This sophomore studio is organized in three stages that first, researches the application and principles of a craft based analog technique, second it develops a digital transformation of these techniques to generate architectural elements, and third it applies this research towards architectural solutions for space, structure and envelope. In each phase students are guided by setting rules and parameters while developing digital and analog techniques to extend craft towards the medium of design exploration. The overall agenda of the studio is to generate a consistent design methodology that is structured along the transformation of an analog technique towards a digital application that offer s parametric control, variability and execution.
In the first phase of the studio, students are organized in groups of two and assigned to one of the five types of craft operations defined by keywords: slicing, stitching, carving, weaving and turning. As part of their analysis, students first find different craft techniques that are categorized through images and methods under their keyword. Then they choose one of the techniques to develop a set of rules or methods in detail that will be researched during the next phase of the project. These techniques are represented through sketches, diagrams, texts, parameters and physical models to demonstrate abstract rules of production derived from that craft.
In the second phase, students are asked to apply their analysis towards the creation of three fundamental conditions of architecture to define structure, envelope and space. Using the rules inherent to their craft operation, students begin with a series of physical and digital models to understand these three architectural conditions within a variety of material studies. These models are then digitally modeled and varied to generate larger architectural compositions suitable for flexible design integration. Using parameters, they present the variability of their system that becomes applicable to changing conditions of architecture.
In the last phase, student groups are split to develop individual design explorations for an urban bath house project located in downtown Atlanta. Students are asked to utilize their craft techniques towards the development of their project using digital modeling and scripting tools while defining architectural material transformations to their early research. During the design phase, each student uses their own defined rule sets to integrate the given program into various site and structural conditions while bringing in variable and aesthetic systems of craft towards architecture.