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DREW A COWDREY Harvard GSD M.Arch with Distinction


DREW A COWDREY drew.cowdrey@gmail.com

drew.cowdrey@gmail.com 14 Caldwell Ave, Apt 14A Somerville, MA 02143 419.304.3832

EDUCATION Fall 2009 - Spring 2013

Harvard University Graduate School of Design, M.Arch with Distinction Recipiant of the Faculty Design Award, voted on by the department faculty. High Pass Thesis: “Contemporary Asylum” Advised by Preston Scott Cohen.

Fall 2005 - Spring 2009

Bowling Green State University, B.S. with Honors Graduated Summa Cum Laude (4.0 GPA). Recipiant of the University Presidential Award for academic achievement. Graduation Speaker Finalist

EXPERIENCE July 2012 - August 2012

Farshid Moussavi Architecture Worked directly with Farshid and several collaborators on a forthcoming publication. Also contributed to the 2012 Venice Biennial exhibition “Architecture and its Affects.”

May 2012 - July 2012

Preston Scott Cohen, Inc. Worked on two competitions, preparing printed material as well as 3dprintable model files.

June 2011 - August 2011

Howeler + Yoon Architecture Worked with Eric Howeler and two GSD students on conceptualization and execution of GSD Platform 4, the annual publication and exhibition of student work at Harvard GSD.

June 2008 - August 2010

MacPherson Architects / 2MA Worked on a series of projects at multiple scales, programs and construction phases. Heavily relied on for renderings, animations, competition boards and presentations. Contributed to SD,DD and CD packages.

COLLABORATION October 2012

Christian Kerez Built a physical model for a 2012 tower commission.

January 2011

Kennedy & Violich Architecture / KVA Team member on the first place scheme“Riverfirst” for the Minneapolis Waterfront Competition.

SKILLS Fall 2009 - Spring 2013

Mastered Rhino, AutoCAD, Sketchup, 3ds Max, Grasshopper, Vray, Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign, Microsoft Office Knowledgeable Digital Project, Adobe After Effects

AWARDS Fall 2009 - Spring 2013

Harvard University Graduate School of Design Recipiant of the 2013 Faculty Design Award for high achievement in the design studio sequence. Work published in GSD Platform 3, 4 and 5. Thesis work nominated for publication in GSD Platform 6. Nominated for Araldo A. Cossutta Prize (Core Prize).

Fall 2005 - Spring 2009

Bowling Green State University Academic Scholarships awarded for semesters 3-8. Awarded First Place in the 2009 BGSU Senior Architecture Design Competition. Awarded Second Place in the 2008 BGSU Concrete Masonry Design/Build Competition. Named to the Dean’s Student Advisory council in 2008-2009. Served as AIAS Student Chapter President in 2008-2009.

EXHIBITIONS Summer 2012

“Architecture and Its Affects” curated by Farshid Moussavi Worked with Farshid Moussavi to generate and develop images for her 2012 Venice Biennial Exhibition.

Spring 2012

“GSD Platform 4” curated by Eric Howeler Worked with Eric Howeler to conceptualize and curate student work for display in the Harvard GSD Lobby.


DREW A COWDREY drew.cowdrey@gmail.com

drew.cowdrey@gmail.com 14 Caldwell Ave, Apt 14A Somerville, MA 02143 419.304.3832

TEACHING Summer 2013

Architecture Studio Instructor Harvard GSD Career Discovery - Coordinator Beth Whitaker

Spring 2013

Studio Teaching Assistant - Architecture Core IV Harvard GSD - Critic Spela Videcnik

Fall 2012

Head Studio Teaching Assistant - Architecture Core 1 Harvard GSD - Critic Cameron Wu, Coordinator Preston Scott Cohen

Fall 2011

Head Studio Teaching Assistant - Architecture Core III Harvard GSD - Critic/Coordinator Eric Howeler

Spring 2012

Studio Teaching Assistant - Architecture Core IV Harvard GSD - Critic Eric Howeler

Spring 2012

Seminar Teaching Assistant - Building Structures II Harvard GSD - Professor Martin Bechthold

Fall 2010 - Spring 2011

3D Teaching Assistant - 3d Printing Technician Harvard GSD - Advisor Rachel Vroman

March 2012, March 2013 June 2011, June 2012

Guest Critic Boston Architectural College - 4th Year Studio, Digital Fabrication Seminar. Harvard GSD Career Discovery - Summer Program

PUBLICATIONS Forthcoming

the Function of Style Collaborated on the intellectual framework of Farshid Moussavi’s upcoming publication. Helped execute final drawings and renderings. Authored and Edited by Farshid Moussavi.

November 2011

GSD Platform 4 Designed, edited and curated student content for publication under faculty editor Eric Howeler. ISBN 978-8-415-39100-5

April 2012

Portfolio Design, 4th Edition Graduate/Undergraduate portfolio from 2010 is featured. Authored and Edited by Harold Linton. ISBN 978-0-393-73253-5

July 2012

Architectural Drawing: A Visual Compendium of Types and Methods, 4th Edition Graduate/Undergraduate portfolio from 2010 is featured. Authored and Edited by Rendow Yee. ISBN 978-1-118-31040-3

REFERENCES Fall 2009 - Spring 2013

Preston Scott Cohen Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Gerald M. McCue Professor in Architecture Preston Scott Cohen, Inc, Principal scott@pscohen.com Eric Howeler Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Assistant Professor Howeler + Yoon Architecture, Principal ehoweler@hyarchitecture.com Cameron Wu Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Assistant Professor cwu2@gsd.harvard.edu Farshid Moussavi Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Professor in Practice Farshid Moussavi Architecture, Principal Farshid@farshidmoussavi.com


