This design research seminar examines both disciplinary and extra-disciplinary technologies, techniques, and theories for the use of Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite material systems in the design and construction of architecture. Students will gain a basic understanding of the engineering principles behind these material systems and establish a background in the architectural applications for FRP, both historic and contemporary. Students will also study FRP composites through selected extra-disciplinary precedents, such as racing sailboats, contemporary aircraft, and wind turbines. Students will examine the advantages and disadvantages of FRP composite systems, critically considering how FRP materials perform in relation to conventional building systems, technically and aesthetically. Students will explore performance-based FRP design by reimagining existing precedents as new architectural building systems. Students will be required to consider formal surface geometries, spatial opportunities, structure, life-safety, fabrication, transport, and assembly as some of the factors impacting architectural performance. Students will create a research-based design project, including original writing, drawings, diagrams, and models, speculating about the possibilities for use of FRP composite building systems in contemporary architectural design.
Prerequisite: ARCH 211 or 511L