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ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN I
Project 1: The Creation of Form

 

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void;...
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light (and light gave form).
Genesis, Chapter 1


Theory:

Form is one of the basic building blocks in architecture.  We rely on our universal recognition of basic shapes and forms to allow the viewer to understand the architect's intent.  Three dimensional variations of the circle, triangle and square undergo additive and subtractive transformations and interactions to reflect program and contextual needs.   Designers also think of form in terms of its mass (solid) and void (volumetric) properties.  This project will explore the relationship of how form work together to clearly express the designer's intent and understanding . 

Methodology & Analysis:

Since no formal methodology is given to explore these design issues, the emphasis will be on the analysis of the projects.  Students will introduce their individual project (usually 3-5 projects at a time) and then the class will comparatively analyze them.  Each student will keep a journal and record various aspects of each project.  At the end of the entire critique, place a check next to what you think are the best projects (number set by instructor) in terms of the most successful interpretation and creative application of the concepts (do not share your opinion with any other students).  Students will be asked in groups of three to evaluated the projects on the following criteria, usually most and least.  Additional comments may come from the gallery at large but not from the designers whose projects are being critiqued.  The types of analysis used include: quantitative (counting how many times the rules is applied or features occur); qualitative (descriptive variations of success of the rule or features); collective group selection of success (poll the group).  The instructor will moderate the discussion.  This activity is designed to have students develop their understanding to concepts when applied in an interactive comparative multi-dimensional platform.  The types of analysis used include: quantitative (counting how many times the rules is applied or features occur); qualitative (descriptive variations of success of the rule or features); collective group selection of success (poll the group).  The instructor will moderate the discussion.  This activity is designed to have students develop their understanding to concepts when applied in an interactive comparative multi-dimensional platform. 

 

Project 1 (Form) will be critiqued on the following concepts/criteria:

  1. Clarity of form (select the most and least).
  2. Additive and subtractive (select the most additive and subtractive project)
  3. Interaction of  form (select the most and the least)
  4. Mass and void (select the most mass and void oriented project)
  5. Overall set of rules or game plan the designer used (select the most and least).

Rules/Constraints for making the forms:

  1. No symmetrical projects
  2. No "forts" or2-D projects

Material:

  • 1 - layer of 15" x 15" x 1/4" foam core
  • 2 - 16 oz. boxes of large sugar cubes
  • 1 - hot glue gun and power strip

Assignment:

Using the principles of form, as outlined in the class lecture, construct one or more of the following: an additive form, a subtractive form, and a form that is both additive and subtractive. Each of the forms must be related to one another. They may not be separate, independent objects, on a plane, rather they must interact, interlock and create spaces and objects. The better the application of the concepts and more creative and original the design solution, the higher the grade.  Projects shall have a minimum of 9 forms.

Procedure:

A series of three dimensional constructions shall made exploring the design principles of form using the sugar cubes. No glue shall be used during this exploration stage. After several design investigations, the student will glue together his or her final design solution onto the 15" x 15" base.

Project Due Date:

Next class from date of lecture.

Bibliography:

Francis Ching, Architecture: Form, Space & Order, pp.:33-58.

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