GSD Course Bulletin - Spring 2013

This term's information was last refreshed on 12 MAY 2015 14:54:38.

Courses taught by George L. Legendre

01315: Real and Imaginary Variables II (STU 0131500)

Option Studio - 8 credits - Limited enrollment
This course has an IRREGULAR meeting schedule. Please see full course description.
Tuesday Wednesday 2:00 - 6:00  

George L. Legendre

Course Description

Halfway between the socially responsive discourse of programmatic indeterminacy and the alleged futility of form-giving, this studio explores architecture’s critical return to form. Our interest in the topic of form is neither aesthetic nor ideological. Contrary to the notion of shape (with which it is often confused), we understand form as a syntactic, procedural, and (increasingly) technical problem, much like the study of language in the 1970s –or the more recent emergence of Object Orientated Programming in the software industry.

Our past GSD briefs have systematically explored the architectural potential of the variable parametric surface, a vehicle chosen for its relentless abstraction and relative resistance to predictable questions of architectural function and figure. The investigation continues.
In conjunction with the spring term elective VIS-02404-00 Superficial Spaces, the studio will aim to produce sophisticated (if counter-intuitive) new formal prototypes –incorporated into a pragmatic urban and architectural proposals located in dense urban site in the center of (an as yet unnamed) European capital.

Real and Imaginary Variables
Building on last year’s seminal study of art spaces, we will further explore the seminal thesis of architecture as a complex interplay of desire and automatic writing.

Architecture, in this view, depends on achieving a practical and theoretical balance between real and imaginary variables: real variables depend on empirical knowledge of a given type, site, and programme; imaginary variables depend on the equally important (though far less intuitive) properties of indexical modelling (term to be defined). The two parts of the equation need one another to fulfil themselves: without the imaginary part, the type withers into predictability and repetition; without the real one, it becomes self-fulfilling and irrelevant.

Beyond the single, mono-functional, and ‘semi-automatic’ brief of high-rise dwelling we explored in 2008 and 2010, this year we will open up the real part of the typological equation to drastically different scale and use. In every other respect, however, our objectives will remain the same: to figure out fresh ways in which a formal analytic model (otherwise known as a seed) might correlate to a building type’s functional organization, program and material structure, which shall in turn help us integrate the type’s real and imaginary parts.

Using the studio’s trademark combination of seed bank, typological manual and real-life brief, the studio will develop the two parts of the process in tandem. When each part is sufficiently developed and integrated with the other, the studio will devise proposals a large institutional building on a urban site in the heart of Europe. There will be a short studio trip to New York.

GSD iCommons Website

02404: Superficial Spaces FAV (VIS 0240400)

Seminar - 4 credits - Limited enrollment
This course has an IRREGULAR meeting schedule. Please see full course description.
Monday 1:00 - 3:00   20 Sumner 1C
Monday 4:00 - 6:00   20 Sumner 1C

George L. Legendre

Course Description

At a time when architectural discourse and practice are (still) brimming with references to new geometries, this offering investigates the architectural potential of abstract three-dimensional surfaces. Hand in hand with the practical ambition of the option studios, this seminar will help us devise formal prototypes for architectural consumption – while broadening our understanding of the rigours of abstract formal analysis.

With equal emphasis on theoretical reading, graphic analysis and diagramming, elementary mathematics, numerically controlled fabrication techniques, and theoretical writing, the seminar will circle, in increasingly tight loops, the surface as object of knowledge.

This year the seminar will be organised around a sponsored, limited enrolment student design competition for the GSD Technilum pavilion at the Festival d’Architectures Vives (FAV) held in Montpellier, France, on June 11-16 2013.

Precept Reading List (required):

Roland Barthes Cy Twombly: Works on Paper in The Responsibility of Forms, pp.157-176, University of California Press Berkeley, 1991

Peter Eisenman Iconicity and Instrumentality*, Cahiers de L’IRCAM, Instruments, Paris 1995.

Greg Lynn New Variations on the Rowe Complex, in Folds Bodies and Blobs, La lettre vole, Brussels 1998.

George L. Legendre Shin & I, essay on the ontology of the surface, in AA Files 52, AA Publications, London 2005

Readings of Related Interest (for reference only):

George L. Legendre Editor, Mathematics of Space (AD Magazine John Wiley & Sons, London 2011)

George L. Legendre, Pasta By Design, (Thames & Hudson, London 2011).

George L. Legendre, IJP: The Book of Surfaces, (Architectural Association, London 2003).

George L. Legendre, JP’s Way, in Mathematical Form: John Pickering and the Architecture of the Inversion Principle (Architectural Association, London 2006).

Prerequisites/Restrictions: None

Other Information: 1/3 short assignments will help the seminar participants learn the new tools. Participation to & preparation for the group reading session is required. The development and submission of an entry to the FAV competition will fulfil the midterm and final project requirement.

Requirements/ Grading Percentages: Semi-Monthly Readings and Assignments. Midterm Submission: 50%; Final Project: 50%
Irregular Schedule. First Meeting on Monday, Jan 28. Subsequent meetings on Monday Feb 4. Monday 2/25, Monday 3/11, Monday 3/25, Monday 4/8, Monday 4/22, plus one additional meeting date to be decided, during the week of 2/4).Midterm on Monday 3/5. Final presentation on Tuesday 5/10.

GSD iCommons Website

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