Convergence: The Museum Artistically Reconsidered

Please note, this option studio will meet on an irregular schedule.Objective:This option studio will explore/ investigate the dialogue between physical and digital models in the design process. In my professional practice at Gehry Partners, we have developed a design process that employs physical model making as the primary methodology for form-finding and design decision-making. This process is in turn complemented by the extensive use of digital models as a way to rationalize and to implement construction. As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, is the use of physical models quickly becoming obsolete in the design process? And, with more and more buildings being designed and realized today by digital technologies ONLY, is our physical environment becoming more and more \”machine-like\”, and therefore, in danger of loosing its humanity? Additionally, how does the emergence of digital tools affect our thinking and sensitivities as designers, and how would it impact theconstruction industry at large? This studio will address these questions, and further our understanding and insight into the convergence between physical and digital realms as they relate to the reality of our professional practice today.Project: The Museum Building Artistically Reconsidered Since the opening of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao more than 10 years ago, there has been a boom in the construction of museums all over the world. Many attribute this phenomenon as the fallout of the so-called \”Bilbao Effect.\” The majority of these museums tend to be designed by so-called \”star-architects\” and they all try to completewith each other with their so-called \”iconic\” presence, which is supposed to attract visitors and tourists from all over the world. While on the one hand, this surge of global interest in museum architecture is positive for the profession, it seems that the time has come to re-examine this exuberant trend of museum design, especially given the current global economy.In addition, with more and more artists from the younger generation working in multiple media, there seems to be increasing urgency for the museum to re-invent itself. Instead of being a static place for a \”Collection\”, the contemporary museum is becoming more and more a dynamic space for \”Creation\”. In this context, the studio will be a platform to explore these and other paradigm shifts in the architecture of museum as a site for the convergence of different media and spatial configurations. Students will engage in two design problems during the semester: beginning with a two week design sketch of aMobile Museum, followed by a more in depth development of a Museum as aFoundation for Creation.Site: Located at the Convergence of Wilshire and Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles, the site is approximately 662 ft. long and 100 ft. wide. Often considered to be a gateway for Beverly Hills as well as to the Westside of Los Angeles, it is surrounded by neighborhoods of different scales and characters, making it a unique urban space. Schedule: In order to expose the students to the spectrum of issues on the subject as quickly as possible, the studio is organized as a series of design charettes (based on a 14-week semester), with each one focusing specifically on one aspect of the design process: – Charette 1: The Mobile Museum (sketch problem, January 21- February 4)The goal is to force the students to \”dive\” into the museum program by workingquickly and intuitively (using ONLY physical models) to respond to the problem of a small exhibition pavilion (approx. 1500-2000 SM), with the requirement that it will have to be adaptable to a number of international destinations.- Charette 2: The Foundation for Creation (February 6- March 2)The project for the remaining semester will kick off with a field trip to Los Angeles. The Students will adapt and expand their ideas