Course Syllabus

Updated Jan 19


The dashboard is the course online syllabus with links to a calendar, resources, references, and all relevant information.  This dashboard will be updated throughout the semester so please check for updates on schedules, assignments, and other potential changes there.

Updated Jan 14

Link to first class session: Jan 19 @ 7PM  HERE

Model Fictions is fully booked! If you would like to be placed on an informal "wait list" please email Josh

Enrollment will be offered as available to unregistered students who attend the first class session -- and revoked for registered students who don't attend. Please note that if you 'sneak in' as spots open, priority will be given to those on the wait list who attended. You may be asked to unenroll.

In this course we engage the skills, ideas, and technologies shared between the practices of production design (for film) and architecture. Consider three topics around which this overlap occurs: the methodological, the conceptual, and the technical.

Methodologically, we will study the scale model as a medium for expressing and developing a moving, complex design idea. Most deliverables in the course are organized around scale models and various extensions of their utility.

Conceptually, we will discuss the role of designers as storytellers and authors of unique environments/worlds in which characters live and actions occur.  

Technically, we will utilize the tools of the GSAPP shops (and those of our own design) to stage, animate, and capture new forms of representation of these stories, worlds, and ideas in motion. This will include building equipment to achieve certain shots, and testing existing equipment's capacity for this sort of documentation.


We will accomplish this by starting with a story, building models, and filming them.  Small groups of students will be given premises for fictional future scenarios, and they will develop and articulate the worlds in which these stories occur by making working, detailed, scenographic scale models. These models will be then filmed in a series of scenes developed in consultation with your peers and instructor.  The ultimate deliverable for the course is a short film (or series of clips) of these highly developed models.

Learning from production design also means learning from filmmaking, so we will study some basics of the practice and build a vocabulary of terms and techniques that are inheritable and applicable to our own practices of architectural design. This will include guest lectures from artists and experts in the world of film, and (circumstances willing) trips around NYC.

This semester-long course was originally conceived as a GSAPP Summer Workshop, which was completed on campus in 2021. The work for this course, for reference, can be viewed on this Miro board

Course Summary:

Date Details Due