swapplus - Damaskus 2005

Design Studio IV: Landhuggers

Design Studio at the University of Thessaly co-taught with Athanassios Economou

The fas­ci­na­tion with rules, prin­ci­ples, and sys­tems, and the ways they all inform com­po­si­tion and design is nei­ther a new thing nor a pri­vate dis­course; rules have always played a para­mount role in archi­tec­tural the­ory and prac­tice. Quite often, explicit and artic­u­late as in sets of instruc­tions in urban codes, and other times hid­den and dis­guised in habits of actions, rules dom­i­nate design processes. Sim­ple design pref­er­ences or crit­i­cal choices among alter­na­tives are often based on intri­cate webs of encoded rules. Para­mount in this world mak­ing is the notion of rule as a con­struct that allows mul­ti­plic­ity of inter­pre­ta­tions, wel­comes ambi­gu­ity and facil­i­tates emer­gence in design understanding.

The stu­dio was struc­tured around for­mal tech­niques and meth­ods to engage vari­a­tion; all designs pro­duced were to be the out­comes of sys­tem­atic recur­sive com­pu­ta­tions and col­lec­tively com­prised fam­i­lies of designs that shared sim­i­lar characteristics.

The func­tional pro­gram of the stu­dio focused on hous­ing and explored issues per­tain­ing to unit, type, vari­a­tion, and aggre­ga­tion. The for­mal pro­gram of the stu­dio project focused on low-rise court­yard struc­tures (land-huggers).

Design Studio IV: Landhuggers

Design Studios

Various studios of the Master program at the TU Vienna

Architectural Algorithms

Seminar co-taught with Richard Schaffranek or Robert Thum

With the emer­gence of ever more sophis­ti­cated dig­i­tal design tools and new dig­i­tal con­struc­tion meth­ods archi­tects are in need of a dif­fer­ent design method­ol­ogy. An overview of algo­rith­mic design the­ory is given and var­i­ous algo­rith­mic meth­ods such as cel­lu­lar automata, swarms, pop­u­la­tion think­ing, affor­dance and pro­duc­tion sys­tems are intro­duced by exam­ple. The devel­op­ment of gen­er­a­tive algo­rithms is prac­ticed. The course gives an intro­duc­tion to end user script­ing and stu­dents are encour­aged to con­tinue learn­ing self-dependently. Man­ual or auto­mated algo­rith­mic oper­a­tions are expected for the sem­i­nars’ projects.

Architectural Algorithms

Studio in Building Theory and Design

3rd Semester Design Studio

The Stu­dio in Build­ing The­ory trains meth­ods to analyse and develop func­tional pro­grams for spe­cific build­ing typolo­gies and trains design competence.

Build­ing The­ory is not regarded as a ency­clopae­dia of norms and reg­u­la­tions, instead it is prac­tised as a pro­gres­sive knowhow-base for pro­gram­matic inno­va­tions and new design methods.

CAD and Planning Methods

Elective class co-taught with Philipp Seifried or Athanassios Economou

Shape gram­mars, a pow­er­ful for­mal sys­tem for the descrip­tion and gen­er­a­tion of designs will be pre­sented in detail. Shape gram­mars have been devel­oped to gen­er­ate a vari­ety of archi­tec­tural lan­guages includ­ing Pal­la­dian Vil­las, Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie Houses, Queen Ann houses, Christo­pher Wren churches, Giuseppe Ter­ragni apart­ments, Alvaro Siza hous­ing schemes, and many oth­ers. And still other gram­mars have been devel­oped to gen­er­ate designs from scratch. This class will dis­cuss the foun­da­tions of shape gram­mar for­mal­ism and it will pro­vide a gen­er­ous overview of the his­tory and logic of sev­eral of its appli­ca­tions in design research. The course is struc­tured around a shape gram­mar work­shop Prof. Economou (Geor­gia Insti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, USA) will hold daily from the 17th to the 20th of May. Lead­ing up to this event a num­ber of classes intro­duc­ing the stu­dents to the the­ory of gram­mars are given (Tues­days 3pm to 6pm). Each stu­dent is expected to work on an indi­vid­ual project due at the end of the semester.

CAD and Planning Methods

Prototypes and Simulation

Elective class

Studio in Spatial and Sustainable Design

2nd Semester Design Studio

Course Con­tent By means of a small and man­age­able exer­cise, the stu­dent will pre­pare a design project. The top­i­cal focus varies from year to year. The pro­gram is struc­tured into 4 phases, each char­ac­ter­ized by the com­ple­tion and sub­mis­sion of smaller exer­cises, and is intended to guide the stu­dent from the ini­tial idea, on through to the mate­r­ial sam­pling and sub­mis­sion of a con­cept, and sub­se­quently to a final project real­ized in con­struc­tion mate­ri­als (wood, steel, con­crete, glass, clay, ). Each tuto­r­ial group will dis­cuss meth­ods of design and pre­sen­ta­tion, modes of work­ing, incor­po­ra­tion and imple­men­ta­tion of mate­ri­als and col­ors, use of nat­ural and arti­fi­cial light­ing, and also the con­struc­tive means for real­iz­ing a design. The course s goal is to incor­po­rate these top­ics of dis­cus­sion into the stu­dent s work. Stu­dents will have the oppor­tu­nity to review their thoughts on the design with tutors on an indi­vid­ual basis. Stu­dents are expected and required to actively take part in gen­eral dis­cus­sions. Par­tic­u­lar empha­sis will be placed on spa­tial think­ing and design, also on the use of work­ing mod­els in design development.