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AAD 1004: Exploring Architecture, Arts, and Design

AAD 1004 is a hands-on first-year experience course for students in the Explore AAD (Exploring Architecture, Arts, and Design) undecided major in the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design. This engaging course introduces students to the college and its degrees, majors and minors, and allows students to explore career opportunities available to graduates of the college while simultaneously helping them with the transition from high school to university life.

Students in the class practice sketching, design a gallery exhibition, explore the Art & Architecture library, problem-solve real world issues, and complete a semester long research project of their choosing making connections across disciplines and applying them to new situations within and beyond campus. By the end of the semester many of the students enrolled in the course will have decided upon a new degree program they want to major in, having been exploring the majors and careers all semester.

Guest speakers in class include faculty from every major within AAD, the global education office, career and professional development, the art and architecture library, the academic integrity office, and more.

3 Things You Should Know About AAD 1004:

  1. This class is about introducing you to the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design and helping you explore different majors -- while simultaneously learning to navigate Virginia Tech and understand what research looks like in the college. 
  2. We do a lot of reflective activities and look at current events/design-related issues to get you thinking about the careers and problems that our graduates are working on in the real world.
  3. Despite being a class of 40+ people, you will have individualized academic advising and one-on-one time to get your questions/concerns answered.

Key Learning Experience
One of the key learning experiences culminates in a research project. You will research and problem-solve a topic of your choosing related to architecture & urban studies disciplines. While becoming familiarized with the research process, you explore majors and other real-world issues that graduates are working on, which will help determine what major you could potentially transfer into.

What is the most enjoyable part of the course? What can students learn from this part of the course?
The one-on-one advising and assistance with exploring the college. Also, learning about what architects, designers, landscape architects, urban planners, etc. do in the real world and how what you might think you want to study at the beginning of the semester evolves, as you learn about different majors in the college.

Other Things to Know About AAD 1004?
One of the most unifying experiences can be reading and discussing a common book. We will be reading a novel related to architecture & urban studies disciplines and learn how architects, scientists, engineers, urban planners, artists, etc. had to come together to solve a problem. This, along with some in class sketching exercises, will launch our exploration of majors within the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design as this class orients you to Virginia Tech and determines what major you ultimately wish to change into and pursue.

Contact: Rob Jacks