CONTEMPORARY ASYLUM

A 21st 21st century architectural archi hitectural solutio solution i n using a 19th century architectural arch hitecturall conviction - Buffalo, NY


“It sometimes seems preferable to manipulate the external world, applying surgery to our surroundings rather than to the central nervous system, in order to preserve some kind of relation between idea and reality. The focus here moves from the adaptation of self to the adjustment of nature.” Robin Evans “The Rights of Retreat and the Rites of Exclusion” M.Arch Thesis - Spring 2013 Advisor: Preston Scott Cohen Project Nominated for Publication in Platform 6

In an era before drugs, media and wifi, architecture was relied upon to play an instrumental role in the production of subjectivity. In the nineteenth century, architects from around the world insisted that new, purpose built buildings could cure the sick, criminal and insane. This was a time when architectural form mattered most. The “insane asylum,” for example, was considered the doctor’s “most impressive asset” (Carli Yanni, The Architecture of Madness). Yet, for almost a century, architecture has been on the retreat, becoming at best an indifferent container (No Stop City) or at worst, a mere structural base unit (Maison Dom-ino). Architects today fight back by producing architectures that stress variety and difference as a response to the homogeneity and seriality characteristic of modernism. Yet the “difference” we see today is simply the “image of difference,” or differentiated form for the sake of it. This thesis uses the asylum, an institution emblematic of a dead ideology, as an excuse for purpose-built design aiming to produce an architecture of meaningful difference through the re-organization and transformation of serial conditions. After a deep study of type and the “curing” literature of the past, I conclude that the architecture of the asylum “cured” using four interrelated strategies: segregation, surveillance, nature and collectivity. Animating these relationships using 21st century architectural tools allows the asylum to become a more ergonomic environment, a building that could respond to the multitude of needs and spatial conditions that the “insane” would have benefited from. Instead of serial repetition, the contemporary asylum formalizes difference into a highly advanced and articulated “curing” environment. In this context, difference matters and is not the result of artistic composition. Reverting to a time when architecture reigned supreme allows one to exercise a level of architectural agency that has been lost today. By once again relying on architecture, we are left with a highly differentiated and spatially complex architectural artifact, but one that is complex for a reason greater than “just because.”


How Architecture “Cured” in the Asylum 1.) Segregation

Differentiated “Curing” in the “Contemporary Asylum”

Most Disruptive More Disruptive Least Disruptive Mid Disruptive

Least Disruptive

To Administration building

From a ward on the level of the city...

2.) Surveillance

Nursing Station

Corridor Surveillance

From a isolated and individual room, full of privacy...

3.) Nature

“Pleasure Grounds”

Airing Court

Views out into Landscape

From only a small amount of nature being visible...

4.) Collectivity

4x Patients

3x Patients

2x Patients

From a large amount of common space...


To one completely closed in by the preceding four buildings.

To a room with little privacy and constant surveillance.

To the entire building being clad in glass.

To almost none.


67'-0"

67'-0"

67'-0"

67'-0"

Differentiated Plan - Animating the serial condition

Richardson Base Plan, 10 rooms, a corridor and 2 day rooms

8 rooms

0"

"

72'-

72'-0

67'-0"

67'-0"

6 rooms

"

'-1

'-3

77

72

82

"

'-1

"

89'-

0"

4 rooms

2 rooms

"

112'-11 92'-0

"

92'-0" 110'-0" 110 11 0 0" 0'

Corridor eliminated

Modernist Bar

'-7"

132'-9"

133

'-5"

13

1'-

2"

118

1 Room, day rooms eliminated


Plan +28’ (Above), Plan -18’ (Below)


Ground Plan 1 administration building 2 airing court 3 public entry 4 patient entry 5 ward A - Least Disruptive Patients 6 ward B 7 ward C 8 ward D 9 ward E - Most Disruptive Patients 10 pleasure grounds 11 services building 12 kitchen

10

12

2 2 2 9

8 7

6


10

11

10

2

2

6 2

7 2 5 4

2

5

9 1 8

2 3

10


Site Model, illustrating the fantasy of co-evolution between the asylum and the city (Museum Board, Chip Board, Wood, Zcorp 3d Print)


Ward Variation Catalog

Common Space

Exam Rooms

Airing Courts

VARIES

Bed Rooms

1 BED

BRICK

DAY ROOM

CORRIDOR

BRICK

EXAM

BRICK

ON LEVEL OF CITY

BRICK

ON LEVEL OF CITY

VARIES

Richardson Buildings - Architecture consistent in all Wards

1 BED

TERRACE

BRICK

DAY ROOM

CORRIDOR

TERRACE

BRICK

EXAM

SCREEN

DAY ROOM

CORRIDOR

TERRACE

SCREEN

SCREEN

DAY ROOM

CORRIDOR

SCREEN

EXAM

GLAZING

EXAM

VARIES

Building 1 - Least “Insane” Wards

2 BEDS

TERRACE

EXAM

TERRACE

SCREEN

6 FOOT BELOW CITY

VARIES

Building 2

3 BEDS

SCREEN

12 FOOT BELOW CITY

VARIES

Building 3

4 BEDS

GLAZING

CORRIDOR

GLAZING

18 FOOT BELOW CITY

Building 4

5 BEDS

INTERIOR WALL

Building 5 - Most “Insane” Wards

COVES OFF CORRIDOR

INTERIOR WALL

EXAM

ROOF

24 FOOT BELOW CITY


From Doctors Terrace looking into 5th Airing Court (Above), Inside 5th Ward (below)


