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Group Description

Course Overview
This seminar will investigate the technological as well as cultural paradigms surrounding material praxis within architecture and its related fields. The discourse surrounding this relationship can be traced by way of contemporary practitioners, the Bauhaus curriculum, the Arts and Crafts movement, the Industrial Revolution, and beyond. In all cases, a process of material thinking can be understood relative to the tools and machines of its production and the proximity of the skilled hand to the artifact. When cataloged as an operative strategy for design, such a process becomes inherently innovative. The implications of this mode of practice can be seen in the work of such legendary figures as: Charles and Ray Eames, Erwin Hauer, Miguel Fisac, and Eladio Dieste, whose explorations prefaced architecture as an intrinsically material practice. Situated within the contemporary milieu, we will investigate how new means of interfacing with information, an increased proximity to the production of objects through CNC machinery, and the accessibility to shared knowledge spaces is radically shaping a renewed material-centric practice in architecture and its related fields.

This course will be conducted through a series of parallel lectures, workshops and site visits and is aimed at developing a library of design research modules. Each module will address a material, parametric, or fabrication logic that in collection and recombination will serve as a continuum of design strategies for material experiments and applied practice. The delivered theoretical and technical content will instigate a continuous dialog throughout the semester Over the course of the term, students will be required to research and deliver a case study presentation, develop a series of physical prototypes, and construct a small-scale installation of the semester's research. Students will be encouraged to contribute to an online forum thereby extending the discourse to a larger audience and increasing the visibility of the collective research. The course will culminate in an exhibition and publication of the design research conducted throughout the duration of the semester.

Digital content will be delivered through the parametric modeling plug-in Grasshopper for Rhino3D. Students will have access to multiple digital and analog fabrication technologies, including CNC laser, cutter, 3-axis mill, and rapid prototyping equipment. The tools and technology introduced throughout the semester will serve as both a platform for design research and innovation, as well as a means for new forms of collaborative information/knowledge exchange. Site visits will engage local large-scale fabrication facilities in an effort to familiarize students with the manufacturing technologies of architecture's related fields.

Additional Info

  • Accepted content types: Photos, Videos, Images, Art, Screenshots
  • Accepted safety levels: Safe
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