Architectural Design Workshop — Kintsugi, Upcycling and Machine Learning (summer)

Permission of instructor


  • Workshop occurs in Summer 2020 but registration is for the Fall 2020 term.
  • Students only required to attend their scheduled slot for desk crits on Thursdays 1-3.  Office hours 3-5.
  • Expected number of work hours per week: 20
  • To enroll, please contact the instructor or TA of the class first.

In the Japanese art of Kintsugi, broken fragments of pottery are fitted back together to repair the artefact. Inspired by this "golden joinery", we will attempt to use computation to piece together broken fragments into new assemblies. Students will learn to use workflows for aggregating constructions using irregular libraries of materials, adjusting geometries based on the possibilities of the library. The course will (1) introduce students to scanning, and categorization algorithms (2) introduce processes for matching and the library through neural networks onto a target geometry (3) demonstrate methods for optimization of the target shape to best fit the library. Beyond this workflow, students will be encouraged to explore a variety of possible computational methods with a view towards publishing a comparison of computational kintsugi methods. Students will test and develop these algorithms in dialogue with physical models, to give material reciprocity and a sense of constructability.