Program Curriculum

Frank Lloyd Wright, Broadacre City (1932)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Broadacre City (1932)

Geofutures provides a highly integrated and diversified curriculum of coursework over the span of two consecutive semesters. This curriculum includes design studios, history, theory, and criticism seminars and lecture courses, introductory and advanced courses in building science, as well as computation and fabrication seminars and workshops.

History, Theory, and Criticism

The history, theory, and criticism sequence provides a series of seminars and lecture courses that introduce students to both historical and contemporary forms of architectural, urban, and environmental discourse.

Building Science

The building science course sequence provides students with an introduction to fundamental principles related to the science of ecology alongside a comprehensive working knowledge of state-of-the-art passive as well as active environmentally responsive building systems.

Computation and Fabrication

The computation and fabrication courses introduce students to state-of-the-art software and production technologies, including scripting and parametric computer modeling in Rhino and Maya, advanced energy modeling and simulation, GIS information gathering and mapping (Global Information Systems), advanced visualization using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, as well as digitally automated CNC milling, laser-cutting, and 3D printing.

Architectural Visualization

The architectural visualization courses introduce students to state-of-the-art motion image and typography software, including Adobe After Effects and Autodesk Maya, in the production of animations and short films that incorporate moving imagery, typography, and sound as a means of exploring new and alternative forms of visualization related to their design work. Additionally, these courses provide a theoretical and historical introduction to various image, sound, and typography techniques utilized by filmmakers, with a particular focus on science fiction and its more recent subgenre, climate fiction.


The design studio sequence brings together the course content of the history, theory, and criticism, building science, and computation / fabrication sequences as a general means of synthesizing these various forms of knowledge into comprehensive strategies for design at both architectural and urban scales.

Digital Workshop

In August, prior to the beginning of the fall semester, the School of Architecture offers a Digital Workshop for all incoming graduate students that provides a comprehensive introduction to a wide range of software, including Rhino, Grasshopper, V-Ray, Pepakura Designer, and Adobe programs such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.

Sample Plan of Study

Fall Semester: 15 credits
ARCH 6320: Built Ecologies, 3 cr.
ARCH 6900: Architectural Visualization I, 2 cr.
ARCH 6400: Architectural Criticism, 3 cr.
ARCH 6810: Digital Media I, 2 cr.
ARCH 6980: Master’s Project, 4 cr.


Spring Semester: 15 Credits
ARCH 6350: Design Research Studio, 4 cr.
ARCH 6388: Graduate Environmental Parametrics, 2 cr.
ARCH 6900: Architectural Visualization II, 2 cr.
ARCH 6960: Digital Media II, 2 cr.
ARCH 6962: Speculative Urbanism, 2 cr.
ARCH 6980: Master’s Project, 3 cr.


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Evan Douglis, Professor


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
School of Architecture
110 8th Street - Greene Building
Troy, NY 12180 - USA

Main Phones

Front Desk: (+1) 518-276-6466
Dean's Office: (+1) 518-276-6460
Undergrad Admissions: (+1) 518-276-8478
Graduate Admissions: (+1) 518-276-6877