Designing Spaces for Humans

Apply architectural thinking and principles to your creative practice.
Date icon

Oct 14, 2023Nov 18, 2023

Saturdays from 4:00 pm 7:00 pm UTC

Register for Zoom link
Sessions are recorded and will be available to class participants
Artwork by Zhenya Oliinyk
Be a PAL to save 10%
This item could not be added to your cart.
Date icon

Oct 14, 2023Nov 18, 2023

Saturdays from 4:00 pm 7:00 pm UTC

Register for Zoom link
Sessions are recorded and will be available to class participants
Artwork by Zhenya Oliinyk
Be a PAL to save 10%
This item could not be added to your cart.

Designing Spaces for Humans is an exploration to empower people with architectural thinking. This mode of thinking can be applied to many other creative practices (product design, fashion, film, etc) and many who study architecture go on to great things outside the field. Ultimately, it’s a creative practice that is rooted in the human experience and a reflection of current culture and technology. How can we reimagine a future and influence human behaviours through space? How can we make spaces more human?

This course is for absolute beginners to the craft of architecture. It will help demystify a scary and intimidating medium, providing examples and entry points that apply to everyday life. Architectural thinking can apply to many creative practices—since you’re thinking about spaces that humans occupy, you will shift your mind to think about the human scale and how it affects our private and public lives.

This is a live, virtual class. Zoom recordings will be provided for registered students.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn 2D and 3D computer modeling with Rhinoceros
  • Develop an understanding of architectural thinking
  • Learn and discuss preliminary architectural history
  • Explore different representation techniques (Photoshop, Illustrator)
  • Build an architectural project (plans, sections, 3D renderings)
  • Learn how to read architectural drawings
  • Learn spatial vocabulary & create an architectural voice


No experience required. Bring a pencil/pen, sketch paper, computer

Suggested Reading

“Insert Complicated Title Here” Virgil Abloh
“In an architectural arena, we solve problems in a very structured way...But that logic works in an analogous way in every aspect of culture. We focus on living. We focus on design - providing good design as a humanitarian effort - and this way of thinking can essentially be applied to everything.”

“We must conjure our gods before we obey them”(Lecture) Michael Rock
“As designers we have a choice...are we embellishing the existing system, or are we making a new system? At what point do you reframe your problem for design?”

“Constant’s New Babylon - The Hyper-Architecture of Desire” Mark Wigley
“...a new type of social space is necessary, one that can generate and permit encounters, as well as the play that sustains pleasure and leads the ephemeral as much significance as the eternal. ‘Living becomes rest, the pause after a climax,’ writes Constant.”

“Mine Not Yours” Mabel O. Wilson
“Your heart races, anxiety sets in. What if someone doesn’t know you’re a visiting professor and thinks you are trying to break in?”


Week 1 – Hand drawing foundations

Introduction to hand drawing and how to survey an existing space. Learn about how mapping helps us understand the user journey and experience.

Week 2 – The diagram, 2D drawing

The diagram is the thesis of a project. Understanding how the diagram is a tool to refine and define a project’s concept. Transferring hand drawing into the computer. Using the skills to begin your project.

Week 3 – 3D modelling basics

Transferring 2D into 3D. Learn the fundamentals of 3d modelling and begin to construct a space from 2D drawings. Learn about daylight, camera angles, and techniques that help us design a 3D space.

Week 4 – Storytelling

Begin to think about your project as a story. Drawings help tell the story of how you imagine someone might use the space, what visuals do you need to support the narrative? Interrogating the Why?

Week 5 – Representation

Experiment with different ways to tell the story of your project. Learn about representation techniques and how to have fun with making a cohesive visual story.

Week 6 – Final Presentations

Share your project and practice storytelling. Reflect on the 6 weeks and share your new way of seeing things.

Instructor Bio

Sharon SM Leung(she/her) is a trained architect, and design strategist based in Los Angeles. She’s been researching and practicing architecture since 2009 with projects in Toronto, New York City and LA. Sharon has been an invited guest critic at the schools of architecture at Pratt, Columbia University and NYIT. She received a grant this year from Columbia University to research Basement Workshop(1970-1986), the first Asian American political arts group in NYC’s Chinatown.


Index scholarships are designed to benefit underrepresented groups, BIPOC members of our community, and those for whom the class price is not accessible. These need-based scholarships will go to the candidates who best demonstrate why they should be chosen for the free spot to our class based on the following criteria:

  • Belong to groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the graphic design and creative industries
  • Do not have jobs that would pay for these courses as professional development
  • Cannot independently afford the class at list price
  • Share our value of intentional community

The number of selected applicants chosen is subject to the discretion of Index and the instructor, but every course will select at least one. Apply for a scholarship here. Applications will close on .

Refund Policy

We get that things come up, but we rely on headcounts in our programs to survive as a business. If you request a refund...

More than 4 weeks before class begins → 100% refund
More than 2 weeks before class begins → 50% refund
Fewer than 2 weeks before class begins → No refund

Thanks for understanding and for supporting our ability to provide cool offerings through your purchase.

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