V.E418

Design a House on 45-Degree-Angle Hill

Design a House on 45-Degree-Angle Hill

Student will have 15 minutes to create a solution to an architecturally related design problem using only a napkin and a pen. Then, students will design a house on a
45-degree-angle hill.

This item has been voluntarily field-tested by Michigan teachers with a non-representative sample of students.


This is an analytic rubric. The column on the left shows the dimension that is being measured in the student’s performance. The levels across the top row indicate the performance level in the dimensions. Occasionally all dimensions and performance levels are exemplified by multiple students in a single recording.

Teacher Scoring Rubric

  • Dimension
  • Elements, principles of design used to relate to architecture

  • Drawing

  • Elements and Principles of Design Used to Relate to Architecture

  • Creativity (Form)

    Apply the creative process to problem solve with insight and reason.

  • Design Solutions (Function)

    All parameters of problem are considered: hillside, trees, and rock. Functional aspects of everyday living are considered, including sleeping areas, bathrooms, dining areas, lighting, movement, doors, hallways, and ergonomics.

  • Planning

    Drawings show a complete and viable solution to the design problem through multiple views and labels.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Use of compositional elements is limited or very inconsistent in showing ideas related to architectural forms; very limited knowledge of constructed forms

    N/A at this time.
  • Some new ideas are generated. Voice and style are present. Rare risk-taking

    View Exemplar
  • Conventional thinking is acknowledged and some alternatives are generated. A clear and confident voice and style are present. Takes some risks in form, style, and/or content.

    N/A at this time.
  • Conventional thinking is acknowledged and many alternatives are generated. Voices ideas about important feelings and ways to highlight them in sophisticated ways, such as metaphor and/or symbol, form, style, and/or content.

    N/A at this time.
  • Does not use the characteristics and techniques of drawing to suggest ideas, uses no variation in value or line quality; rendering produces few identifiable forms.

    N/A at this time.
  • Begins to use the characteristics and techniques of drawing to suggest ideas through the use of values, varying line qualities, or rendering of forms.

    N/A at this time.
  • Takes advantage of the characteristics and techniques of drawing to communicate ideas through noticeable and consistent use of values, varying line qualities, and mostly accurate rendering of forms.

    View Exemplar
  • Clearly takes advantage of the characteristics and techniques of drawing to enhance the communication of ideas through the strong use of values, varying line qualities, and accurate rendering of forms.

    N/A at this time.
  • Use of compositional elements is limited or very inconsistent in showing ideas related to architectural forms. Very limited knowledge of constructed forms.

    N/A at this time.
  • Uses compositional elements to show ideas related to architectural forms or aspects reflecting knowledge of constructed forms.

    N/A at this time.
  • Uses shape, detail, texture, and compositional elements. Elements show ideas related to architectural forms or aspects reflecting knowledge of constructed forms.

    View Exemplar
  • Uses shape, detail, texture, and compositional elements consistently to show and develop ideas related to architectural forms or aspects reflecting depth of knowledge and insight into constructed forms.

    N/A at this time.
  • The student’s ideas lack creativity.
    Very few new ideas; re-hash of conventional thinking; ideas clichéd. Unable to step out and take a risk.

    N/A at this time.
  • The student’s ideas are somewhat creative. Some new ideas are generated.
    Follows typical or conventional styles and plans of houses. All spaces are common geometric shapes (squares and rectangles). Rarely takes a risk.

    View Exemplar
  • The student’s ideas are creative.
    Recognizes conventional thinking and comes up with some alternatives. Some consideration of unusual geometric space shapes or some use of organic space shapes are used. Takes some risks in form, style, and/or content. Includes a few “quality of life” features.

    N/A at this time.
  • The student’s ideas are unusually creative. Recognizes conventional thinking and comes up with many alternatives. Unusual use of shape includes significant use of organic shape, not solely geometric shapes. Includes a large number of innovative or “quality of life” features beyond the practical functions. Takes risks in form, style, and/or content.

    N/A at this time.
  • Less than two functional aspects of house are considered.
    Layout is mostly awkward or ill conceived for everyday use, such as no bathroom near bedrooms, kitchen too near bedroom, noisy areas near sleeping areas, etc.
    Landscape features and hillside not considered.

    N/A at this time.
  • Two to three functional aspects of house are considered.
    Layout is significantly awkward or ill conceived for everyday use, such as no bathroom near bedrooms, kitchen too near bedroom, noisy areas near sleeping areas, etc. Landscape features and hillside are present but not integrated into the house design.

    N/A at this time.
  • Four or five functional aspects of house are addressed, including structural consideration of hillside, incorporation of landscape features (rocks and trees) in some way, and others, such as access by car or foot, bathrooms, kitchen, dining, and sleeping areas.

    N/A at this time.
  • A significant number (6 or more) of functional aspects of house are addressed, including structural consideration of hillside, landscape features (rocks and trees) integrated as part of structure in a creative way, and others, such as access by car or foot, bathrooms, kitchen, dining, and sleeping areas.

    N/A at this time.
  • Single view of house; minimal or no landscape features.

    N/A at this time.
  • Two views of house, but minimal or no landscape features.

    N/A at this time.
  • Three views of house; most spaces clearly labeled, but minimal or no landscape features.

    N/A at this time.
  • Multiple views are used (four or more views of house); all spaces clearly labeled; includes multiple landscape or other contextual features.

    N/A at this time.
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