GSD Course Bulletin - Spring 2012
This term's information was last refreshed on 12 MAY 2015 14:53:34.
Courses taught by Simon Kim
01317: ARCHITECTURE 2.0: Pending Futures (STU 0131700)
Option Studio - 8 credits - Limited enrollment
Tuesday Friday 2:00 - 6:00
By 2015, predictions are that the information on the internet will reach a zettabyte (in comparison, all the books in the present Library of Congress can be stored 4 million times over, a human genome can have 36 million variations). It will be more information than ever produced in the history of recorded civilization. Citizens will be surrounded by a data atmosphere manipulated and spun with mobile devices. The divide between those with and without technological augmentation is in flux. The more important divide for architects is the one of meaningful information in the digital miasma, and the relevance of embedded information within the physical objects of our buildings and cities: we are in real danger of witnessing the loss of the role of design to others. More specialists and experts are now designing - interfaces, tools, devices, vehicles, buildings - than are architects being requested for the same. What was once the province of a total designer from branding to product to production plant is now a reduced package.
But what more can well-crafted buildings - beyond a stately repose of light and mass - hold as information within its collection of elements and occupancy? What can be added to increase its information by several orders of magnitude that still retains meaningful knowledge and experience beyond the digital noise of most internet media?
We will address this challenge with the inversion, a function whereby elements in a closed field becomes transposed by the same procedure to change the contents of that field to another. We will make Architecture Machines again.
The familiar programme of live/work will be reconsidered within a Research and Design environment and will be re-formulated by each part and their relationships - a Domicile/Office/Lab. R&D is the industry's heroic laboratory outside of academic institutions where invention need not immediately answer to market. Research and Development of Architecture Machines is similarly not bound only by programme and form but can be linked with other speculations - garments, robotics, material, interaction, reconfiguration. The new programmatic conditions will interrupt established patterns of usage, or rhythms of civic life; patterns that may become transformed with an anomaly not easily discarded due to its intrinsic links within the design discipline. Connecting known architectural types and devices for the unknown or the recently-lost through inversion will create a methodology to engage a synthetic world of nature and machine and architecture, where the machine is not reduced to a technological filter or interface. The inversion of nature and the uncanny agent-to-agent relationship is then highly compelling as Machine will come to mean an autonomous agent, a player or author - as the architect is also a player or author - engaged in conversation.
Our siting of the Research and Development Domicile/Office/Lab is in the old industrial ports of Montreal, with its layering and its past promises of future life (Expo 67 and the 76 Olympics). Bounded by the Vieux Port, its adjacent Quais and the Cité-du-Havre, the project recognizes its industrial past and the harbingers from the Expo.
06434: Mechatronic Space (SCI 0643400)
Seminar - 4 credits - Limited enrollment
Tuesday 10:00 - 1:00 Gund 318
The beginning of the 20th century promised a paradigm shift in human life and community as industry and innovation in engineering and science brought about a density of technological changes. These changes promised to undermine the social stratification in the new age of Modernity. For architects this future would be in the transformation of our homes and cities.
If there is a paradigm shift in how we think, and in how we design, there must also be a theory or a course of evaluation in which to gauge its consequence.
As architecture incorporates emerging media and technologies, new design processes and new conditions of inhabitation are produced. With the current rate of circuit speed and capacity, and electro‐mechanical components now available - where access was only to industry and institutions - electronics and mechanisms can be made and quickly tested as never before. The implications of this prototyping require a measured and structured historiography to temper the exuberance that comes with only fascination for the medium.
This seminar will examine the design methods of dynamic relationships in architecture. We will make counterpoints to architectural texts of modernity, post-war and other writings as seen in contemporary design and new media arts. There will be one part research paper based on readings, one part prototype that tests a hypothesis that yields results for the research paper.
- The coursework will be evaluated through seminar participation and completion of group assignments.
- The course will be organized as a series of workshops and lectures by the course instructors and invited speakers.
- We will develop group assignments that will lead to the production of full-scale prototypes that demonstrate an active behavior using input (ex. sensor technologies), processing, and output (actuated response or digital interface) to reflect a machine agency.
- We will write a two-page position paper (abstract) - based on preliminary data from the prototype - that is ready for publication and submission to conferences.