Fall 2018, Arch 203 – Significant Others
This seminar grapples with problems related to the integration of form-finding techniques into creative architectural design. Embracing the schema of the formal design experiment - which we take include a range of methods including physical form-finding, digital optimization, design games, and perhaps even machine learning - we seek to resolve the authoritative voice that is so often bestowed upon the results of formal processes with the traditional authorial voice of the designer. We do so through a series of experiments that undermine this uncompromising and imperative voice, and replace it with one of a range of potential alternative voices: double, foil, doppleganger, collaborator, trickster, confederate, and enemy.
This work recognizes the value of the classical form-finding approach, but diagnoses a flaw in how the artifacts produced by it are often regarded as a productive and significant “other” in the design process. Not satisfied with allowing these artifacts to rule over us with an uncompromising and authoritative voice, we instead ascribe a range of alternative voices.
By working through physical experiments, digital experiments, and by adopting emerging methods in machine learning, this seminar will seek to adapt the classical form-finding approach to a number of contemporary design problems.