Building Sections


Building Model (Museum Board, Plexi, Zcorp 3d Print)


STOCKHOLM MOCA

A contemporary art museum with a radically differentiated and re-conďŹ gurable interior - Stockholm, Sweden


“We might suggest that a field condition would be any formal or spatial matrix capable of unifying diverse elements while respecting the identity of each.” Stan Allen Excerpt from “Object to Field” Options Studio - Spring 2012 Critic: Farshid Moussavi Project Published in Platform 5

As contemporary museums continue to be act as the crown jewel in many urban schemes, the museum as a programmatic type is increasingly important to study. What type of responsibility does the museum have to the general, non-paying public? These external pressures force an internal rethinking of the museum. Further, increases in what constitutes contemporary art has forced the museum to react, producing more diverse display spaces with greater levels of flexibility. The age of a single curatorial space, championed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum, is over. But how does one create spatial variety while at the same time maintaining flexibility? The program for this project is large. Hence, it will never be consumed in one visit and thus must provide multiple curations at a single time. This project is about shortening the experience of the museum while not reducing its overall flexibility. At this scale, a “field” is implausible because of the museums need for interconnectivity. Similarly, the object is irresponsible because of its massiveness in the park. I propose not a field nor an object, but a field-object. A Field-Object respects difference and independence yet promotes interconnectivity and institutional singularity. A Field-Object can benefit from the expectation and organization of the field while still producing the figure of the object. Positioned in a park, it is both a thoroughfare and a destination, the path and the end point.


NO Structural SCALE

System Extra Height Increases Load Carrying Capacity Subdivisions Potentials Subdivisions Potentials PRIMARY LOADING PRIMARY LOADING

Perforations Possible in areas of Low Stress

Perforations Possible in areas of Low Stress

VARIES (X/15) + 15’

(X/15) + 15’

(X/15) + 15’ X 15’

Buttressing Gables Columns Necessary at end walls

35’

X 15’

Columns Necessary at end walls

35’

Massing/Circulation Strategy

Plan Flexibility

Massing

Circulation Variety

a tower offers the least flexibility between gallieres

a block creates deep interiority

a matt offers the most flexibility

Exterior Circulation

Flexible Divisions

a “museum object” has only one entry but high connectivity among its parts

an “object-field” has little connectivity between its parts with many entries

a “field-object” has tremendous connectivity between parts and many entries

a bi-directional field acts similar to a column grid

an uni-directional field offers a field of directionality

Interior Circulation

a multi-directional field does not give user a sense of direction

Generic Organization and it Differentiated

a uni-directional field with enfilade circulation

a series of uni-directional enfilade galleries that rotate to allow for autonomous programmatic elements to be integrated into the field

Buttressing Gables

Gallery On/Off


From Field to Field-Object


Entry Level Plan 1 anti gallery 2 dream gallery 3 storage 4 entry 5 ticket ofďŹ ce 6 theater 7 dinning area 8 outdoor dinning 9 kitchen 10 time gallery 11 domestic gallery 12 nano gallery 13 administrative

18 24 24 24 1

4

2 25

20

2

21 16

6 23 23 23 23 14 14

22 11

11

12

12


Ground Level Plan 14 chapel gallery 15 white box gallery 16 library 17 artists gallery 18 book gallery 19 cafe 20 lobby 21 gathering space 22 storage 23 black box gallery 24 media gallery 25 gift shop

19

18 17 17 17

1 2 2

16 4

6

6

15 15 15

6

15 7 14 8

10

11

12

14

12

9

13


Spatial Variety Renderings


Spatial Variety Section Matrix

Large Room

Natural Light

Weight

Small Room

Sound Control

Tall Room

50' 35'

35'

35'

35'

35'

35'

85' 70'

70'

70'

70'

15'

15'

15'

15'

15'

5'

5'

5'

5'

5'

5'

15'

15'

15'

15'

15'

15'

70'

35'

35'

17'

50'

35'

50' 35'

35'

35'

85' 70'

15'

70'

35'

35'

17'

35' 85'

Large Room

70'

70'

15'

70'

15'

15'

70'

15'

5'

5'

5'

5'

5'

15'

15'

15'

15'

15'

70'

70'

50'

70'

15'

70'

35'

70'

70'

50' 35'

85'

35'

35'

85' 70'

15'

15'

70'

15'

70'

15'

5'

5'

5'

5'

15'

15'

15'

15'

35'

Natural Light 35'

35'

25'

9'

35'

35'

65' 50'

50'

50'

100' 85'

15'

Weight 35'

85'

15'

5'

5'

5'

15'

15'

15'

17'

85'

15' 35'

35'

17'

35'

50' 35'

35' 85'

70'

70'

Small Room 17'

17'

15'

15'

5'

5'

15'

15'

17'

35'

17'

17'

17'

50' 35' 85' 70' 15' 5'

35'

15'

Sound Control

35'

35'

50'

85'

35'

Tall Room 35'


Massing Model (Zcorp 3d Print, Museum Board - Above), Main Entry from North (Below)


Context Plan


Partial Section Model through Entry and into Lobby (Foam, Museum Board, Plexiglass, Object 3dPrint)


PERFORMANCE CENTER A community center for drama, music and education - Boston, Massachusetts


“Events? Events are different from programs. A program relies on repetition and habit; it can be written down and be prescriptive. In contrast, an event occurs unexpectedly. Your design may contribute to conditions for some future, unknown event to occur, but you do not “design” the event.” Bernard Tschumi Core Studio - Fall 2010 Critic: Eric Howeler Project Published in Platform 4

