2022 Visual Design

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Architecture and Building Engineering
Tsukamoto Yoshiharu  Sasaki Kei 
Class Format
Lecture / Exercise    (Face-to-face)
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

This course discusses several artifacts such as furniture, architecture and cities, based on the idea of “Ecology”, which is understanding a living thing relative to its environment, not independently. In this course, the character of an artifact is considered relatively, as a part of an ecosystem. For example, a "chair" is, physically, just an object with a 40 square centimeter surface material supported by four rod-shaped members. But for the object to act as a “chair”, the ground should be flat, the surface material height from the ground should correspond to the length of a human leg, and further rod-shaped members have to be provided with sufficient strength to support the weight of the body.
Through several exercises to show how an artifact works, this course aims to cultivate the ability to observe as a fundamental of architectural design.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Observe what specifically is happening to surrounding artifacts in principle.
2) Integrate what they have observed into their analysis 3) Accurately represent the aforementioned


Architecture, Urban space, Design, Ecology, Behavior

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

The course consists of lectures and exercises for each topic. In lectures, students join a discussion to understand each topic. In practice exercises, students work on a report with a sketch and description about the case they chose.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Scrutinizing an photo on architectural work Draw the discovery from the detail observation on the architectural work in a photograph
Class 2 Scrutinizing an photo on vernacular architecture Draw the discovery from the detail observation on the vernacular architecture in a photograph
Class 3 Scrutinizing an historical painting on the life Draw the discovery from the detail observation on the life of people in an historical painting
Class 4 Drawing narrative Imagine and Draw the scene from "Invisible City" by Itaro Calvino
Class 5 Drawing tree and place to stay Draw the detail observation on the tree and people staying around/under it
Class 6 Making primitive hut Draw the pimitive hut made from the falling leaves and branches.
Class 7 Drawing landscape by collecting surnames Imagine and draw the scenery constructed by the collection of team members

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


None required

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Jakob won Uexkull. A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans, with A Theory of Meaning : Univ of Minnesota. ISBN 978-0816659005
Gibson, J.J. The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception : Boston Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0898599598
Bernard Rudofsky. Architecture without Architects : Univ of New Mexico. ISBN 978-0826310040
Bernard Rudofsky. Streets for People : Doubleday & Company. ISBN 978-0385042314
Kazunari Sakakmoto et al. Studies of Architectural Composition : Jikkyo Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-4407325720
Yoshiharu Tsukamoot et al. Made in Tokyo : Kajima Publishing, ISBN-13 : 978-4306044210
Yoshiharu Tsukamoto et al. Comonalities : LIXIL Publishing, ISBN-13 : 978-4864800099
Tokyo Institute of Technology Tsukamoto-Lab. Pet Architecture Guidebook, ISBN-13 : 978-4846523275
Tokyo Institute of Technology Tsukamoto-Lab. Windowscape -Window Behaviorology- : Filmart, ISBN-13 : 978-4845910588
Tokyo Institute of Technology Tsukamoto-Lab. Windowscape2 -Window Genealogy- : Filmart, ISBN-13: 978-4306070899

Assessment criteria and methods

Students will be assessed on results from each exercise

Related courses

  • None required
  • ARC.A202 : Architectural Design and Drawing II
  • ARC.A304 : Architectural Design and Drawing IV
  • ARC.A201 : Architectural Design and Drawing I
  • ARC.A301 : Architectural Design and Drawing III

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

None required

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