Design can be characterised by prioritising elaborate form over materialisation. Since the Renaissance the increasing division between the processes of design and making has led to the development and dependence on representational tools to give descriptions and instructions for the translation of a concept to the physical piece. More often than not, architects have embraced design methods that separate defining form from material.
Studio 02 explores an alternative approach to design that exposes all areas of potential performance from possible building constituents without differentiating between shape and materialisation. This requires an understanding of form, material, structure and environment as complex relationships, explored through an integral designing and making process.
Researching and developing a specific material system constitutes a central aspect of this approach. Each student will individually work with a material, revealing and designing with the complex relationship between materiality, form, structure and space, the related processes of production and assembly, and the multitude of performance effects that come from the interaction with environmental influences and forces.
The design of space, structure and climate will be synthesised through the fabrication of a physical, material prototype.
The second part of the work will build on from the research of the first with the aim to use the individual prototypes as building blocks for an architectural proposition.
The programme starts with a month long introduction studio, resulting in a real scale physical piece – on site. Seminar courses run alongside the studio and cover the subjects of landscape and urbanism, material technologies and the culture of making and representation. These are then applied in the main project – a 1:1 prototype. The programme concludes with an application of the prototype within the propositional community.
Through reverse engineering a precedent, the four-week foundation Studio is a series of classes and tutorial workshops that introduce students to the fundamental skill base and methodology. The studio is organised according to key skills; analogue fabrication techniques; design strategies; introduction to material design; CAD and CAM – techniques and strategies; applied representation techniques; reading the landscape – macro, meso and micro.
Following the Precedent, the six-week Elemental Studio introduces the material processes of full-scale experimental construction and develops an approach driven by the material and landscape of the site. Focus is placed on the development of a reciprocal design methodology comprising making and representation, preferably split equally between studio and site. The design and construction of a detailed ‘joint’ piece serves as the research and testing ground for architectural ideas and technologies later developed in the main projects.
The main project, has two parts,
Part 1 – 10 weeks, consists of the design and construction of full-scale architectural envelope prototypes (or part of according to space and budget). Designs are developed through modelling, mock-up and physical testing in collaboration with specialists.
Part 2 – 6 weeks considers the application of the envelope within a speculative architecture. Reworking links between inhabitable space, nature and climate, producing local modifications of the physical environment – sometimes buildings, sometimes landscape, sometimes infrastructure, sometimes the spaces in between.