DSGN1200 SU13 WK 5+6: Graduate Architecture Studio

Form, Space, Materiality and Performance of Light



"Nature in the form of water, light, and sky restores architecture from a metaphysical to an earthly plane and gives life to architecture. A concern for the relationship between architecture and nature inevitably leads to a concern for the temporal context of architecture. I want to emphasize the sense of time and to create compositions in which a feeling of transience or the passing of time is a part of the spatial experience."

Tadao Ando, From the Periphery of Architecture.

performance |pərˈfôrməns|, noun

1. an act of staging or presenting a play, concert, or other form of entertainment

2. the action or process of carrying out or accomplishing an action, task, or function

A building performance is not simply a technical predictability of its structural and environmental behavior or an aesthetic legibility of the design ideas. It is an action, an ingenious response to various internal and external forces as they seek equilibrium through time. Recent technological obsessions fueled by the proliferation of sophisticated structural, environmental and visual computer simulations re-ignited the interest in building performance. However, the current trend tends to limit its potential by merely re-affirming the old functionalist thinking, predicting the predictable. A good musical performance has an element of surprise, an unexpected experience, as it is an intuitive, improvised response to the audience and to the context. So is the performance of a building.

This segment of the summer studio aims to examine the complex nature of performance through focused iteration, cultivating student awareness to the temporal-spatial (phenomenal) quality of a physical construct as they develop technical proficiency in the design process.

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Learning Objectives:

  1. a)ability to use various drawing types as a generative tool in the design and making process.

  2. b)understanding of the temporal-spatial (phenomenal) quality of materiality and physical constructs.

Media and Skills:

  1. a)chipboard, foam core sketch model making

  2. b)crafted basswood model making

  3. c)plaster cast and negative formwork making

  4. d)subtractive and additive charcoal drawing

  5. e)digital diagraming

Our focus will be on the tectonic transformation of form and space in relation to the materiality and making. We will begin with a discourse on "drawing" as a projective tool, accompanied by a series of skill forming analytical exercises. Construction of “Light Receiving Device” will follow as a synthesis of the stereotomic/tectonic transformation and the observational record of its phenomenal performance will be captured and internalized through “Light Drawings.” 

The outcome will consist of exquisitely crafted architectural artifacts complemented by a series of process diagrams and drawings, establishing the conceptual foundation for the future iteration.

“Performance” is an empirical process of improvisation and adjustment through trial and error, a self-discovery process. “Student Performance” in the studio is also evaluated as such. Disciplined, self-directed recovery from a spectacular error is valued over mediocre success merely following the instructions.

Studio Instructor: Kentaro Tsubaki

Media Instructors: Michael Gruber / Thaddeus Zarse

TA: Marielle Asenjo

Chichyu (Under-earth) Art Museum / Ando  Photo: K. Tsubaki

Light Receiving Device / E. Himmel