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November 2006

Review what?

Review tomorrow for studio and I've got nothing but ideas. I've increasingly found, however, that this is not such a bad situation to be in. Some prefer have a building, but no ideas, which is much worse from my perspective. Some good quotes from a Cedric Price book I'm reading for studio:

Notes on
Cedric Price: Works II
Architectural Association, London, 1984.

p. 36: Architects should constantly recall the uses of buildings – namely, use, misuse, reuse, disuse and refuse.

p. 37: The built environment is becoming a generous repository of buildings for nervous minds rather than a three-dimensional manifestation of a current optimistic civilisation.

p. 54 Indeed an overwhelming desire to 'get it right the first time' in architecture and planning encourages the safe solution and the dull practitioner. As this sequence has become increasingly clear to the rest of society during the last thirty years, architecture has moved further and further from the areas of human endeavour that respond rapidly and effectively to society's needs and aspirations.

Posted on 12:43 PM by westr015 Architecture Grad School

November 2006

Model Transport Method #223



Model Transport Method #223


Originally uploaded by aaronwestre.



Necessity is the mother of invention. Let's hope it doesn't rain. Seen outside Rapson Hall (architecture) on the University of Minnesota campus. Minneapolis, MN, USA.

Posted on 12:18 AM by westr015

November 2006

SmartGeometry 2007

The SmartGeometry conference is coming up again, this time in New York on the 31st of Janurary, 2007. The most intriguing part of the conference from my perspective is the workshop that happens over the four days preceding the conference. If it's anything like last year's, which I assume it is, attendees will get a chance to play around with Bentley Systems' beta software GenerativeComponents. GenerativeComonents is an application for modeling in a parametric or associative way. A designer using the software develops a set of components and defines relationships between them, such that a change in one part of a design alters the rest accordingly. This means that one could set up a sun shade component that would change its angle when the building orientation changed, or panels that form the skin of a building could rotate or morph to meet a changing structural system. Essentially the application creates models that are themselves software applications, responding to changes in variables like dimension, orientation and material, until a satisfactory result emerges. Components can be modeled to exact physical dimensions to ease the transition to construction documentation. The software pushes the boundaries of what the industry calls "building information modeling" or "parametric modeling". This paradigm recognizes the fact that a building can be thought of as a database of inter-related parts. GenerativeComonents extends this paradigm by imbuing those parts with behaviors, allowing the design to self-organize based on conceptual rules.

I'd really like to try it out. The rub, as with most workshops like this, is cost. It runs $1500, not including room, board and airfare. How much do kidneys sell for on eBay these days? They are offering a few scholarships, so there is hope for those poor students wishing to attend and try out one of the prototypical digital playgrounds of the future.

Posted on 11:24 PM by westr015 Architecture Computation Design Software

November 2006

Bruce Sterling Keynote at Idea06

This is why I dig Bruce Sterling. He starts off his keynote at Idea 2006 reciting a list of quotes gathered during the conference and winds up with some great analysis of Rem Koolhaas' Seattle Public Library (where the conference was held). In between he talked about the new World Changing book and the open source/free culture economic model.

This is the kind of scatter-brained, broad-based modus operandi that I can really relate to. It suggests a way of functioning that disregards disciplinary boundaries, treating each specialization as a neighbor from which new tools can be liberally borrowed.

Posted on 4:08 PM by westr015 Information Architecture

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