Superficial Spaces

At a time when architectural discourse and practice are (still) brimming with references to new geometries, this offering investigates the architectural potential of abstract three-dimensional surfaces. Hand in hand with the practical ambition of the option studios, this seminar will help us devise formal prototypes for architectural consumption – while broadening our understanding of the rigours of abstract formal analysis.

With equal emphasis on theoretical reading, graphic analysis and diagramming, elementary mathematics, numerically controlled fabrication techniques, and theoretical writing, the seminar will orbit, in increasingly tight loops, the surface as object of knowledge.

Prerequisites/Restrictions: Attendance

Requirements: Participants are required to prepare for and participate to 5 group reading sessions. Otherwise the course is structured around a cycle of 6 short design assignments. To fulfill requirements, participants can either carry out an abridged cycle of 4 assignments plus a short final project of their own choice,
submit the full cycle of 6 assignments over the course of the semester.

Attendance and participation to weekly readings and MathCAD workshops: 50%. Submission of assignments and/or (if applicable) final project: 50%

Irregular Schedule. First Meeting on Monday, Jan 27. Subsequent meetings on Monday Feb 10. Monday 2/24, Monday 3/10, Monday 3/24, Monday 4/7, Monday 4/21. Each meeting from 1-6. Midterm week of Monday 3/25. Final presentation on Friday 5/9.

Precept Reading List (required):
Roland Barthes Cy Twombly: Works on Paper in The Responsibility of Forms, pp.157-176, University of California Press Berkeley, 1991

Peter Eisenman Iconicity and Instrumentality*, Cahiers de L’IRCAM, Instruments, Paris 1995.

Greg Lynn New Variations on the Rowe Complex, in Folds Bodies and Blobs, La lettre vole, Brussels 1998.

George L. Legendre Shin & I, essay on the ontology of the surface, in AA Files 52, AA Publications, London 2005

Readings of Related Interest (for reference):

George L. Legendre, God Spare me Intuition (and I will take care of the Machine Myself) in Intuition and The Machine (GAM Architecture Magazine, Graz Spring 2014).

George L. Legendre, Pasta Mathematica in Imagine Math 3 (Springer, Zurich, Spring 2014).

George L. Legendre Editor, Mathematics of Space (AD Magazine John Wiley & Sons, London 2011)

George L. Legendre, Pasta By Design, (Thames & Hudson, London 2011).

George L. Legendre, IJP: The Book of Surfaces, (Architectural Association, London 2003).

George L. Legendre, JP’s Way, in Mathematical Form: John Pickering and the Architecture of the Inversion Principle (Architectural Association, London 2006).