Spring 2020 - IAT 233 D100

Spatial Design (3)

Class Number: 7924

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

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

  • Prerequisites:

    Completion of 21 units and 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.


-This course is intended to prepare students to integrate knowledge and skill by:

1.    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.
2.    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.
3.    Examining how human experience varies between physical and digital spatial environments in relation to temporality,                movement, dimensions etc.
4.    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.
5.    Applying computational design modeling to solve physical or virtual spatial design (e.g. games and animations) problems        framed around human use, requirements, and variable design constraints.


  • Assignments (Individual) 20%
  • Major Projects (Teams) 60%
  • Quizzes (Indvidual) 20%


Special Note: This course has a non-refundable $75 (subject to change each term) fee to be paid by students to cover the costs of consumable lab material and tool-use in SolidSpace prototyping lab.



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 course will rely on 2D and 3D software for completion of assignments and lab activities.  

2D Software: ·         

  • Adobe Suite (Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop) and After Effects
  • MS Word, PowerPoint
3D CAD/Rendering Software:
  • Rhino, Grasshopper (Rhino Add-on) and Maya


Required Readings: (on Reserve in SFU Library)

Frank Ching. (2017). Architecture: Form, Space & Order, 4th ed. (4th Ed.). Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.

Wucius Wong. (1977). Principles of Three-Dimensional Design. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.

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


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.

Thomas Hauffe. (1998). Design: A Concise History. Laurence King Pub.

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.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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