of the nature and logic of structural analysis. An exploration of the strengths and limitations of different materials is at the center of this course. 

Building Systems Integration (Arch 4305/5305)

This course draws on the information acquired in previous architectural design and building technology courses to present general concepts/principles and application of building systems integration. The course covers the principles and types of building system integrations using precedent examples and analysis software applications as needed. The course further explores real-world problems and possible design/technological solutions that enhance building sustainability and human wellbeing.

BT Courses for the Master of Science program:

Research Methods 

The course is to analyze the critical approach to contemporary architectural research. This course covers the theoretical background and different types of architectural research methodologies. The course is to assist students in developing their thesis topic and research design leading to the final thesis or capstone project.

Eco-Responsive Next Generation Facades  

This course addresses general principles and framework that focuses on solar integrated building envelope systems. It will provide scientific and technological knowledge of an integrated nano solar skin façade in order to optimize the thermal and energy performance while balancing the daylighting and views. 

Sustainable Facade System 

The course addresses general principles and theoretical frameworks that affect the ecological sustainability of a building façade system. The course specifically focuses on façade design, materials, and performance optimization of a façade system. Students will gain façade design and technical knowledge of a sustainable façade system by integrating performance-based design, assembly drawings and physical models.


Designers explore ideas through sketches, models, and renderings yet principles of building science are communicated through complicated models and equations. Students will write about their processes and findings using the conventional scientific method. The intent of these experiments is to identify and articulate phenomena, not to quantify specific heat and mass transfer values. This will be a making-intensive course; however, no previous construction or fabrication experience is required. The course is open to students of all disciplines with a basic understanding of thermodynamic principles in buildings & materials. 

Made of Plastics

 This seminar seeks to unpack, document, and project the world of plstics as they relate to the discipoine of Architecture, specifically how plastics can be used as a primary building material. Plastis will be explored as an esthetic, cultural, and technological material. A focus will be placed on the manufacturing process and the way in which the technologies of production both facilitate and limit the applications of plastics in architecture. Students will interpret their findings and translate them into prrojective design strategies.


This course focuses on the study of topical areas of technology in architecture. Provide an in-depth extension of the five required technology courses. The course may be selected from a number of designated technology courses that examine specific issues contributing to architecture as a process of investigation, innovation, analysis and/or research.