PHYSICS 121 - Physics of Architecture and Design
Winter 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Physics (PHYSICS)
Department: LSA Physics
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
BS, NS, QR/1
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Lab Fee:
Advisory Prerequisites:
High school algebra and trigonometry.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Physics 121 is a comprehensive one-semester introduction to physics in the context of architecture and design. The nature of force and motion, static equilibrium, energy, electricity and circuits, fluids, heat and heat transfer, and the physics of light and illumination will be presented with examples drawn from architecture, urban planning, and natural forms. Emphasis is on practical applications relevant to architectural design of structures, electrical systems and heating and lighting systems. Take Physics 121 to learn how to design a suspension bridge, wire a building and insulate your house!

Course Requirements:

The course is self-contained, the only prerequisites are high-school geometry/algebra and common sense. Skill with visualizing and calculating will be built up via problem-solving and guided by extensive group work in class. There will be weekly problem sets and a set of exams. A weekly laboratory will reinforce hands-on concepts.

Intended Audience:

Undergraduate students in or planning to transfer to the Taubman School of Architecture and Urban Planning, as well as students in any school or college who are interested in the physical foundations of architecture and design.

The enrollment and waitlist for this course is managed by Taubman School of Architecture and Urban Planning. If you are interested in being added to the waitlist, please email your request and UMID to 

Class Format:

Two hours each of lecture, discussion, and laboratory each week.



PHYSICS 121 - Physics of Architecture and Design
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 3:00PM - 5:00PM
002 (LAB)
 In Person
F 2:00PM - 4:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for PHYSICS 121.001

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for PHYSICS 121 (UM login required)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)