- Grade level: High School
- Subject Area: Art, Social Studies, Technical Education
In this unit, students will undertake a preliminary study of architecture: reading about philosophies underlying the pursuit of architecture and comparing different architectural styles. Although architecture is obviously a very complex discipline that cannot be mastered in one lesson, this preliminary study will provide some context for subsequent activities involving architectural visualization. With these activities, students will have an opportunity to see how architects can use current technological capabilities, both hardware and software, to "visualize" buildings and other structures before they actually construct them. Students will speculate about the types of buildings and structures that might be needed in the future, and will try their hands at drawing some of these.
- Develop a rudimentary understanding of the field and philosophies of architecture.
- Develop a rudimentary understanding of architectural visualization.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as a World Wide Web browser. In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: None.
- Special software requirements: None.
- Internet access: High-speed (greater than 1 MBPS via network).
Unit Lesson Plans
- Lesson One: Introduction to Architectural Concepts. Students begin to familiarize themselves with some of the general concepts of architecture.
- Lesson Two: Introduction to Architectural Philosophies. Students begin to familiarize themselves with some of the competing philosophies underlying architecture.
- Lesson Three: Introduction to Architectural Visualization. Students begin to familiarize themselves with the capabilities of architectural visualization.
- Lesson Four: Speculations on Future Architectural Developments. Students speculate about the kinds of structures that might be necessary for future generations to build. Students draw the structures they imagine.
Relation to Standards
Architecture is a truly interdisciplinary field, drawing upon art, history, mathematics, physics, engineering, and archaeology, to name a few subjects. Although the Introduction to Architectural Visualization unit does not cover all of these fields, it does address the guidelines enumerated in some national standards projects.
One Computer versus Many
The plans for this unit are tailored to fit teaching situations where students have access to several computers with an Internet connection. To accommodate classrooms that do not have access to a computer lab with full Internet connections, students can work in research groups to explore Internet sites and conduct their research.
If you have only one computer with Internet access, you may choose to do one of the following:
- If you have the technology, you may hook up the computer to a TV monitor or LCD projector. This will allow the whole class to see sites in the preliminary stages when students are exploring sites created by other children.
- You may choose to have students rotate through computer with Internet access in groups.
- You may also download files from the Internet and save them on a disk. Now you can transfer the files you saved on a disk to the other non-Internet computers. Installing copies of your Web browser on all non-Internet computers will allow you to view the pages you saved to a disk. This will not allow students to explore hyper-links, but they will be able to access and view the information by opening each file with the Web browser.