SCI-Arc Fall 2014  Visual Studies

Mechanical Twins

Prof. Ivan Bernal

This course examines the potential of advanced modeling, animation, and robotic techniques to produce and represent complex geometries. Taking advantage of a single platform, students would be introduced to the techniques to help them postulate, analyze, develop and present their design ideas.

Step 1: Rooted in animation tools, the class would add behaviors to their projects as a way to set their ideas in time, and challenge the notion of a static design. Mutation, Postures, Deformations, Contortions, and Growth would be injected into the geometries as a way to challenge the students to think of their design as fluctuating matter. This step would provide feedback and yield aspects and opportunities not seen before in the project. The goal is to produce a series of studies in which students are asked to evaluate geometry from the design point of view, with the goal of critically understanding the variations produced using animation techniques. Representational animation would be then introduced as a way for a student to explain their ideas and the process of design in a sequence of images and animations. Dealing with camera paths, film techniques, and render methods

Step 2: Robotics will be introduced to add another level of complexity to the initial design, and ground their behaviors in a physical environment and constraints. Taking advantage of the flexibility of this system and its tendency for disruption, students are expected to rearrange, reposition and contort their project to test the limits of the systems they have created.

The Final output would not only rely on the visualization of the behavior achieved in the class but would also introduce dynamic skeletons to recreate and investigate such behavior in physical models. With a link between Arduino and Maya, students could expand their design criteria in an investigation of the physicality and materiality of their projects as the translation from the computer to their desk would take place, allowing them to compare and overly the digital and the physical. This juxtaposition would generate a tension in which student would examine the results, catalog them and insert them back to their digital models to inform and reiterate the process.


Nina Soltani, Liana Nourafshan, Tanveer Haroun, Ewa Lenart, Andrew Cheu, William Virgil, alexander Petrakos, Hemila Raster-Aria, Chen Yen-Po, Tou Shao-Wen, Sha Liu,Luisana Hernandez, , Andy, Sierra Hevley, Sam Yunyu, Diego Wu-lau, Boden Lin, Dania, Majed Talal, Matthew Momberger, Nader Naim, Evelyn Tring, David Sarafyan, Bran Arifin, Karam Kim, Talal Jahlan, Yuan Mu, Enbo Chen.