This project challenges the boundary that exists in ticketed venues. A performing arts center inherently creates a rift between those who can experience performance and those who cannot. A community performance center should be available for the community in its entirety. Thus, the building must become an experience of performance instead of the expression of the exclusive performance hall. The site, already a park, demands as small a footprint as possible to keep the waterfront accessible. However, when stacking such a complex set of programs, they inherently become detached and non-urban. Instead of stacking, one plate on the next, the building is organized in a “townhouse” scheme. This allows each program to establish a connection with the ground, producing multiple front doors and symbiotic interconnections. Typically, this typology is dominated by the demands of the performance hall. To transform this type into something other than the expression of the hall, I began with packing all the program into a cube with each cluster maintaining a connection to the ground. The “street” is then allowed to push into and through the building, stopping at each face of the “cube” and framing a city view. Interconnected, these “stages” each act like a public space, creating a mixing chamber for programmatic opposites that is ultimately a-typical, thus heightening the senses and becoming a performance itself. As a result of this burrowing, the original cube unravels into several recognizable fragments, creating multiple openings and a blurred interior/exterior relationship that spills both into the park and back into the building. The monument unravels into the landscape, humanizing it. It is accessible, iconic, functional, communal, contextual and didactic. It is an architecture full of statements.


Why Stack?

AND MONUMENT!

PARK!

the site is currently a lush park, a necessary void in the dense urban fabric

back of house

spreading program over the entire site would eliminate this commodity

stack to preserve social park space

stack to create a monumental center of performance

to stack would mean to disconnect the pedestrian from the street.

instead, programs are organized in a townhouse type. each program touches the ground

an exterior extension of the street links each program internally. this street turns the building in on itself, breaking down the monument into a sequence of “events.”

administration

lobby school performance

program clusters

Internal Street Brings “Functional Pairs” Together And Curates City Views

1 - curiosity Park

School

2 - anticipation

3- reward

Glamorous Entrance 4 - cycle reward

Administration


Major Circulation

Non-Performance Programs

lobby education administration performance back of house freight mechanical

back of house interior “street” park entry huge elevator “street” entry

administration

glamorous entrance

Pre Function

boh/loading

Restaurant

Back Of House

education

Viewing Deck

Kitchen

The City


Third Floor Plan - Entry to School 1 orch rehearsal 2 school 3 “stage� 4 administration 5 storage 6 music hall 7 pre function 8 dressing rooms

1 2

5 3 5

4


Fifth Floor Plan - Music Hall Entry

3

8

7

6

4


Phyical Model (Basswood and Object 3dPrint on Chipboard Site)

Site Section 1 restaurant 2 school 3 interior street 4 administration 5 music hall 6 cafe 7 black box 8 backstage drama hall 9 outdoor performance 10 gift shop

6


Structural Axonometric

Columns Circulation Cores

Mega Truss

3 1

8

5 3

2

2 6

9 4 7

10 4

Screen Frame Perforated Screen


Lobby on Main Street (Bottom), Outdoor “Stage” (Middle), Elevation looking North (Bottom)


Physical Model (Foam, Museum Board, Plexiglass - Top), Elevation Looking South (Bottom)


Night View from Park


ENDEAVOUR’S TOMB

A museum for the most complicated machine ever built - Los Angeles, California


“Architecture can only be grave or memorial.” Adolf Loos Options Studio - Fall 2011 Critic: Wes Jones Project Published in Platform 5 Collaboration with Trey Kirk

This project uses the “end of the machine age” as a means to explore death architectures. Possibly the greatest and most complicated piece of technology ever built, NASA’s STS Space Shuttles were retired in 2011. The California Science Center, an conglomeration of museum buildings next to the LA Coliseum is scheduled to receive one of the decommissioned shuttles. The studio left the exact site of the museum up for grabs. Thinking of the new museum as a tomb for the shuttle may be intuitive. However, thinking of the shuttle as a means to operate on an existing building is not. Looking into the history of death architecture reveals recurring tectonic strategies for narrating death. The vault is one of these strategies. On the California Science Center’s campus, an existing administrative building provided a barrel vault formal structure from which to operate. The existing building is a series of ten parallel bays. Structurally, these ten bays are described by 10 mutually dependent barrel vaults. The expectation inherent within the barrel vault is that each bay is parallel to the next, for structural necessity. Historically, the tomb has been a place of exclusion and protection. One would expect that any tomb would contain a sacred space that is not easily discovered or stumbled upon. Using this framework, the project became about subverting expectations to adequately honor the great machine. Using the tectonic expectation embedded in the barrel vault, placing the shuttle inside the existing building shifts and reorganizes the ten previously parallel bays in order to maintain their strict circulatory logic. Both the new roof and a path through the machine age galleries conditions the visitor to miss the entrance to the sacred shuttle viewing space. Instead, visitors move up one level and view the shuttle at eye level which denies a view of the entire object and forces a new, more human understanding of the artifact.


