Architecture in the Daylight (module)

At this point it is abundantly clear that worship of technologically-determined solutions that attempt to transcend local conditions has bit us in the ass. This mentality, born out of the idealized formalism of modernity coupled with material and economic logics at multiple scales has truncated the feedback loop of design – build – test – evaluate – redesign – rebuild that, in vernacular architecture, spans generations and hundreds of years. Oh what a predicament we find ourselves in now.

Yet the digital has offered us another path. Digital tools now allow us to shorten the traditional feedback loop, both learning from, and expanding on, lessons derived from the vernacular. Rather than architects actively striving to overcome, or even ignore, the exigencies of local climate and light, form can again follow performance.

In this course we will follow in the footsteps of both vernacular builders and high-performance architects to investigate methods developed both over generations, as well as within the last two decades to analyze and design architectural form and spaces in the light, both solar, and electric. By illuminating both the metrics and workflow processes, students will produce robust, meaningful, and actionable design studies using former or current design projects of their own choosing, to understanding how forms, details, and materials interact with light.

Just say no to buildings with windows. This is daylit architecture.