Fall 2022 - IAT 233 D100

Spatial Design (3)

Class Number: 6529

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 7 – Dec 6, 2022: Wed, 4:30–6:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    Completion of 21 units, IAT 102, and IAT 106, both with a minimum grade of C-.



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.


Anyone visiting one of SFU’s campuses is asked to wear a non-medical mask in all indoor public areas. Public areas include building entryways and atriums, hallways, stairwells, washrooms and study areas.  Proper mask use procedures: https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/posters/help-prevent-spread-covid-19-how-to-use-mask?lang=en


This course prepares students to spatial design by building on the foundation of knowledge and skill on representation such as sketching, digital and physical model making. It integrates spatial design skills by:

  • Using representations, e.g. sketching and modeling, apply design elements and principles for analyzing and creating spatial structures (including objects as an integral part of space) for human interaction.
  • Exploring syntactic rules considering their cultural and historical origins for composing three-dimensional spaces to accommodate various functional requirements considering individuals or groups and their interaction.
  • Examining how human experience varies between physical and digital spatial environments in relation to temporality, movement, dimensions etc.
  • Developing an awareness of the interplay between the human body, human senses, and human activities in relation to the form and function in spatial design.
  • Applying computational design modeling to solve physical or virtual spatial design (e.g. for games and animations) problems framed around human use, requirements, and variable design constraints.


  • 2 x Spatial Analysis and Synthesis Assignments (Team) 10%
  • 2 x Spatial Design and Modeling Assignments (Individual) 20%
  • 2 x Spatial Design Mini Projects (Team) 40%
  • 1 x Spatial Design Mini Projects (Individual) 10%
  • 2 x Quizzes (Individual) 20%


Note-1: The outline is subject to change.


Students must complete SFU Lab Safety Orientation offered by EHS, pass a test, and complete an in-lab orientation session to use the SolidSpace Lab during a 'full' F2F teaching term.

A course lab fee of $76.50 will be added to your tuition fees for all students taking this course to cover the costs of consumable materials and machine use in the prototyping lab.




The SIAT's prototyping lab will provide essential prototyping tools, 3D printers, laser cutting. Students are required to supply their own sketchbook (without rules or grid lines), sketching tools  (e.g. pencils with different gauges and softness, eraser, ruler, compass etc.). The students are also expected to provide their low-fidelity prototyping material (e.g. cardboard, foamboard, acrylic, MDF) and tools (modeling knives, scissors, glues, masking tapes, etc.).


The students are expected to show a high motivation for independent learning of software skills. While we heavily use various CAD software, this is not a software course. We expect you to teach yourself how to use these programs. If you are looking for help, there is a range of tutorials and software introductions. At the university level, we introduce conceptual and general approaches to design-modeling. We will recommend you online tutorials over the course of the semester that is available to the public or SFU students.
  • 3D CAD/Rendering Software:
    • OnShape or SolidWorks for parametric solid modeling (provided access for all students taking the course)
    • Rhino+Grasshopper for parametric modeling and rendering software, e.g. TweanMotion of Unreal (provided a limited number of licenses for the students).
  • 2D Software: ·         
    • Adobe Creative Suite (e.g. Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop)
    • MS Word, PowerPoint


Frank Ching. (2014). Architecture: Form, Space & Order, 4th ed. (4th Ed.). Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.
ISBN: 978-1-118-74508-3

Flemming, Ulrich. (1990). Syntactic structures in architecture: teaching composition with computer assistance. Syntactic structures in architecture (pp. 31–48). MIT Press. Retrieved from https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=109152

Álvarez, R., & Duarte, F. (2018). Spatial Design and Placemaking: Learning From Video Games. Space and Culture, 21(3), 208–232.


Matthew Frederick. (2007). 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School (1 edition). The MIT Press; 1 edition.

George Hlavacs. (2014). The Exceptionally Simple Theory of Sketching: Easy to Follow Tips and Tricks to Make your Sketches Look Beautiful. BIS Publishers.

Klaus Klemp, J. M. (2017). Dieter Rams: Ten Principles for Good Design. Prestel.

Kimberly Elam. (2011). Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Composition (2nd Revised, Updated ed. edition). Princeton Architectural Press; 2nd Revised, Updated ed. Edition.

Ellen Lupton, J. C. P. (2015). Graphic Design: The New Basics: Second Edition, Revised and Expanded (Revised and updated ed edition). Princeton Architectural Press; Revised and updated ed edition.

Al-Saati, Maha et al. (2012). The architectural image: space, movement and myth, SFU PhD Thesis, http://summit.sfu.ca/item/13638

ISBN: 9781138328556

Rasmussen, S. E. (1962). Experiencing architecture. Cambridge [Mass.: M.I.T. Press, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/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