Skip to main content
Tulane Home


All classes are suspended for the week of March 16. Starting the week of March 23, all classes will resume entirely online. Tulane School of Architecture (TuSA) remains open with most faculty and staff working remotely. Students can be granted access to work in the building only with prior approval from the school. At this time, we are not hosting admissions tours.

Please continue to check your Tulane email, Canvas, the TuSA COVID-19 FAQ, and the Tulane Emergency Management page for updates.

Tulane is working with students who have difficult personal circumstances that would make leaving campus a challenge or will face complications in online learning once they return home. In response, we have set up the Tulane Student Emergency Aid and Assistance Fund to address current student needs.

Structural Systems
Semesters Offered: 
4-Letter Course Group: 
Course Number: 

"Technology is far more than a method. It is a world in itself.
As a method it is superior in almost every respect. But
only where it is left to itself, as in gigantic structures of
engineering, there technology reveals its true nature.
There it is evident that it is not only a useful means but
that it is something that has a meaning and a powerful
form -so powerful in fact, that it is not easy to name it.
Where technology reaches its real fulfillment it transcends
into architecture."
Mies van der Rohe, From IIT address, 1950

"It is radical and conservative at once. It is radical in accepting
the scientific and technological driving and sustaining
forces of our time. It has a scientific character, but it is
not science. It uses technological means but it is not technology.
It is conservative as it is not only concerned with a
purpose but also with a meaning, as it is not only concerned
with a function but also with an expression. It is
conservative as it is based on the eternal laws of architecture:
Order, Space, Proportion."
Mies van der Rohe, From essay on the IIT curriculum

Two contrasting remarks made by Mies van der Rohe suggest the complex role of technology in architecture. The recent technological obsession in the field is fueled by the proliferation of sophisticated and inexpensive structural, environmental and visual computer simulations. It reignited the interest in building performance, primarily as a means to justify ever more complex forms. However, without a critical understanding of the role technology plays in the design process, it will become a superficial nod to the old functionalist thinking of predicting the predictable. The intention of this course is to impart students with an innate understanding of relationships between parameters of structural framing systems and their impact on design decisions. The primary objective is to provide a sound conceptual understating and vocabulary necessary for future architects to lead the engineers and contractors with confidence.


Old Course Numbers: ATCS 4010/6140

Course is Active: 
Course Materials: 
Course Topic: 
Technological Systems