Digital Media: Writing Form

This course offers an introduction to the field of design and computation through the essential pursuit of writing form.

Setting aside the better-known paradigms of sketching, 3D modelling, scripting or coding, writing –in this context– refers to the application of parametric formulations to visual design. This is not only a technology offering, but a place for designers to expand their understanding of architectural typology, and form in general, by taking on the new, sneaky types which emerged during the past 20 years.

This crash course in indexical modelling (the deployment of variable analytic surfaces to parametrically define the space, boundaries, structure, and tectonic texture of a three-dimensional construct) will be organised around synchronous weekly lectures and applied workshops in parametric design, punctuated by three to four design sketches, and a final design project. The deliverables will include virtual instances of physical models —presented via AR (augmented reality) as well as traditional drawings and diagrams.

On the theoretical side, the course will introduce participants to the notion of form both practically (mathematically) and theoretically through a series of semi-monthly reading precepts (group readings) of seminal texts from Erwin Panofsky to Rosalind Krauss.

On the practical side, generative design tools will include PTC MathCAD 15, Rhino 6 /Grasshopper, and the proprietary, third-party Grasshopper plugins Surf_TM, Millipede, and Weaverbird. No experience is necessary, just open-mindedness. Participants will be issued powerful software templates to work with on a weekly basis.

Course structure: During the two, one-hour-long live sessions, we will cover the lectures material, hold one directed reading, share feedback on the assignments, dispense some technical content, and touch on any other matter of group interest.  The bulk of the technical workshops will be pre-recorded and released asynchronously every week in digital video form.

Note: the instructor will offer live course presentations on 01/19-01/21. To access the detailed schedule and Zoom links, please visit the Live Course Presentations Website. If you need assistance, please contact Estefanía Ibáñez