Site Plan of Existing Condition


Site Plan of Intervention


Formal Operations on Existing Organization Shuttle insertion remakes plan

75’ 75’

150’

Model Studies (with Trey Kirk)

Vault profiles adjust

Galleries jostle to maintain rule

Ceiling reflects the jostle


Ground Plan - Temporary Galleries

EGRESS

GIFT SHOP

DN

TEMPORARY GALLERY

TEMPORARY GALLERY INFORMATION

DN

DN

DN

EGRESS

Basement Plan - Galleries

EGRESS

SHUTTLE PIT BELOW

UP

LOADING/STORAGE DN UP ADMIN UP

UP

UP

EGRESS

SMALL THEATER STORAGE

BIG THEATER

TECH


Pulled-apart Isometric ELEVATION 60’

1’ DIAMETER ROOF PENETRATIONS

ROOF CANOPY

CALIFORNIA SCIENCE CENTER

ARCH WALLS ELEVATION 16’

ENTRANCE FROM ROSE GARDEN SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR ENTRANCE STRAIRS

ENTRANCE FROM PARKING ENTRANCE STAIRS

ELEVATION -20’ “WEDGE” SPACE MACHINE AGE GALLERIES TWIN STAIR TO TEMPORARY EXH GALLERY MACHINE AGE GALLERIES “WEDGE” SPACE

ELEVATION -30’ SHUTTLE VIEWING LEVEL WALL PENETRATIONS FROM GALLERIES

STAIRS FROM GALLERY LEVEL


Long Section

Short Section


Bird’s Eye (Top) Rose Garden Entry (Bottom)


Entry from Rose Garden


View from “hidden” space below shuttle, looking at Endeavour’s heat shield


RARE BOOKS LIBRARY

A Rare Books Library in Boston’s historic North End - Boston, Massachusetts


“The feeling that I am not being directed but can stroll at will. And it’s a kind of voyage of discovery. As an architect I have to make sure it isn’t like being in a labyrinth, however, if that’s not what I want. So I’ll reintroduce the odd bit of orientation, exceptions that prove the rule - you know the sort of thing. Direction, seduction, letting go, granting freedom.” Peter Zumthor Core Studio - Spring 2010 Critic: Danielle Etzler Project Nominated for Publication in Platform 3

My project addresses the paradox of the public building that must both provide protection for a collection of rare books while still granting freedom and access to that inventory. Intuitively, this project became a question of boundaries and movement between those boundaries. Public buildings are often filled with boundaries and constructs that make it inaccessible to the wanderer. This project opposes this typical urban situation by wrapping and transforming the ground plane into a series of ramps that engage and pull civic activity at street level up and through the project. The ramps bleed into the spaces they surround, becoming volumetric, and blurring the connection between what is sidewalk and what is programmed space. These ramps become programmed for anything (or nothing), much like the sidewalks in the North End. These ramps become a place in which dancers, lovers, fighters and wanderers can lounge or move through. Traditionally, buildings are coded in a language so we can “read” what they hold inside. Today, buildings use transparency to literally display what they have to offer the passer. This library, in an attempt to become an extension of its urban context, offers only glimpses and clues to its interior when on the ramp. In this way, the ramp acts as a zone of seduction, literally pulling and shooting pedestrians into the “building” by sparking curiosity, confusion, or desire.


Site “Tensions” - Two radically different building fronts TO PARK PARK FACE

SITE PINCH

CONDO ENTRANCE

SITE PINCH

BUILDABLE AREA

SIDE ENTRY

STREET WALL FACE

TO BUSY STREET

BUSY STREET

Form Generation Through Site Specificity stacks reading room circulation circulation surrounding and servicing reading room and stacks

urban park opens one side of the diagram

site “tensions” push on the standard organization

public space and stacks separated, penetrated by circulation and public programs

ramp to ground connections

resultant woven surface

resultant = 3 street entrances

projected primary planes

projected sheared planes

resultant diagram

Exterior Circulation Development

single surface =1 street entrance Generation Of Interior Spaces

woven exterior circulation


Site Plan

Ground Level

+21’ Bookstore

1 entry 2 theater 3 stacks 4 cafe 5 bookstore 6 reading room 7 carrels

E

+32’ Reading Room

F G

up

up

D

3

up

3

3

C

up

B

dn

7 A

dn

dn

up

dn

6 5

2

dn

up dn

4

dn up

up

dn

up dn

dn


3D Section

A

B


C

D

E


Project Evolution through Model

Section Model (Above), Model from Narrow Side (Below)


Model (Red Oak in Museum Board Site)


Model (Red Oak in Museum Board Site)


MODULAR BRICK WALL A module designed to aggregate into a ďŹ gure like object - Siteless


“First there is the close-to reading, in which one is engaged in the work’s facture and drawing, in the details of its materiality in all their sparse precision” Rosalind Krauss The Grid, The Cloud, and the Detail Core Studio - Spring 2010 Critic: Danielle Etzler Project Published in Platform 3

The intent of this investigation was to blur the surface and mass characteristics achievable in masonry construction. Creating a new concrete brick allowed for multiple yet specific surface configurations to be achieved through a systematic aggregation based on the brick’s geometric relationships. In one configuration, directionality of the brick coursing generates a dual axes relationship that allows the block surface to “split,” generating two distinct vectors. By designing two origin points, the brick’s inherent directionality creates a condition where the surfaces that split can find themselves again when the vectors intersect, thus allowing the field to complete and a figure to emerge. This system also creates a sense of enclosure, mass and volume. This project required the full scale reproduction of the concrete block. Through this material investigation, questions of scale and constructability were dealt with more precisely. The writings of Rosalind Krauss were inspiration to try and achieve multiple architectural readings of the same object at different scales. It was a goal of mine to achieve a “figure” that could essentially act as a brick itself, aggregating and creating a field condition on its own. This would allow the Krauss readings of grain, atmosphere and figure to be interpreted at multiple levels. Thusly, through the careful crafting of a single block, a very specific figure and field relationship emerges.


