Expectations and Assignments


You can expect me to:

  • Plan the course and alter that plan as needed. I believe the best curriculum is tailored to the student. That means that we will take advantage of unforeseen events that capture our interest, and then juggle the class topics as necessary.
  • Give you feedback—both written and oral. I take the assignments in this class seriously, and have made giving feedback a top priority. (I will not submit weekly grades for the writing journal; however, you will receive general feedback on the journal over the course of the semester.)
  • Bring my expertise into the classroom. This includes many years of formal study, professional experience and development, and stories from real life. I believe that we can learn through stories. (You, too, are encouraged to bring stories to class to stimulate discussion.)
  • Be patient when you are struggling with ideas. To me, the struggle reveals that learning is taking place.
  • Provide clarity when the struggle gets too strong.
  • Be open about options. I welcome students to bring ideas of how to form a class session or perhaps request a topic.
  • Treat you, as adult learners, with the related style of respect.

Here is what I expect from you:

  • Full attendance, except for legitimate absences (see policy statements, following). This includes punctual arrival to class. If you are unable to attend class and have a legitimate excuse, please inform the teaching assistant prior to the scheduled class time.
  • Participation in class, which includes speaking and listening.
  • Collaboration and constructive critique. Some of our assignments will be conducted in teams, and others will require you to respond to your peers. Learning how to be a supportive group participant and constructive critic are important skills in this class and beyond.
  • Effort to make this class your own. In other words, what will you do to foster your learning?
  • Timely completion of assignments, including the reading assigned to each class period. Late assignments will be subject to grade reductions.
  • College-level quality writing: legible and proofread. All written assignments must be typed. If there are a significant number of errors or if it is difficult to read, the assignment will be returned to you prior to grading for changes. In most cases, your assignment will then be late and docked points.
  • College-level quality presentations: graphics should be clear and well-organized, and verbal presentations should be rehearsed and delivered in a timely fashion.
  • Refrain from using personal electronic devices during class.
  • Take advantage of my office hours and/or the office hours of your teaching assistant.
  • Consider consultations with the Center for Writing (optional): writing.umn.edu


In this course, students will model the endeavors of architectural critics and practitioners. Student work will therefore consist of both writing and design research-based assignments. Writing exercises will consist of weekly electronic journals and a final paper. Design research exercises will consist of two projects, one reflective and one projective.

  • Class Participation (10%)—class attendance, attend at least three lecture series talks
  • Writing Exercises (30%)—weekly electronic journal, response and critique
  • Design Research Projects (2) (30%)—reflective and projective exercises
  • Research Paper (30%)—including preliminary drafts

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