4.154
Architecture Design Option Studio — Un-flat Inevitabilities: Integrated Form and Structure in the age of Simulation and Composites ( J. Lamere/C. Mueller)

Prerequisites: 
4.145 or 4.153
Required of: 
MArch

Un-flat Inevitabilities: Integrated Form and Structure in the age of Simulation and Composites

This studio proposes to reexamine the relationship between architectural contingencies, form, and structure as facilitated by contemporary computational tools and processes that integrate structural thinking and design intent. Inspired by the structural shell geometries of designers like Felix Candela, the studio pivots around a mid-semester trip to Mexico City to visit five of his most important projects.

The studio will begin with precedent analysis and technical research, elaborating the twentieth century formal strategies used to link geometry and structure. Simultaneously, students will address the many other criteria around which architecture must operate, in particular those which resist the structural purity of Candela’s thin concrete shells. The projects seen in this context, and in person, will expose the architectural limitations of these early structural shells, galvanizing the students toward new methods of synthetic design thinking.

Architectural occupation demands flatness, in contrast with the natural curves of structural force flow. Students will be challenged to reconcile these concepts of structural optimality with the plurality of architectural goals, using twenty-first century digital strategies and innovative materials.