Brick(s)

Aggregation

3 Reading Levels

a single brick

2 points create a boundary

material scale

super brick a

2 walls

module scale

super brick b

ďŹ gure

ďŹ gure scale

From Surface to Mass


Plans


Physical Model (Zcorp 3d Print)


Physical Model (Zcorp 3d Print)


GSD PAVILION 2012

A pavilion calling for the realization of virtual space made physical - Cambridge, Massachusetts


For this first annual GSD pavilion competition for a student built project, we task you tocontemplate a temporary space for negotiation in the physical world that navigates the public/private divide. If we take the conversation off line, will we be on point?� Florian Idenburg, Project Brief Competition - Fall 2012 Critic: Martin Bechtold Collaboration with Trey Kirk & Alison Von Glinow

Architecture’s means of separation, the wall, is raised through a series of flanked columns. In deep perspective this gives the effect of absolute impermeability. As one makes a closer approach, the columnar wall begins to dis-integrate, first into unreachable slivers of depth and motion, then into a succession of shifting pockets and paths. Each column translates in parallel to form a nested sine curve for spatial variation. This composition embodies a large set of occupational typologies meant to encourage passing, shoving, breaking, budging, sliding, wiggling, turning, and hugging. We are weary of societal tendencies that encourage a choreographed mingling between private and public realms. Our stance then, on urban porosity, is not for the seamless transition from one social convention to the other, but the intermediate mechanism. In chemistry, like in government ,transitional phases are often considered the exception to more stable forms, yet we argue it is truly the space of sublimation from which we begin to understand why and how public-private conventions arise. Rather than express two programs of existence, we believe sublimation in its formal vagueness, is precisely the negative mold of both. s deliberate to use the factness of Gund Hall--its composition, dimension, and elements-- in creating a subliminal form from the barest means. Banal materials such as cardboard form tubes, dispose a rich matrix of heightened and shifting experiences . A banal screening space is framed to accommodate all who traverse the intervention. In its most pragmatic sense, the design maximizes usable projection surface, while also blocking enough light to project in the day. We are no longer interested in the move from public to private, private to public, or the fantasy of coexistence. Through conflating the relation we hope to yield an experience that is public through private, privately public.


Irreducibility

original column ďŹ eld

implied packing

calibrated

Occupational Typologies

turn

pocket

passage

buldge

Long Elevation


View from across street


Plan

Column Construction

existing column height

concrete form tubes come in 12 ft segments

3 tubes needed to achieve the desired height


Construction Diagrams

tube to tube attachment

tube to sofďŹ t attachment

tube to ground attachment


Columns frame a public space


GSD PLATFORM 4

Harvard GSD’s annual publication and exhibition of student work - Cambridge, Massachusetts


“Curation comes up when search stops working” Anonymous Professional Work - Summer/Fall 2010 Done under the supervision of Eric Howeler Collaboration with Andrew Dominitz, James Leng, Dan Borelli, David Zimmerman Stuart and Conway Pedron

Tasked with organizing and presenting the best work at the GSD each year, the Platform publication and accompanying exhibition attempt to frame current trends specific to the school. Presented with such a large amount of data, this framing operation is no small task. Organization, logic and structure played a key role from start to finish. Beginning with the publication, the project team consumed and developed a theoretical framework in which a collection of studio work, thesis projects, seminars, lectures, and exhibitions from each of the three departments could be argued. This led to the organization of the work into four categories that were best described with long standing disciplinary words (Structure, Rhetoric, Type and Situation). Next, as a way to “update” or to frame the current work, a second, more contemporary word was added to the category titles in order to complicate and expand each section (Metrics, Media, Flux, Agency). The Type category, for example, became “Type/Flux.” This enabled the design team to broaden the categories enough in order to hold the amount of content that was necessary. It also provided a productive ambiguity that frayed the edges of each category. Turning to the exhibition, the focus really shifted from printed material (drawings, renderings) to physical models. This allowed the design team to create a new and entirely unique curation of the pasts years content, avoiding the tendency of the show to become an exhibition of a book. Color played a curatorial role in both mediums, helping the reader/viewer find and locate their position in the wealth of information.


Artifact

Table of Contents


Lobby Exhibition Page (Above), Chapter Title Page (Below)


Exhibition Design Diagrams Tables weaving through columns

Individual Table

Pull Apart Axonometric Top Surface - Painted White

Fluorescent Lights

Untreated Plywood

Untreated Plywood Base

YPE

UX

Exhibition Elevations

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3'-4 1/2"

1'-1"

EXTREME URBANISM OPTION

BJARKE OPTION

SOVEN THESIS

DETROIT INTERRUPTED

ARCHITECTURE CORE IV

ARCHITECTURE CORE IV

LISBON OPTION

CEILING

CEILING

ELEV 10'-4"

ELEV 10'-4"

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Curating the Aquatic Experience: The Mediterranean Aquarium and Marine Research Center in the Albanian Riviera

This thesis proposes a Figure | Figure typology that enables two disparate environments to intertwine into one existence and experience. This new duality reconsiders spatial hierarchies established by oppositional dichotomies such as figure-ground, solid-void, object-subject; where one condition inherently always supersedes another. Informed by the program for an aquarium, space here is not conceived as the residual background trace of the relationships between objects, but as an experience in reciprocity with the environment of water and marine life.

The studio explored the condition of extreme urbanism in the form of social, cultural, and economic disparities and how these manifest themselves in the urban form. Social interactions, public space, and the broader issue of how architecture and urban design can facilitate the dissipation of polarities that exist in the urban landscape were the central themes of the studio.

Extreme Urbanism

RioStudio aimed to combine the creative experimentation of designers with the hard-nosed logic of business to evolve practical ideas that are socially, environmentally, and economically profitable.

RioStudio

Focusing on the problems and potentials of Rio de Janeiro, the studio generated ideas for how the imminent investments for the 2014 World Cup and the subsequent 2016 Olympic Games can be placed to catalyze long term improvements for the large local population, rather than merely servicing the temporary needs of tourists and the world press.

