Digital Design and Making – Landscape and Ecological Approaches

The course is aimed at fostering conceptual as well as technical approaches towards the integration of digital design and fabrication techniques within the design and materialization process. We will dedicate the semester to develop skills and knowledge that takes advantage of a number of emerging and established digital techniques and positions. The course is structured to offer students space to build their own positions and approaches towards the integration of computation and digital technology within a wider design culture.

Material practices and processes associated with landscape and ecology will be used to frame and inform the exploration of a wide range of computational design concepts and approaches. These will range from the definition of form that benefits from, amongst others; topographical, topological, dynamic or aggregative definitions of material organization. Sensibilities that build on this can include self organizing, biological, textile, aggregate material sensitivities and processes, introducing the possibility of relational as well as mutable design processes and proposals.

Through lectures and discussions with guests from various design and \”making\” fields, you will be introduced to design concepts and approaches while complimentary workshops will also guide you to develop a process from initial concept design right through to physical fabrication of scaled prototypes or models. The course will cover and develop design skills in digital modeling, scripting, parametric tools as well as digital fabrication. Existing precedents and practices of design and making will be studied and considered during the course in order to inform and inspire the development of projects that will allow you to apply and develop your design and making positions. Projects developed in the course will be framed by a mandate to explore design and material proposals that sensitively reshape and reorganize our contemporary landscapes or constructed environments.

The course will meet once a week, with both lecture and workshop sessions. The course will also make use of the fabrication laboratory to test and actualize these techniques in material form and will include guest lectures, discussions and visits to contemporary digital designers and makers.

It is encouraged that applicants to the course have some basic to intermediate level skills in digital tools, although it is not a requirement.