2401 FA06: Architectural Design Studio I

Abstraction and Esthetics

Studio Statement

"The things themselves are not what science can reach..., but only the relations between things. Outside of these relations there is no knowable reality,"

Henri Poincaré, “Science and Hypothesis” 1902

The studio focuses on formal issues in architecture and its poetic potential. The primary goal is to impart basic formal design ability and production skills through a series of rigorous, incremental design exercises.

The pedagogical intention of this studio is based on the belief that one of the most important aspects of creativity is associated with the ability to establish relationships amongst seemingly desperate objects or situations. The studio promotes self-directed creative thinking through translative processes, establishing relationships amongst seemingly desperate objects or situations.

We began the project by documenting the physical space students’ inhabit through “measurement” and through “digital photography.”

The (2) modes of documentation provided an opportunity for a parallel investigation between the “unfolding of the documented space through measurement” and the “unfolding of documented space through photo collage,” translating spatial operations from one investigation to the other, establishing a dialogue.

The basic method of the spatial investigation is built up on incremental procedures to “translate” spatial constructs amongst various modes of representation and media, empirically exploring formal relationships from one state to another through basic architectonics (points, lines, planes), transparency (phenomenal) and ordering principals.

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Students are also introduced to various design software in quick succession, focusing on the interface amongst them.

The studio spent considerable amount of time examining the results of each exercise analytically, insisting on discussing the visual elements in terms of relationships within the context.

List of exercises conducted in the studio:

Exercise 1.1: Measured Drawings

Exercise 1.2: Fold-out Drawings

Exercise 2.1: Regulation Grid Drawings

Exercise 3.1: White-out Paintings

Exercise 3.2: Trace Drawings

Exercise 4.1: Composite Drawings

Exercise 4.2: Analytical Drawing

Exercise 4.3: Refined Composite Drawing

Exercise 5.1: Site Reliefs (Negative Extrusion)

Exercise 5.2: Site Reliefs (Positive Extrusion)

Exercise 5.3: Refined Composite Drawing Extrusion

Exercise 6.1: Extruded Trace Elements Detailing

Exercise 7.1: “Thin Slicing” Exercise

Exercise 7.2: Trace / Force Line Extension Analysis

Exercise 7.3: Trace Element Reliefs

Exercise 7.4: “Slice Cross Extrusion”

Exercise 8.1: “Observation Structure for the Sculpted Landscape”

Exercise 8.2: Plans and Section-Elevation Drawings

Exercise 8.3: Final Review Requirements (Drawings and Models)

List of design software introduced in the studio:






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