Architecture Students Create Spatial Experiences

Professor Robert Trempe’s capstone course Architectural Design VI gives students the opportunity to take on a special topic in architectural design.

“The students are expected to learn about new techniques in full-scale architectural manufacturing including the translation of complex computational geometries and physical production employing CNC [Computer Numerical Control] technologies,” Trempe said.

For this studio, students are required to complete two installations, “Patterned Porosity” and “Sequential Conversations.”

For “Patterned Porosity,” students used Styrofoam insulation to design a group installation in the window bay of the corridor between the Tyler Cafe and the Architecture building.

“The installation was meant to adjust condition of light through a sequence of transformative patterns milled into the Styrofoam, one pattern per window bay/student,” Trempe said. “So this installation served (pragmatically) as a method by which students could examine the usage of computational technology towards the articulation of a building facade.”

The second installation, “Sequential Conversations” will consist of character studies inspired by the 2003 Jim Jarmusch film “Coffee and Cigarettes.”

“Each student graphically mapped the movements of the characters in space to determine how their bodies are used in the articulation of a conversation,” Trempe said. “These drawings are now serving as the logic towards a sequence of physical installations that attempt to shape users who sit within each installation to act out moments of the conversation. In this way, students learn about the intimacy of architecture and the fact that small operations can have a massive effect.”

When the students are working on these projects, Trempe meets with them three days a week for three and a half hours per sessions.

“At every meeting graphical work is expected…the graphic is our language, and the best means for us to communicate. I help the students by challenging them to pay attention to their own internal design processes through graphical explorations while enabling them to understand the connections between design process and physical product,” Trempe said.

Having the students complete these projects helps them learn how to design something as a group and to understand the true potential of installations.

“I want the students to learn the power of full-scale constructions and the methods by which they can navigate what I have coined as a ‘computational design pipeline.’ This pipeline is the system by which they employ various computational toolsets as part of a design process. Physical constructions have an immediate and important part in this pipeline as they are moments where a digital process translates to a built form,” Trempe said.

While the students learn a lot from these installations, the audience is also able to see the amount of work that goes into large projects like these.

“I’d love people to realize that architecture can be (and is) an allied art with other disciplines at Tyler and that there are many ways in which out disciplines can ‘cross-pollinate.’ I’d like people to know that the role of an architect is much larger than simply following building code…that architects are passionate in the crafting of space and spatial experience,” Trempe said.

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