28 November 2016

Week 13- avoiding digital pitfalls

1.   Picon says, “It is not that the computer in itself has changed architecture; it is that, because both nature and society have changed, architecture is confronted with new challenges.” What kinds of challenges may Allen be referring to when he says this? Clients? Form? Scale and proportion?

2. Are we as designers/ architects forming a boundary by involving our practice with computer technology and the virtual realm? Or is our practice dependent on evolution an investigation using different production methodologies?

3. Picon says computer-generated forms can’t reach the same status of architectural form that is derived from after research and development. What does that say towards parametric design aided by computers? Or the Data Forms we worked on recently? Do these examples pertain to the conversation?

4. Allen starts his second hypothesis by saying that architecture is amongst the disciplines that utilizes computes for their compatibility with the physical and virtual world. He continues by saying that computers get even more interesting when you use them to produce things other than images; referring to milling, fabrication, and plotting. And although this has been great and aiding with production of models, prints, and manufacturing, it seems that we are stopping short of what is capable. Is there more that we can use/do with the technology at hand?

5.  According to Allen, we are now in an era in which new architects are taught solely on the digital platform and first generation digitally trained architects have evolved their skills into a phase that he says is more mature and less complex. He says that as designers they’ve found new potentials between the digital and analog and at the same time they’re realistic with the outcomes and limitations of the computers. What does this say in regards to the future of learning and practice of architecture?

22 November 2016

Fall 2016 - Ex. 04: Personal Research Topics

Your final exercise of the semester is a personal research topic. This topic may be related to your current/past studios, Master's project topic or other topic that you would like to graphically research for this course. Your topic may be directly related, tangentially related or reciprocal to architecture(al) thought. You may critique conventions, processes or projects. You may also decide to explore phenomena that are not directly related to architecture, in that, it is not a building, drawing or other.

By 9:00 AM on November 29, you must submit a 500-word abstract of your research topic via d2L Dropbox. Within your abstract you must clearly state the topic as a thesis of inquiry, your methodology for research and your expected out comes. Keep in mind, this topic must be formatted to fit the final document per the syllabus.

To view examples of previous research topics view the blog archive for April 2013.HERE

Please post any questions as comments to this post so that the entire class may benefit.

The format of exercise four and your final document shall be the same as the previous exercises, 8.5x11 Landscape format.

Exercise four will be included in your final document along with exercises 01-03. Your final document is due at noon on December 20. You will upload a SINGLE pdf file to the dropbox on d2L. Your file size may not exceed 20 MB. I will not open/review any document larger than that, and I will not review multiple files. If you do not meet these requirements your assignment will be considered late.

21 November 2016

Week 11 - Research Methodologies

1.  In "How to Do a Thesis: Practice Models as Instigators for Academic Theses", do you agree with Sergio's distaste for how a thesis is approached?  Are students limited by the way architecture is taught?

2.  Sergio describes some of Diller and Scofidio's work as simply {{{{}}Theses}}.  Can Theses stand on its own as a mode of operation?

3.  When reading through this paper, did any method of architectural practice stand out to you?  If so, why?

4.  In the introduction to Practice vs. Project", Stan Allen says this about theory, "Detached from the operational site of technique, theory stakes a claim on a world of concepts uncontaminated by real world contingencies".  Does this mean that when working in the "real world", theory falls apart? What is theory's value to architectural practice?

5.  Stan Allen, "Architecture, I want to say right from the beginning, is a material, and not a discursive practice".  Why is he so adamant that architecture is not a discursive practice? Do you agree?

07 November 2016

Week 10 - Collage - Discussion Leader - Nicholas A. Teresi

1.       In the reading of Collage and Architecture, by Jennifer A. E. Shields; collage is defined as “a work of art consists of the assembly of various fragments of materials, combined in such a way that the composition has a new meaning, not inherent in any of the individual fragments.” In comparison to Architecture, “Steven Holl illuminates the nature of our perception of the built environment, saying:

                A city is never seen as a totality, but as an aggregate of experiences, animated

by use, by overlapping perspectives, changing light, sounds, and smells.

Similarly, a single work of architecture is rarely experienced in its totality

(except in graphic or model form) but as a series of partial views and synthesized

experiences. Questions of meaning and understanding lie between the

generating ideas, forms, and the nature and quality of perception.” (Page 3)


Would you agree with Holl’s comparison? Is architecture itself a form of a collage?


2.       In relation to the first question. If you agree with Holl’s statement, would you say that Architecture is a form of a collage because of the collection of experiences, perspectives, and sensory instances or more because of the wide assortment of different materials put together to build a building or “collage.”


3.       What source or sources do you find to be the most successful collage making technique(s)? Digital? Drawing? Painting? Photomontage? A combination of several?


4.       In the reading, Collage Making, by Nicholson; it states that “pictures are snipped without care for their actual context. Now they are readied for action. Pages are severed from publications just because, and all these acts are done to readjust the pictorial world to suit the viewer a little better.” What do you think this means? Are collages made without care and thought? If so, doesn’t that contradict with Jennifer Shields point of view? Is this a matter of one’s personal perspective?


5.       I very much liked the analogy of “the great collagist Dr. Frankenstein.” Do you think that analogy was appropriate? Is Frankenstein a collage; a collage of human body parts? He wasn’t exactly different objects welded together to build a man, but rather just body parts from different people to build one new man; is that enough to say it’s like a collage?

06 November 2016

Week 10 Collage - Syntactic Thinking

1.  Based on the reading of Eidetic Operations and New Landscapes, by living in our present landscape, is one hindered from seeing the true value?

2.  Corner goes on to talk about how landscape design has become "institutionalized and taken for granted." What forms of representation can we create to show more "engaging landscapes?" [162]

3.  With these new forms, do you think it can hurt or improve the explanation of your project, since it's not the "traditional format?"

4.  In the collage making reading, do you think collage making with different sorts of materials and methods serve a purpose for an architect's client?

5.  In your own opinion, how do we distinguish between art and architecture?