F2F – Continuum concept
Contemporary architectural forms no longer follow the rules of traditional, Cartesian and Euclidean geometries and their generation depends on the ‘collaborative’ work of the designer with computer programs. The generation and the materialization of complex forms calls for new logics, techniques, means and equipment of construction/fabrication. These complex geometries cannot be represented by conventional drawings to enable constructors/fabricators to accurately ‘translate’ them into actual spatial products the way they have done for a long time. There seems to be a need to make connections between designers and the industries for information to be exchanged. This is the goal of Continuum, as an analogous educational experiment: to create direct channels for information to flow from the designer to the manufacturer, with the final end product to have not negotiated in the slightest degree the architectural qualities initially desired by the designer. (not ‘lost in translation’)
F2F is a connection, a way of communication, a protocol between the designer and the manufacturer through a file with a digitally designed form that acts as an input for the fabrication machinery and enables the latter to manufacture the digitally designed form in a CONTINUUM.
The project aims at embedding the notion of fabrication in the student’s design process, during the transition from the design to the materialization phase not at the expense of qualities of the initial form.
Moreover, students are prompted to think of non-standard manufacturing techniques and become therefore more creative and innovative in their thinking processes.
Last but not least, digital architecture will eradicate its stigma of yet another paper architecture trend with no substance or intention to escape from its virtuality.
As so far, there is no similar studio/elective/workshop in our school; students will be chosen from a pool of students that we have already worked with in our classes. We will discuss the project with a population of students and four of them will be selected. They will be students of the 4th – 5th year of our diploma program, and they may have background in digital means of design and light structures technology. One of our students is already working on the f2f continuum logics for her final thesis dissertation to be completed in September. She is expected to produce a document to be included in our educational material.
Organization of the course
The way of working that SH proposed seems to us very interesting and its research element lies within our pedagogical objectives of cultivating innovation and inventiveness. We are thinking of operating as follows:
a. Researching and brainstorming in an open source workflow, looking at new ways of using Continuum Partner’s materials.
b. Students will decide which materials they wish to work with.
c. Develop fabrication techniques that combine materials in order to produce mass customized artifacts.
d. Fabricate variations of models of these systems, in order to test the range of workability. These models should be F2F based modeling techniques, using equipment depended on digital input.
e. Attempt to fabricate mockups of parts of this study (1st workshop)
f. Thinking of the aforementioned and having feedback from the first workshop, students will be ready to work on a more elaborate study in assembling these systems, in order to produce more advanced and complex structures. In this phase students will propose the design of a shed (MoMA NYC P.S.1 YAP competition) based on the already designed and tested material systems.
g. Then again, students should test their design assumptions through digital fabricated models, and get feedback until they will come up with an effective fabrication process.
h. Order parts, and prepare the assembly process, in order to be ready for the final workshop.
i. Assemblye the final models (size of a small shed ?) at the GA (2nd workshop).
Software (cross-platform-ability is essential)
• Generative Components – parametric properties (Assembly of embedded components)
• Rhino – cad drawings, .stl exports and scripting basics
• Maya – parametric properties, animation studies and renderings