School of Architecture College of Design

ARCH 3250: Material Limits: Wood | Metal in Architectural Design

Material Limits: Wood | Metal in Architectural Design

Spring Semester 2013

Colin Oglesby and Tom Westbrook

Course Description:
In the Theory of Forms Plato granted more significance to the Idea than the object when he asked “What is Chair?”. This question has fueled an architectural agenda driven by representation for 2,000 years. However, designers today are beginning to reject this assertion of form over material by asking how materiality can inform and even guide design. Material design requires more than intellectual research; it demands interaction to explore the limits and boundaries of its creative potential.

This course will teach students how to engage design as a natural extension of craft and fabrication. Beginning with basic research about material extraction and manufacturing, students will gain an understanding of specific material properties that can be fostered with “hands on” processes, both historical and technological. From hand planes and chisels to laser cutting students will learn important modes of working materials and be asked to explore how these tools, materials and processes can help mold material into design.


School of Architecture
145 Rapson Hall
89 Church Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-624-5743


Contact Information

College of Design

Saint Paul Offices

32 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-1922

[directions and maps]

Minneapolis Offices

101 Rapson Hall, 89 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-7525

[directions and maps]

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