Architectural Representation II [Module 2]

Architectural Representation II: Geometries in Interaction

There has never been just one geometry.  In mathematics, the Euclidean, projective, algebraic, and transformational approaches to geometry each have different starting points and methods of study.  Likewise in architecture, the geometry of surfaces, light, air, heat, human dimensions, statics, vision, drawing, and construction each have different principles and metrics of evaluation that can be deeply pursued on their own terms. Yet all these geometries are present in any work of architecture. This course is an exploration into resolving interactions between geometries and seeking discoveries in their convergence and divergence.

The work in this course takes place in three modes: generation, interaction, assembly.  Over the exercises, students study the geometry of surfaces paired with the geometry of an interacting architectural force (circulation and accessibility or sunlight) and the geometry of thickness, frame and joint. These three explorations in dialog lead to architectural fragments that perform a balancing act. Each interacting geometry creates a pre-condition for program.  Circulation and accessibility require flat floors, sunlight needs controlled apertures, thickness requires material dimensions. These requirements are those which abstract geometry, traditionally, has trouble accepting and are also lasting sources of invention in a discipline that must cross from imagination to reality.

The class proceeds from and reflects on practice through case study examples. In any real building project, the richness of the interplay between goals and constraints arising from the extraordinary specificity of site, client, material economy and interdisciplinary discussion makes the accurate resolution of intersections in space a practical necessity and brings geometry out of abstraction. Geometry also provides a means of adjusting flexibly as design progresses towards construction and new requirements reveal themselves. The exercises in this class create a microcosm of these interactions with the goal of developing tools for precision, adaptability, permutation and resolution of tension.