GSD Course Bulletin - Spring 2014

This term's information was last refreshed on 12 MAY 2015 14:55:41.

Courses taught by George L. Legendre

01315: Real and Imaginary Variables (Final): Global Arenas (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, we will 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), form is a syntactic, procedural and (increasingly) technical problem, 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 resistance to predictable questions of architectural function or figure. The investigation continues.

In conjunction with the spring term elective Superficial Spaces, we will produce sophisticated new formal prototypes -as part of a pragmatic urban and architectural proposal located in West London.

Real and Imaginary Variables:
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 modeling. The two parts of the equation need one another to fulfill themselves: without the imaginary part, the type withers into predictability and repetition; without the real part, it becomes self-fulfilling -and ultimately irrelevant. We will 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.

Methodology and Site:
Using our trademark combination of seed bank, user manual and real-life brief, we will develop the two parts of the process in tandem. When both parts are sufficiently developed, we will devise proposals for a 40,000-seater football stadium currently planned in the Old Oak regeneration area of West London. The studio will receive informal support from the project’s promoters, the London Borough and Hammersmith and Fulham, and Greater London Authority.

Irregular Schedule:
George Legendre plans to be available to students on the following dates:
January 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
February 9, 10, 11, 12
February 23, 24, 25, 26
March 9, 10, 11, 12
March 23, 24, 25, 26 (Midterm March 24-25)
April 6, 7, 8, 9
April 20, 21, 22, 23
May 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (Finals May 6 and May 9)

Courseware site (Canvas)

02404: Superficial Spaces (VIS 0240400)

Lecture Workshop - 4 credits
This course has an IRREGULAR meeting schedule. Please see full course description.
Monday 1:00 - 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 orbit, in increasingly tight loops, the surface as object of knowledge.

Prerequisites/Restrictions: Attendance

Requirements: Participants are required to prepare for and participate to 5 group reading sessions. Otherwise the course is structured around a cycle of 6 short design assignments. To fulfill requirements, participants can either carry out an abridged cycle of 4 assignments plus a short final project of their own choice,
submit the full cycle of 6 assignments over the course of the semester.

Attendance and participation to weekly readings and MathCAD workshops: 50%. Submission of assignments and/or (if applicable) final project: 50%

Irregular Schedule. First Meeting on Monday, Jan 27. Subsequent meetings on Monday Feb 10. Monday 2/24, Monday 3/10, Monday 3/24, Monday 4/7, Monday 4/21. Each meeting from 1-6. Midterm week of Monday 3/25. Final presentation on Friday 5/9.

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):

George L. Legendre, God Spare me Intuition (and I will take care of the Machine Myself) in Intuition and The Machine (GAM Architecture Magazine, Graz Spring 2014).

George L. Legendre, Pasta Mathematica in Imagine Math 3 (Springer, Zurich, Spring 2014).

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).

Courseware site (Canvas)

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