Situated in Mumbai, the studio offered students the potential to engage with questions of housing, notions of public space and its correlation with specific local cultures, landscapes and ecology, as well as urban design questions at the city scale. Questions of real estate dynamics, climate change, and environmentalism in general drove concerns throughout the studio. In addition, the studio emphasized models and processes of implementation, forms of social engagement, and the challenges for advocacy at large—these were critical questions in the formulations for proposition for the site.

In mathematical terms, space does not exist. There are forms and objects, but space does not exist as an entity on its own. In contemporary architecture, the fascination with surface and its meanings, readings, image, and visual affect, have killed the idea of space. Figure | Figure is about inhabiting form as space(s). This reciprocity between water and human space reconsiders the relationship between the body, water, and architecture. The paradigm of two congruent Figure | Figure continuums that do not mix is explored through the study of Triply Periodic Minimal Surfaces and Parametric Variants. Minimal Surfaces demarcate the two reciprocities and provide the structural and programmatic logic for the project. The transparency of the demarcation enables an immersive experience of water and marine life; multiple materialities, suspended gravity, layered transparencies, flows, views, and temporalities. The mediums of water and space articulate and envelop each other, contributing to the production of a new cultural, educational, and phenomenological experience.

If we as designers are truly committed to addressing social issues, we need to design business models that improve the living conditions of the poor as a byproduct of profitable processes. We need to design ecosystems—systems of both economy and ecology—that operate like urban perpetual motion engines, independent of charity and state subsidies, triggered by private and public investment.

This studio was an advanced introduction to urbanism in Indian cities. Drawing on Mumbai’s specific urban development experience from the past two decades, students considered how large-scale planning intervention could promote a plurality of visions for the city and how architects, planners, urban designers, and landscape architects can reconcile sharp dualities in city form. Furthermore, the studio explored how ecologically sensitive design can play a role in shifting the paradigms of urbanism for cities.

The Liminal Space of Emplacement: Redefining Durability in the City-Camp Paradigm

3'-5 1/4"

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RHETORIC/MEDIA

LANDSCAPE CORE I

4'

The traumatic process of displacement carves a spatio-temporal placelessness that prompts investigation into architecture’s agency in providing reconciliation through normalcy and lived experience. Yet, the UNHCR continues to regard settlement in refugee camps as the interim between displacement and resettlement, rather than conditions of real duration that may require such considerations for the potential role of emplacement. In looking at repatriation trends, it becomes more relevant to approach, not within the framework of disaster relief, but as population migrations. What happens when you consider that these camps become cities, and what are the long-term implications of these constructs in the evolution of refugee communities? Currently, with minimal initial planning for expected growth, the camps develop as un-densified and spontaneous sprawl, void of the potential for maturing as an active urban organization with charged spaces for interaction, and essentially lingering in a state of temporal suspension both politically and spatially. Accepting that the camp scenario is not ideal, that integration into existing urban developments is preferred, I would argue that the UNHCR’s limited definition of durability to include only repatriation is detrimental to the development of camps in the face of more realistic camp timelines, and should be broadened in scope to consider processes of placemaking that will facilitate a transition to future growth. Given the global scale of existing camp landscapes, this project accepts the camp as its given site and proposes a system of interventions to facilitate emplacement in the midst of indeterminate duration.

With the global attention and massive investment for the two upcoming mega events fueled by the roaring Brazilian economy, Rio is at a strategic moment to seize the situation and envision a millennium upgrade of its urban infrastructure. What if we could come up with ideas where profitable real estate development and improved living conditions for the favelas might be two sides of the same coin? What if the temporary swell in hotel capacity for the games would trigger better living conditions in the long term? With the creation of Brasilia, Brazil has previously proven its capacity to pursue big ideas for order and progress. But rather than a tabula rasa where pure principles are projected on a clean canvas, this studio proposed an evolutionary model that interprets and intervenes in the existing conditions of Rio’s urban landscape to breed new hybrids between the interests of investors and the interests of the people.

The necessity of emplacement for these camps, now “humanitarian bubbles, non-places…which could be everywhere and which are nowhere,” is severely disrupted by the UNHCR focus on refugee aid as a shortsighted process of categorization and standardization, neglecting individual narrative in the name of disaster relief and further radicalizing this suspended state. Within the discourse of post-traumatic rehabili

