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Architecture Design Fundamentals I — Origins of Life

This studio aims to develop and further our understanding of architecture by studying the building blocks of life. The Origins of Life will become guiding principals, logic, quantification and qualification for design and architecture. What makes something alive? What are the essential ingredients? How did life grow from nothing? How did life evolve to the complexities of today? Can we make something with the characteristics of life, yet, not be living?

Throughout the semester students will research the building blocks of life such as, adaptation, growth, evolution, replication, metabolism etc, first defining their own essential ingredients and then utilizing them as guiding behaviors for the design process at various scales. Three primary engines of drawing, making and spatial investigations will be explored to test this theme.

This course is specifically designed to play off of student’s non-architectural undergraduate classes by introducing a domain of investigation through which a dialogue can be created to span multiple backgrounds and applications. This studio will investigate living and non-living systems, extracting logic, behavior, assemblies and systems through the lens of design. We will research the Origins of Life with three projects:

  1. Critically investigating the act of drawing by developing processes and generative systems to reveal the internal logic of their precedents — i.e. “Origins of Drawing”.
  2. Investigating their drawings as devices capable of shaping 3-dimensional physical objects and systems. The students will build a series of physical constructs employing additive, subtractive and combinatorial operations — i.e. “Origins of Making”.
  3. Creating space, cities and networks by examining notions of solid and void, inside, outside, scale, context, environment, aggregation, evolution etc. — i.e. “ Origins of Cities”.