This paper will discuss an unconventional methodology for using physical and digital media strategies in a tightly structured framework for the integration of Environmental Control Systems (ECS) principles into a third year design studio. An interchangeable use of digital media and physical material enabled architectural explorations of rich tactile and luminous engagement.
The principles that provide the foundation for integrative strategies between a design studio and building technology course spring from the Bauhaus tradition where a systematic approach to craftsmanship and visual perception is emphasized. Focusing particularly on color, light, texture and materials, Josef Albers explored the assemblage of found objects, transforming these materials into unexpected dynamic compositions. Moholy-Nagy developed a technique called the photogram or camera-less photograph to record the temporal movements of light. Wassily Kandinsky developed a method of analytical drawing that breaks a still life composition into diagrammatic forces to express tension and geometry. These schematic diagrams provide a method for students to examine and analyze the implications of element placements in space (Bermudez, Neiman 1997). Gyorgy Kepes's Language of Vision provides a primer for learning basic design principles. Kepes argued that the perception of a visual image needs a process of organization. According to Kepes, the experience of an image is "a creative act of integration". All of these principles provide the framework for the studio investigation.
The quarter started with a series of intense short workshops that used an interchangeable use of digital and physical media to focus on ECS topics such as day lighting, electric lighting, and skin vocabulary to lead students to consider these components as part of their form-making inspiration.
In integrating ECS components with the design studio, an nine-step methodology was established to provide students with a compelling and tangible framework for design: Examples of student work will be presented for the two times this course was offered (2001/02) to show how exercises were linked to allow for a clear design progression.
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