Spring 2018 - IAT 233 D100

Spatial Design (3)

Class Number: 4741

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    SUR 2740, Surrey

  • Prerequisites:

    IAT 106, and IAT 102 or an approved course in design.



Designing and understanding spaces used by people. The iterative process of making and criticizing, experiencing and analyzing spatial form. Compositional ideas for form-making. Critical thinking applied to design. Computers are the principal medium used in this course for form-making and visualization.


Spatial Design is concerned with making and understanding spaces used by people; the iterative process of making and criticizing, experiencing and analyzing spatial form; compositional ideas for form making and critical thinking applied to design.  All design occurs within the context of space.  This course lays the contextual foundation for designing in context.  Computers are the principal medium for both form-making and visualization. However, the quality of a design and its success within the humane context are the end-product, not the artifact in of itself.  Understanding the fundamental role of space in design is the outcome, and it will be learned in a scaling-up process; using graphic, then 3D, then architectural/built, then urban complexities.  This introduces a conceptual space for the learner to engage the profound complexity of interactive space - which will be introduced then studied in detail in senior level design studios and projects.  Students are introduced to evaluative tools such as Pattern Languages and Affordances and use design precedents as a way of understanding what has been achieved already in the emergent field.  A final capstone project brings together graphic, communication, 3D, social, built , urban, exhibit and contextual design within a contextually-rich, sited, client-based human-scaled space that will require design intuition and not merely skills.  Students learn to work at the professional pace required to enable rich communication of complex ideas.  Projects, normally, are due each week and critiqued in class.


  • Weekly Projects 5%


5 – 10% per week; one project per week except three longer projects.


Special Note: This course has a mandatory field trip to Seattle for which there is a non-refundable $275 fee to be paid by students to cover the costs of bus rental and hotel.



“Moleskine Classic Soft Cover Pocket Plain Notebook” (2008) by Moleskine; ZZZ Edition; Moleskine ISBN: 9788883707148; please purchase from the SFU Bookstore in the retail section.


“101 Things I learned in Architecture School” (2007) by Matthew Frederick; MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262062664


“Elements of Design:  Roweena Reed Kostellow & Structure of Visual Relationship” (2002) by Gail Greet Hannah; 1st Edition; Princeton Architectural Press
ISBN: 9781568983295

Grid Systems:  Principles of Organizing Type” (2004) by Kimberly Elam; 1st Edition; Princeton Architectural Press
ISBN: 9781568984650

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html