Seth McDowell headshot
AM

Andrew McDowell

Associate Professor
Unit: School of Architecture
Department: Department of Architecture
Office location and address
Campbell Hall 316
110 Bayly Dr
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Education
Master in Architecture, Columbia University
B.S., Clemson University
Biography

Seth McDowell works in the field of design research as a practitioner-researcher exploring the relationship between materiality, visualization and construction.  As an experimental architect, his work bridges the speculative and the real—focusing on material and construction procedures as the genesis for the design of buildings, objects and cities.  His work concentrates on three interrelated areas of study:

1—Design strategies for waste, excess, and ubiquity

2—Material speculations as cultural critique

3—Designing with Building Information Modeling (BIM)

McDowell’s teaching is focused on materiality, construction systems and digital visualization/simulation.  Core teaching assignments include courses in Building Information Modeling (BIM) ARCH 7270/ARCH 3271/ARCH 5500, Building Matters ARCH 3260, and undergraduate and graduate level design studios. McDowell has over eight years of experience teaching design studios and technical courses at three US institutions: University of Virginia (UVA), Columbia University, and Louisiana State University.  He has taught at UVA School of Architecture since 2012. 

ARCH 3010: Foundation Studio IV
Credits: 6
This studio course emphasizes conceptualization and synthesis of complex programs in contemporary contexts at multiple scales. Prerequisite: ARCH 2020
ARCH 3260: Building Matters
Credits: 4
Explores and evaluates the properties of basic building materials and construction assemblies. Introduces building construction from a variety of viewpoints, with emphasis on ecological thinking in architectural decision-making. Students will analyze and critique materials and construction systems, and how they correspond to aesthetic, technical, financial and ethical issues.
ARCH 3271: Breaking BIM
Credits: 3
This course offers an introduction to the principles of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the interface and workflow of Autodesk's Revit. Topics include the BIM workflow, associative modeling, conceptual massing, building components, site tools, customizing components, materials, detailing, schedules, and visualization. With successful completion students will be able to use Revit proficiently in a design process.
ARCH 4010: Research Studio II
Credits: 6
This studio course emphasizes conceptualization and synthesis of complex programs in contemporary contexts at multiple scales. Prerequisite: ARCH 3020
ARCH 4820: Teaching Experience
Credits: 3
Selected students lead a seminar (of 8 to 10 younger students each) for 'Lessons of the Lawn' and 'Lessons in Making.' All student assistants attend class lectures (for a second time) and then meet with their seminar groups weekly, leading discussions of topics and questions raised by the instructor.
ARCH 5500: Special Topics in Architecture
Credits: 1–6
Topical offerings in architecture.
ARCH 5993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Independent research on topics selected by individual students in consultation with a faculty advisor
ARCH 6020: Foundation Studio II
Credits: 6
The second graduate foundation studio develops spatial, programmatic, tectonic relationships through the design of a civic, urban institution. Students utilize architectural design as a form of analysis and exploration. Primary modes of architectural design include physical model-making at multiple scales, analytical drawings in plan and section, the study of material tectonic precedents, and the visual and verbal articulation of an argument.
ALAR 7010: Research Studio 1
Credits: 6
Advanced vertical studio, exploring complex issues and sites, often through interdisciplinary design research. Prerequisite: ARCH 6020 or LAR 6020.
ARCH 7020: Foundation Studio IV
Credits: 6
Intermediate-level design problems, emphasizing structure, enclosure, life safety and building systems. Prerequisite: ALAR 7010
ARCH 7271: Adv. Breaking BIM
Credits: 3
This course offers an introduction to the principles of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the interface and workflow of Autodesk's Revit. Topics include the BIM workflow, associative modeling, conceptual massing, building components, site tools, customizing components, materials, detailing, schedules, and visualization. With successful completion students will be able to use Revit proficiently in a design process.
ALAR 8010: Research Studio 2
Credits: 6
Advanced vertical studio, exploring complex issues and sites, often through interdisciplinary design research. Part one of a two part comprehensive design sequence. Prerequisite: ARCH 7020 or LAR 7020.
ARCH 8800: Teaching Experience
Credits: 3
Teaching Experience Prerequisite: Permission of the chair.
ARCH 8801: Research Experience
Credits: 3
Student will engage with faculty on selected topics in Architecture Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor
  • The Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design, Young Architect of the Year, 2017.
  • Second Place - Structure of Freedom International Competition for the Sziget Festival Pavilion, 2017.
  • Honorable Mention - “Adaptive Platform: Affordable Housing above the City” NY Build’s Affordable Housing Challenge, 2017.
  • Winner of AIA|DC Unbuilt Awards in 2015 and 2017.
  • Winner - “Layered Intelligence” CHIDesign Competition, The Chicago Architecture Foundation, 2015.
  • The Architectural League of New York Prize, 2015.
  • Finalist - MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program, 2012.
  • First Place - 3rd Advanced Architecture Contest: The Self-Sufficient City, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, 2009.