As software and hardware continues to develop and become increasingly capable of sophisticated operations and processes, computational design has evolved beyond the initial exploration of complex formal expression and has expanded into multiple philosophies within architecture. One such philosophy involves the relationship between materiality, formation, and design. Within this vein, material studies and fabrication processes are seen not as a mere end-result of architectural design. Rather, the awareness of material performance and the feedback offered through design-by-making empowers designers to push architectural pedagogies further and further.
CNC based hardware and software including milling, assembly, 3-D printing, laser cutting and the use of robots of various kinds in the construction industry are becoming both more sophisticated and progressively less expensive. These new technologies have introduced a greater degree of control and precision in the construction process, and have opened up a range of new methods of fabrication. Furthermore, having command over the means of fabrication and production offers a renewed level of control (and exploration) for the contemporary architect.
This course will be a combination of lecture and lab. Lectures will cover three primary categories of industrial process (Additive, Subtractive, and Transformative). In addition to the lectures, students will work together in groups of 2 to further investigate these topics through the development of a semester long fabrication project. This project will be small in scale and will allow students to apply the processes and techniques covered in lectures in a manner that encourages creativity and precision.