Lecture 01: Course Introduction

To view the lecture slides or to download a .pdf of the lecture, click one of the links below.

Lecture Notes for Lecture 1: Course Introduction

Digital Tools For Architects Archi 135: Fall 2010

Grant Adams Associate Professor of Architecture & Construction

  • gadams@dvc.edu 925-456-4355
  • Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 3-3:30pm or by arrangement

Course Website


You will need to visit the website:

  • to view exercises and assignments
  • to view important course information
  • to view the course calendar
  • to post your exercises/assignments when they are due.
  • to view tutorials, helpful hints, etc.

Class Schedule:

  • You can view the course calendar on the website.
  • Tuesday – Thursday: 11:00 – 11:50 Lecture 12:00 – 1:50 Lab
  • Hours By Arrangement: 2:00 – 2:50 Office Hours: 3:00 – 3:30

Course Software Software covered in this class will include:

  • Graphic Design Software: Illustrator
  • Layout Software: InDesign & Acrobat
  • Photography Software: Photoshop, Picasa (some iPhoto, Lightroom, Aperture), Photomatix, PTGui, Stitcher
  • 2D Drawing & Laser Cutter: Illustrator 3D Modeling Software: SketchUp * major software will be available in the ET 124

Course Textbook

  • Layout Workbook, by Kristin Cullen
  • Required readings will be posted on the course calendar on the day they are due!


  • There is no Mid-Term or Final Exam for the class.
  • Your grade is based on your:
    • Lab Exercises (20%)
    • Assignments (20%)
    • Final Portfolio (50%)
    • Participation (10%)
  • This course has a consistent workload, if you keep up, you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed with work in any given week.


  • Lab exercises will be worth 20% of each student’s overall grade.
  • The exercises are designed to be completed in the lab portion of the class and focus on building fundamental skills.
  • Exercises will be due at the end of the lab period on the day they are assigned.


  • Assignments are larger and may require work outside of class.
  • Assignments are graded based on skills used and overall design!
  • These assignments will collectively be worth 20% of your overall grade for the course.
  • You may elect to improve your assignments before they appear in your final portfolio (where they will be graded again).


  • The final project for the course is a portfolio of your work which will include each of the assignments given in the course and may include work completed outside of the course.
  • Specific instructions will be given as the semester progresses. The final portfolio will be worth 50% of your grade.
  • A mid-review of your portfolio will be due half way through the course (specific date available on course calendar)

Course Participation

  • After each exercise and assignment, you will be required to give constructive feedback to three of your classmates using the course website comments section.
  • This is required to help each student grow and mature in their design process and abilities. This will be worth 10% of you final grade for the course.


  • You will be required to use a usb flash drive to store your work for this class.
  • The drive MUST be a 2GB (gigabyte) or larger drive.
  • If you can, I would recommend purchasing a drive with the “U3” system installed as it will allow you to run a backup system we will discuss in class.
  • Please be careful to safeguard your drive as losing your drive (and consequently your assignments & work) is not acceptable.
  • A digital camera is also a recommended tool for the class, though it is not required.

Hours by Arrangement

  • This course includes 2 hours by arrangement each week.
  • These times are mandatory and will offer extended periods of small group and individual instruction that cannot be completed in the lecture/lab environment.
  • Specific times will vary based on student availability, but will typically take place from 10:10-11am or 2:10-3pm on Tuesday/Thursday. Sign up sheets will be available when necessary.

General Guidelines

  • All students who miss two weeks of class or more will be withdrawn from the class at the discretion of the instructor. If you will be absent from class, you must inform the instructor prior to the start of class by emailing: gadams@dvc.edu or calling (925) 456-4355.
  • If more than three assignments are not completed within the whole semester you may be dropped from the class.
  • Assignment due dates will be announced in class. Assignments will be due at the start of the lecture on the day they are due. Work not posted on the website or handed in (when indicated) by the start of lecture will be marked late.
  • Exercises will be due at 1:50 on the day they are assigned unless otherwise noted. Late work will be marked down.
  • Late assignments and exercises are graded down by 10% (one full letter grade) per class. Assignments turned in after 4 class days late will receive a maximum of 50% of the value of the assignment. Assignments not handed in will receive a 0.
  • While I will be available for 1 on 1 or small group help during lab time or during office hours, please consult with written tutorials, other classmates or friends first if you have difficulty on exercises or assignments.
  • I strongly suggest you print each written tutorial before the lecture/lab in which it will be used. You can then make notes on the printed page during the lecture and refer to them in the lab.
  • All work completed during the course will be posted on the course website under a Creative Commons “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported”

Sample Student work from Previous Semesters (view slides or showcase)

What will you create?

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