April 17, 2009

The Space of Representation Competition

Trays, the online student journal of the GSD, recently announced the winners of the Space of Representation Competition. I was pleased to learn that my entry, The Naked Crit, was selected as the winner. A full description of the competition can be found on their website.

The Naked Crit seeks to challenge the hermetic nature of design reviews in an architectural education. From the entry:

If you showed your final studio project to a non-architect, would they care? Would it be irrelevant?

Currently students present their project to a panel made up of architects and colleagues. While students are encouraged by their critics to consider the world beyond the walls of academia, nobody from the “outside world” is actually present.

If we are serious when we aspire to a wider relevance to the Harvard community (or even outside the safe walls of the academy), lets start by exposing our production to them. Lets show them everything. The good, the bad, the ugly, the embarrassing.

Lets leave the GSD.

Some studios might be ideologically opposed to the naked crit – studios that deal with developing the internal logics of architectural design may feel too exposed presenting tentative research in the gaze of a potentially skeptical and uninformed public. The intention of the naked crit is not to dumb down the discussion to make it comprehensible, but perhaps by exposing it to the general public we may generate a productive friction.

Lets get naked, and show off a little.

April 14, 2009

First Experiments with Grasshopper

Last weekend I decided to learn Grasshopper in an attempt to parameterize my ongoing design studio explorations. The tests below represent my first attempt at the software.

The parametric world of Grasshopper forced me to consider each piece of geometry and its associated data set as a highly fluid, yet inherently precise component to play with. On one hand I found myself unable deploy geometry in the familiar yet relatively arbitrary way that manual modeling allows. On the other hand, the capacity for variable automation allows for rapid generation of highly complex geometry sets.

I see tremendous potential for this software to be utilized as a method for quickly prototyping design solutions at variable scales across the length of a design project - from schematic massing models to the co-ordination of fabrication geometries.