Transformations + Connections:  Harvard Undergraduate Architecture Studies studio projects

Transformational model series by Morgan Spaulding, spring 2017 HAA 96A Transformations Studio

Transformational model series by Morgan Spaulding, spring 2017 HAA 96A Transformations Studio

The two studio-based courses offered in the Harvard Undergraduate Architecture Studies Track—“Transformations” and “Connections”—explore architectural means and methods of design. Each begins from a different scale of inquiry, but converge at a similar end. The work exhibited here combines the output from the two studios conducted during the Spring 2017 semester.

The introductory “Transformations” studio originates at the scale of material—focusing on specific capacities and effects thereof as well as the details of assembly—and expands from this to the design of an intervention of an occupiable architectural scale in relation to a dynamic site. A series of physical modeling and fabrication assignments explore spatial and organizational transformations as a consequence of the changing interactions among material, fabrication technique, and form.  The work of the studio attends to the multiple models, surfaces, and materials that architecture necessarily brings together to register scale, render perceptual effect, and manage coherence.

The subsequent “Connections” studio originates at the scale of the urban site, beginning with a set of design research assignments that ask students to imagine the city from the perspectives of a series of non-human agents. Extrapolating abstract principles from these agents, architectural designs are explored in connection with a program designed for a specific site in Harvard Square. The practice of architecture fundamentally asks us to continuously engage with, and re-conceptualize, the world for which we are designing; this studio addresses this concept through an array of design exercises focused on understanding and reimaging the urban condition.

Map of seasonal oyster filtration over year by Greta Wong
Map of seasonal oyster filtration over year by Greta Wong, spring 2017 HAA 96B Connections Studio

This exhibition is curated by Megan Panzano, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Program Director of the Harvard Undergraduate Architecture Studies program, and Lisa Haber-Thomson, Instructor in Architecture, PhD candidate in Architectural History and Theory, and Instructor in the Harvard Undergraduate Architecture Studies program.