Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Spatial and Formal Analysis

Spatial and Formal Analysis
First semester
Propedeutic Introductory Module
Main language of instruction: English

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, Spanish

Teaching staff

Professors Manuel Arenas,Octavio Perez and Ana Cocho will be available to Analysis of Forms students on Tuesdays between 13.00 and 14.00, subject to prior appointment, in the Graphic Expression Department.


The Analysis of Forms course provides students with an initial intensive encounter with the world of architecture.

Through the use of three-dimensional models, the student becomes familiar with geometry, rhythm, proportion and materials, producing small pieces of proto-architecture based on three main working principles:

Construction from the segmentation of planes.

Construction from vectors or force lines.

Construction from volume.

Every week, each student will produce a model following the main working principles described above following clear instructions with regard to size and materials.

The course seeks to bring out three basic attitudes with respect to architecture:

Externalize: Search within and then bring it forth, contrasting it with information found, plans, photos, texts, etc. The architect should be a sponge for information, and a hoarder of data.

Experiment: Play with form, geometry and rhythm. Construct and deconstruct.

Exhibit: Show the work that has been done; present it, justify it, open it up to criticism from teachers and students. Take sides and defend a point of view. Make it intelligible to others.

Pre-course requirements

 Basic knowledge of mathematics, geometry and technical and artistic drawing.


The objective of the Analysis of Forms course is to train students in the construction of three-dimensional models, or what we know as pieces of proto-architecture, as much from the perspective of theory, rules, rhythms, geometry, repetition and symmetry as from a practical construction approach using foam board, wood, wire, plaster, etc.


  • 03 - To acquire adequate knowledge of spatial representation systems applied to architecture and urbanism .
  • 04 - To acquire knowledge and apply it to the analysis and theory of form and the laws of visual perception in architecture and urbainism.
  • 05 - To acquire adequate knowlege of metric and projective geometry applied to architecture and urbanism.
  • 06 - To acquire adequate knowledge of graphic surveying techniques in all stages, from sketching to scientific restitution.
  • 10 - To acquire adequate knowledge and apply it to the fundamentals of topography, hypsometry, mapping and terrain modification techniques in architecture and urbanism
  • 1-T - Ability to apply graphic procedures to the representation of spaces and objects.
  • 2-T - Ability to conceive and represent the visual attributes of objects and master the proportions and techniques of drawing, including digital forms

Learning outcomes

 The student will finish the course having become familiar with the construction of intelligent forms. The student will also understand the importance of geometry and the necessity and rhythm of linking decisions together within pre-established logical frameworks.

The construction process of the models will be supported by a notebook in which to log incidents and ideas and the development of all of the models produced during the course. In this way students will learn how to define and draw their plans and achieve rational working processes.


The course is completely practical. There are two weekly sessions during which seven models will be made using different materials and construction techniques.

The course is based on seven practical assignments during the semester:

Model in white foam board

Model in black foam board

Model in black and white foam board

Wire rods

Wooden rods

Combination of wire and wood

Volumetric plaster cast using plastic formwork

The notebook will also be submitted at the end of the course to show the development of ideas and the model-making process along with photos and sources taken from external projects or sculptures used by the student.

Teaching and learning activities

In person

The classes will be entirely practical although they will be interspersed with short theory sessions that will be incorporated into the proposed assignments.

The course will take the form of a workshop; i.e. the proposed assignments will be undertaken almost exclusively in the classroom.

There will be short presentation and correction sessions on a weekly basis and a final Grand Jury with an invited external guest: an architect, sculptor, art critic, etc.

Class exhibition
03 04 05 06 10 1-T 2-T 1
Class participation
03 04 05 06 10 1-T 2-T 1,5
Clase practice
03 04 05 06 10 1-T 2-T 1
03 04 05 06 10 1-T 2-T 1
Individual or group study
03 04 05 06 10 1-T 2-T 4,5

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

As this is mainly a practical course, assessment will be continuous, constant and progressive. It is assumed that the student will experience an ascending learning curve and so the assignments will improve incrementally in terms of quality, precision and presentation.

To pass the course it will be necessary to present and pass all of the recommended assignments. The course notebook and attendance and participation in classes will also be taken into account.

Each assignment will be marked separately, so that students know at all times where they stand with regard to the course content, giving equal weight to ideas and execution and the use of external sources, as well as class attendance and level of participation.

The course will not have a final examination although students who have failed assignments can improve upon them and submit them at the end of the course.

Evaluation criteria:

Each assignment must meet a minimum quality standard, as specified within the following parameters:

  • the connection between reality and what is represented
  • the use of textures and materials
  • the level of execution
  • the clarity and precision of the concept

Bibliography and resources

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- El paisatge es rodó. Perejaume. Eumo Editorial. Associació per les arts visuals.

- 1927. La abstracción necesaria en el arte y la arquitectura europeos de entreguerras.

  Juan José Lahuerta. Anthropos.

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  Colegio Oficial de Aparejadores y Arquitectos técnicos. Librería Yerba Caja Murcia.

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  Colegio Oficial de Aparejadores y Arquitectos técnicos. Librería Yerba Caja Murcia.

- P. Mondrian, La nueva imagen en la pintura. Colección arquitectura nº 9

  Colegio Oficial de Aparejadores y Arquitectos técnicos. Librería Yerba Caja Murcia.

- Bauhaus. Magdalena Droste. Ed. Taschen

- El nacimiento de la tragedia. Friedrich Nietzsche. Alianza Ed.

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- Historia de la estética. Edgar de Bruyne y Bernard Bosauquet. Monografía nº 1.36 ETSAB.