GSD Course Bulletin - Spring 2012
06430: Forms of Energy (SCI 0643000)
Seminar - 4 credits - Limited enrollment
Wednesday 10:00 - 1:00 20 Sumner 1C
Few words can transform the formation of architecture in this century more than a deep and pervasive recognition that matter is but an expression of captured energy. Material practices are a subset of energy practices. This seminar tables the theories, techniques and technologies of capture and channel compositional strategies that shape the formation of energy in architecture and related disciplines.
This design research seminar is focused on the assemblage of bodies, energy, and matter; where the disciplinary concerns of environments and the energetic basis of reality coincide. In this course, each student will complete a design research project focusing on a form of energy: they will begin with a basic, quantitative form of energy (radiant transfer, specific heat, diffusivity, embodied energy, etc.) as the primary basis for design research and methods that engender more architecturally rich, systemically innovative, and ecological sane forms and milieus. These basic parameters of building physics will be rigorously documented as a scientific phenomenon, described specifically in relation to the thermo-physiological space of the human body and its metabolism, articulated as a history of practice, and projected as an extensive system of built environments in order to develop "new" (actually, latent) formations of energy in architecture. A primary aim of the design research is to pursue systemic, technical innovation and formal ambition with equal rigor. It is also available to landscape architecture students interested in analogous larger scale forms of energy. The seminar will question the roles of science, form, systems, phenomena, physiology, matter and buildings. This requires new habits of mind regarding energy. As such, readings, examples, and discussions from theories of art, technology, energy, matter, economics, and physiology will augment the design research as the concept and role of energy in architecture is situated for designers in this century.