Undergraduate Design Courses

The following list comprises track-specific design course offerings created specifically for undergraduates of Harvard College.

HAA 92r Design Speculations

This senior design seminar is a support of independent thesis and/or independent project research, extending methodological inquiry of the project topic to design where students may convene to collectively discuss and experiment with design speculations –representational tests that explore research through the visual and spatial language of architecture.

Course Page

HAA 96A Transformations

Architecture is not a single monolithic thing, rather it is comprised of disparate parts and organizational systems operating at different scales.  Design is the considered assembly of these elements. This course is an introductory architectural design studio focused on building foundational architectural concepts and design methodologies studied through a process of making.  A series of physical modeling assignments explore spatial and organizational transformations as a consequence of the changing interactions among material, fabrication technique, and form.  Resultant expressions of space, scale, and perceptual effects are discussed in relation to architectural theory and history discourse.

Course Page

HAA 96B Connections

The practice of architecture fundamentally asks us to continuously engage with, and re-conceptualize, the world for which we are designing. This studio takes on the challenge through a series of design exercises focused on understanding, engaging with, and reimaging the urban condition. Students will produce architectural projects that address existing site conditions, and will develop designs in response to a determined program. Throughout the course, we will approach architectural design as both a method of producing urban environments, and also as an avenue through which to understand our cities.

Course Page


HAA 179x Tectonics Lab

This course introduces students to the roles that materials and their disposition play in the production of meaningful architectural experience. Material properties of wood, masonry and concrete are explored through team-based research and design-build projects that expand upon traditional definitions to include a critique of the ecological, social and cultural impact of their production and end use.

Course Page


Complementary Design Courses

The list linked here serves as a guide for optional design courses that may be used to fulfill Distributional Requirements in Area of Emphasis.  The courses listed here are composed of course available through the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, History of Art and Architecture Department as complements to the track-specific design courses listed above.  These course offerings vary each academic year.  The linked document is a curated collection of courses for its respective academic year.

PDF Guide