Fall 2017 Syracuse SOA Arc207

Tectonic Strategies

Prof. Ivan Bernal

The second year studio in the undergraduate program experience continues a critical engagement with design inquiry. Building on first year design studio teaching, the second year of the undergraduate sequence introduces projects of increasing complexity. The emphasis for this academic year is placed on design methodology, design strategy, and design synthesis within each project assigned. Research, design process, and production will be key elements for evaluating the work produced. Students will also gain proficiency in core disciplinary design tactics (including representational, formal, spatial, technical, and material methods) as a means of exploring built form within urban (ARC 207) and exurban (ARC 208) contexts.

The pedagogy of ARC 207 will focus primarily on issues of architectural tectonics as it informs or is informed by urban context, program, and sequence. Each of these core areas will be critical in the analysis and design of architectural systems as discussed in further detail below: Tectonics- Students will explore tectonics in selecting structural strategies, understanding construction logics, organizing the program, generating space and form, choreographing spatial sequences, and incorporating contextual inform on into the design process. Tectonics encompasses design issues related to making, assembly, material expression, and the integration of architectural systems at multiple scales (material, structural, surface/enclosure, infrastructural, environmental, etc.).
Urban Context- Using urban contexts as test beds, the studio will examine networks, systems, and formations within cities (ecological, spatial, topographical, and infrastructural) to inform architectural design, expression, and performance. Urban context in this sense is more than just the surrounding buildings and constraints of the city “fabric”; it also includes variables such as the history, people, culture, ecology, climate, and building traditions. Christopher Alexander posits that “every design problem begins with an effort to achieve fitness between two entities: the form in question, and its context. The form is the solution to the problem; the context defines the problem.” The studio will explore how design informs and is informed by combinations of city conditions across
multiple scales. In this way, students are asked to articulate an emerging thesis on architecture’s potential role in activating the city’s “public realm.” Program- This studio will build on ideas introduced in ARC 108 regarding program – a practical necessity and a conceptual problem. Architecture has a responsibility to meet functional needs. It must provide for the requirements of program. But how do such necessary provisions motivate architectural design? Is architecture formed from the inside out (Le Corbusier’s soap bubble) in direct response to function? Should it aim to express function? Beyond “soap bubbles” and expression, architecture’s purpose is to format inhabitation, combining the functional requirements and the cultural role of program. Winston Churchill said: “We design our buildings, and then they design us.” – or, architecture forms to, and in turn forms, inhabitation. Spatial Sequence- As explained early in your design studio experience: “Architecture is experienced dynamically by an occupant moving in space.” This semester will both continue and broaden understandings of the spatial sequence as it relates to program, urban context, and tectonics. The ideal result of a properly executed architectural project is a carefully choreographed series of programmed and scaled experiences as one moves into and through a building.

Students: Tatia Buziashvili, Jaclyn Doyle, Akanksha Gomes, Adam Harris, Brendon Huang, Kaixin Huang, Jack Hymowitz, Siraphob Khuptiphongkun, Daniel Kwak, Kyle Neumann, Bennett Powers, Yunji Seong, Williams,Shauneil, Gregory Winawer, Eryn Young.