How the architecture classes are structured


Tianjin Binhai Library in China

The classes go as follows:

The student selects a topic from those listed on the website and then we begin the class.

Week 1: The first week I present the topic in the form of images and discussion about the subject and talk about architecture and design in general. Then the student selects a building type or a site for their project depending upon the subject. For example, if the subject is Contemporary Architecture, a building type will be chosen. If they choose Town Planning, then they select a location and we go from there.

If there is time between classes, the student can begin thinking about their design and do some sketches.

Week 2:

During the second class the student is introduced to the typical design process architects and designers go through. The student begins with a program, then bubble diagrams and is introduced to the types of drawings used in architecture and design.

Between classes, as time allows, they are encouraged to develop their ideas through sketches.

Week 3:

Depending on the ability of the student, they will learn how to draw to scale and/or begin to draw plans and elevations.

Their ideas are developing and they are learning how to use visual tools to communicate what they are thinking.

Between classes, they may continue with the drawings of their design.

At this time the student will continue with drawings, developing elevations and learning how to draw a perspective.

At the end of the class, they can decide to either continue with drawings or begin a model in the next class. Both can include creating a materials board if they choose to do so.

Week 4: 

If the student decides to begin a model, I teach the student the basics of model-making and with my help, they begin to construct a three dimensional model of their design. If the student chooses to continue with drawings, we expand the scope to include details, materials and possibly the landscape of the area outside the structure

We also discuss their design and follow up on additional information based on the student’s interest during the classes. For example, one of my students chose Contemporary Architecture but during our discussions, she became interested in Roman architecture so I provided an introduction to the design and architecture of Rome and its history in our last class.

We then wrap up the class and talk about next steps for the student including additional programs that might be of interest in their area and recommended next steps if they want to apply to a design school or school of architecture.

In the end, the student has a set of drawings of their architectural design, possibly scale drawings, and/or a model and/or a materials board also called a finish board or a mood board.

Above is the outline for the classes and the sequence of information and activities involved. The pace of the phases is based on the individual student.

If you decide to sign up for one of the classes or have any questions, please contact us at

*Class times are based on the family’s schedule.

-Dora Taylor