Super Tall: Performance and Atmosphere

The schedule for this course is variable. Please select this studio carefully.Today we are embarking on a new phase in building design and manifestation that is clearly about a greater integration between the way architecture is conceived, iterated, fabricated and implemented. Architecture is now more than in any previous era about achieving a greater level of control over the symbiotic relationship between technique, process, and outcome, even if that outcome is deliberately about the unpredictable and the speculative….The intent of the design studio is to seek out architectural strategies (rooted in digital media) that are preoccupied with \’performance\’ and through such research, the building design that achieves elegance and control within intense urban contexts. The focus of the studio will be \’super tall\’ building, buildings that climb beyond 400m in height. Performance in architecture and particularly with super tall building design has been traditionally understood though assessment of structural and engineering solutions coupled with the architects somewhat de-fanged domain and preoccupations with planning, core and skin and symbolic gesture. In this body of research we will look at the notion of \’performance\’ from a different point of view, where it relates to the use and manipulation of digital processes (animation software, parametric modeling tools etc), new materials and materiality and non standardization processes (aerospace, automotive and nautical architecture), urban intervention and the notion of vertical urbanism (Yona Freedman, Constants New Babylon, Archigram etc ). The goal of the studio is to both redefine what constitutes performance in this genre of architecture, and as importantly formulate a way of designing and describing such architecture as having more to do with atmosphere and effect than form and structure. Key areas of research to achieve this are the following:A. Urban InterventionCities from Las Vegas to Kuala Lumpur are seeking out and vying for super tall buildings as indicators of economic strength as well as placeholders for future growth and potential. Each city chosen will be viewed for its cultural nuances and distinction rather than looking at tradition and symbolism. Notions of Vertical urbanism will be key to understanding these buildings role in such contemporary urban situations.B. Technology and ImageUtilization of computer aided tools and software to configure and develop design iterations for tall structures. Key to this aspect of the studio is a desire to achieve not only elegance and sophistication in the design studies, but also to be able to comprehend and describe architecture in terms of its atmospheric condition and spatial effects.C. Viability Though a survey of new materials, methodologies and advancements in engineering capabilities, students will be encouraged to explore and push limits of making such projects viable and realizable.D. Pertinence Development and clarity of understanding such structures in terms of environmental sustainability, energy consumption and zero carbon aspirations.E. Resonance and ResponseUltimately the projects will be accessed though their ability to produce atmospheric influences, thematic overlays, and iconic possibilities, raising questions about architecture as an instigator of meaning and desire.The studio will consist of three phases of development1. Conceptual work related to above issues and criteria2. Design work on tower designs inclusive of conceptual engineering and form generation (formal studies in digital and analog media) 3. Tower design and model manufacture utilizing digital productio