part one: The Good Architect

Le Premier Tome de L’Architecture (Philibert Delorme, 1567)


welcome to ARC 1015 & the architecture program at Belmont!

A Course Specific to Belmont

While many academic programs include a first-year course to introduce architecture majors to the field, ARC 1015 has been developed specifically for Belmont's program. Here, you will indeed learn about the history of, and current issues in, the field of architecture, but you will do so within the particular educational context defined by this University's vision

To be a leader among teaching universities, bringing together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service.

ARC 1015 begins your professional education at the same time as your liberal arts curriculum, reflecting the architecture program's dedication to the full development of each student. Furthermore, this course is conceived in response to its faith-based traditions and within the Christian ideal of calling. It provides  opportunities for faith formation alongside academic work and planning your first steps to becoming an agent of positive change through the profession of architecture.

Getting Started

You may already recognize that this class is slightly different than most you have (probably) encountered due to the fact you are beginning it before we meet in person as a class. This is due to its approach as a blended class, which means it is intentionally designed to make use of online opportunities for learning at the same time as it honors the longstanding tradition of face-to-face class meetings. Blended (sometimes called "hybrid") learning is a consequence of the digital revolution, and recognizes that learners have access to unprecedented access to content which, rightly, can change the dynamic of the way teaching and learning happens.

Adopting this model, the coursework for ARC 1015 is organized in weeklong segments that conclude with our once-weekly face-to-face meeting. Thus the new themes begin on Wednesdays and you will study them at your own pace but also maintaining a regular schedule of work to meet the regular deadlines on (usually) Thursdays and Mondays. Consider this work as preparing you to participate in Tuesday's class, where we summarize, make connections, and conclude the work of the week.

In preparation for our first class meeting, please see to the following:

  • Make sure you have the following:
    • the required textbooks (Goldberger, Why Architecture Matters; Vitruvius, The Ten Books on Architecture)
    • a dedicated notebook to take notes on your learning through the week, both during off-campus (online) activities and in face-to-face meetings.
    • perhaps a secondary notebook for personal reflections that will be encouraged every week
    • an Instagram account (find directions here).

This class is administered from the website you are currently on. Find its main page here, where you can see the layout for the class and also access the syllabus, which you should read in its entirety.

flexible participation

one class in two parts

To fulfill social distancing guidelines, our class will be divided into groups. Starting in week two, both groups will complete the same Wednesday-Monday material. For Tuesday meetings, one part of the class will complete asynchronous or synchronous online work while the other meets in person in Hitch Hall. Please note your group and stick with it (at least, until further notice):

RED: name, name, name, name, name, & name
BLUE: name, name, name, name, name, & name

Students who are in need of online work for one or more weeks should contact Dr. Amundson about changing their alignment with the groups.

Our first class meeting will bring everyone together in an alternate (and bigger) space: meet on Tuesday, August 25, in the Lila Bunch lecture hall.

learning objectives

At the conclusion of this part of the course, you should be able to:

At the start of each week, you'll see a list of learning objectives that relate to the overall goals of the class. These will be associated with one of the categories of learning drawn from a well-known framework called Bloom's Taxonomy. For this week:

  • xxxxx (REMEMBER--recall facts and basic concepts) define, duplicate, list, memorize, repeat, state
  • xxxxx (UNDERSTAND--explain ideas and concepts) classify, describe, discuss, explain, identify, locate, recognize, report, select
  • xxxxx (APPLY--use information in new situations) execute, implement, solve, use, demonstrate, interpret, operate, schedule, sketch
  • xxxxx (ANALYZE--draw connections among ideas) differentiate, organize, relate, compare, contrast, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test
  • xxxxx (EVALUATE--justify a stand) appraise, argue, defend, judge, select, support, critique, weigh
  • xxxxxx (CREATE--produce new or original work) design, assemble, conjecture, develop, formulate, investigate

Use these lists to concentrate on material for the week that surrounds the topic as you progress through the lessons. At the conclusion of the week, return to these objectives and test yourself: have you accomplished these goals? If not, return to the material and keep working.

for Thursday (11 PM)

initial considerations

In preparation for our first class meeting on Tuesday, please prepare the following and submit by 11 PM on Thursday:

  • Take this survey
  • List of architecture quotes
  • Introduce yourself in a one-minute video using your preferred name, stating the place you call your home town, and answering one of the following questions:
    • dogs or cats?
    • Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter?
    • Indoorsy or outdoorsy?
  • In your class notebook, reflect on your own experience in architecture. What are the important buildings that you grew up around or in? Make a short list and reflect on what makes them "important" (there are lots of diverse reasons why that word might apply). This work is personal to you and no one else will see it, so go deep!

for Monday (11 AM)

first posts

Because we are studying an inherently visual discipline, it makes sense to use tools that are richly visual to form the basis of our conversations. Instagram is such a tool (and has the benefit of potentially brining a broader audience into our coursework). By 11 AM Monday, make two posts to Instagram with an account that is recognizable as your own (although it does not, for safety concerns, need to reveal your whole name).

An important building in the world

  • Inspired by your vision and/or understanding of worldwide architecture
  • Name it in the post and explain why it is important
  • Include the hashtags: #ARC1015_Belmont_1 #OMoreCollege #BelmontUniversity #BelmontArchitecture

An important building in your community

  • Inspired by your reflections on Thursday
  • Name it in the post and explain why it is important to you and/or a group
  • Include the hashtags: #ARC1015_Belmont_1 #OMoreCollege #BelmontUniversity #BelmontArchitecture

for Tuesday: on campus

first class meeting

Because of the restrictions placed on group meetings by the Mayor's office and here on campus, our full class will not be able to meet together on a regular basis. We will meet on this first day of the semester as a group to establish the cohort and lay the parameters for the semester. In all subsequent meetings, make sure to pay attention to the group you are assigned to, so that you attend face-to-face meetings on alternate weeks.


  • Definitions of architecture (cf. Pevsner; others)
  • Definitions of architect (cf. Delorme; others)

Presentation & Reflection

  • Introduction to blended/hybrid/hyflex teaching
  • Introduction to ePortfolio project
  • Historic practices of architecture (antiquity to the present, in vernacular and professional settings)
    • Consideration of what mattered then
    • Consideration of what matters now
  • Introduction of Project 1
  • Time to reflect/write: what did you learn this week that seems really important for the way you want to pursue your future work?

image credit (at top)