Pre- and Post– is an introduction to fundamental concepts, techniques, and methods in digital design, with a focus on the processes of translation between digital media and artifacts. Beyond an exploration of novel form and its reading, this course is a critical inquiry into how digital tools can extend beyond visualization and fabrication to change the way we view architectural projects from the past, present, and future.
Today, digital representation and fabrication methods are primarily used in the production of new projects, rarely finding application in the analysis of historical precedents. Restriction of contemporary tools almost exclusively to contemporary architecture limits the knowledge these methods can help us glean from projects built before the digital era. By analyzing pre-digital precedents through a post-digital lens, we can begin to reconceptualize these precedents and situate the new tools within architectural history at large.
Within this context, the course focuses on digital image as a speculative medium and its epistemic and communicational implications. Beyond typical end-process output used in everyday practice, this research conceives digital image as instruments for conceiving and perceiving architecture. The course is organized into three sequential areas of inquiry and each explores new possibilities of feedback between image and architecture, revolving around processes of design and representation.
In the first phase, each student researches architectural precedents, considering how new digital tools could allow us to reconsider the project’s design and representation. We will reconstruct analyzed information in the form of digital data, drawing, and imagery.
During the second phase, each student develops a critical stance towards the precedent’s forms and suggests a radical modification/manipulation of it. The information from the first phase will be sourced and re-assembled into three-dimensional architectural form-making through a series of methodologies introduced in the course. This inquiry speculates on new form-generating processes by deploying images as a generative instrument. The reciprocal processes of manipulation between image and formal artifacts investigate the latent design opportunities embedded in each one with a focus on the capacities and limitations of select computational processes.
In the third phase, we speculate on the capacity of digital technologies to assign new or alternative readings to form. Through a series of imaging, processing, and rendering techniques, this phase explores how time-based modes of two-dimensional representation can activate and manipulate three-dimensional form. This process will speculate new possibilities for perceiving and conceiving architecture, challenging established conventions of representation.
This framework allows the conception of a variable architecture, capable of representing not only static forms but the very conditions of formalization and the embodiment of dynamic variables. In this series of design exercises, the course explores how new processes of manipulation—namely, techniques in digital design and representation—can facilitate new ways of thinking about architecture, both pre-digital and post-digital.
Course Format – Offered as weekly three-hour sessions of lectures, discussions, and technical workshops, the course will be broken down into two classes. Typically, the course will meet synchronously on Friday, while content for the Wednesday session will be available for asynchronous viewing. Instructor-led workshops will include a rigorous introduction to Rhino/ Grasshopper (pre-modeling tools) for analyzing and form-finding and Processing (post-modeling tools) for the advanced representation of projects.
Prerequisites – None.
?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.