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URBAN SOCIAL DESIGN OPTION

NERVOUS LANDSCAPES THESIS

SIMON ALLFORD OPTION

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ETIEN THESIS

GREG TRAN THESIS

HIROSHI JACOBS THESIS

ARCHITECTURE CORE I

ARCHITECTURE CORE I

PERFORMATIVE WOOD OPTION

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C DENSE STRUCTURE/ STRESSED STRUCTURES OPTION

A URBAN PLANNING CORE I + II

LEERS OPTION

LANDSCAPE CORE III

LANDSCAPE CORE III

mark and marcela thesis

PERIURBAN DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA OPTION

CEILING

RHETORIC/MEDIA RHETORIC/MEDIA

ELEV 10'-4" The popular revolutions known as the Arab Spring, at the beginning of 2011 demonstrated the power of MEDIA to organize people into a political force capable of toppling established regimes. Despite state attempts at censorship, the spread of demonstrations across the region, facilitated by social media systems, attests to the resiliency of informal communications networks. Information technologies and MEDIA shape every aspect of modern life, from how we work and communicate, to how we define our identities. As such, media has become a legitimate area of design exploration and ambition. As designers, we use new tools to manage information, new techniques to enhance implementation, and new means of material integration to embed information in designed artifacts. Using media as material has expanded the disciplinary tools for designing material space and atmospheric environments. Additionally, the design of representation disseminated through global media gains increasing importance within the domain of Architects, Landscape Architects, and Urban Planners. As attention shifts to how design as media communicates, the question of RHETORIC emerges as a critical issue. Rhetoric is the art of persuasion; the building of an argument. Within the discourses of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning, rhetorical attitudes are employed to build arguments and establish conceptual context. The design process, like a legal case, is assembled and presented as a highly rhetorical activity. In the age of spam and spin, of unsolicited commercial speech and persuasive political speech, both what and how we communicate are essential to design practices where aspects of RHETORIC and MEDIA are leveraged to exploit the possibilities of new formats and interfaces. Gregory Tran’s thesis project, Mediating Mediums: The Digital 3D, looked at new graphic interfaces as both techniques for, and objects of design. The Architecture Core II studio coordinated by Ingeborg Rocker positioned design work within architectural discourse by making explicit design methodologies vis a vis canonical texts. Neil Denari’s option studio, Formagraphics, investigated the potential of techniques from graphic and industrial design to inform the creation of new urban artifacts.

Landscape Architecture I

This studio course introduced students to the fundamental elements of landscape architectural design at the scale of the public garden in an urban context. As the first of a four-term sequence of design studios, the course aimed to help students develop spatial literacy, critical design thinking, and skills in the representation of landscape architecture. The studio introduced and explored various issues of perennial concern to landscape design through a typological reading of and intervention in canonical projects from the history of the urban public landscape. Topics included the examination of promenade and path, permeability and pavement, ground cover and texture, spatial enclosure and bound, threshold and limit, topographic complexity and sectional variation, horizontal envelopment and canopy, prospect and refuge, among others. Using a range of two- and three-dimensional media, both analog and digital, members of the studio worked with orthographic, axonometric, and perspective projection drawings as well as physical modelling. Throughout the semester, students were exposed to and expected to develop an iterative work process, an understanding of the stages of the landscape design process, a critical engagement with contemporary landscape architecture practice, an awareness of the complex ecological and social forces that constitute and affect urban landscapes, the ability to translate ideas into spatial form, visual and verbal presentation skills, and a culture of peer review. The studio examined the imponderable gaps between site, representation, and built work, in the context of landscape design. Emphasis was placed on the status and role of representation and the studio as a performative venue for the production of landscape design.

Dense Structure/Stressed Structures

The city of Madrid is undergoing today one of its most important urban and infrastructural challenges; the burying of the M-30 ring highway has recovered the river Manzanares for the city and has created a linear park 7 kilometers long, connecting the historic center, where the Royal Palace, the Cathedral and the Opera House are located, with the west developments of the city integrating urban, landscape, and infrastructural environments. The park is now under construction and needs to be complemented with facilities located at specific sites that will activate the area in different ways. Students worked in this energizing context developing an Institute for Innovation in Infrastructure at the riverbank. Concrete was the base material to build with. Students developed an understanding of its essence to manipulate it freely, from its liquid informal condition to its formalization into final prefabricated products. Clear structural systems were designed working with these two opposite natures: from dense structures to stressed structures. Students developed their projects in this real situation with freedom while also trying to attach to this manifesto: 1. Work with your hands, experience. Control the process better than the result. 2. Look for the origin of the processes, the raw materials, try to know the essence of the elements and construction systems. And this scientific understanding will enable an extreme freedom to operate outside the preconceived processes. Use industry at the service of architecture but not vice versa. 3. Conceive the space, design the construction accurately, play with the scale of the building elements to affect the scale of space; and the final form will be simply the result of following a clear strategy. 4. Move easily in the contradiction. And do not trust appearances. Heavy elements can build light and transparent spaces. 5. Do not ignore history, study and reread it. But use current technology and face actual problems in a contemporary way. 6. Structure is architecture, which is not only entrusted with the important task of dealing with gravity, but also traces the space, frames the landscape, orders the program, expresses; and so, defines architecture. Without dressings or disguise, with constructive honesty. 7. And above all, do. And if you make mistakes, learn. The perseverance in doing will keep you alive.

Urban Social Design

Cities The city is a complex organism composed of a multitude of interwoven layers, links and interactions between all the elements that it comprises. The increased sophistication of an urban environment multiplies exponentially the number of synergies and the likelihood of contact between all elements, creating healthier and creative urban environments. By contrast, the impoverishment of urban complexity quickly results in an approximation to the limit of viability of the whole system. This concept is applicable to, and affects all strata that form the urban tissue: economy, social cohesion, mobility, culture... Public space Public space is the part of the city where most links and intersections take place, being responsible for the majority of interactions and random phenomena. A public space should be a medium open to the public, a meeting place, for everyone, in which the participation of each individual who occupies it, would define it and characterize it. Its development and maintenance are part of an ongoing search for a fairer and more pleasant social life, with a responsibility shared by all. It also involves the ability of citizens to influence decisions regarding public affairs of their interest. When public participation is on track, it contributes positively to the development of policies, programs and projects, both public and private. In addition, it strengthens and enhances the social heritage and democratic life. Public space's design is responsible for enhancing or impeding its development. Contemporary public space Today, Internet is the "space" where the most successful models of collective creation and self-organization are undoubtedly being tested. The Network has boosted social identities and collective interests of the people, turning them into a force with considerable influence in urban areas. Internet is the most democratic space, the platform where every citizen can express himself freely and horizontally, the space where ideas flow in every direction. By contrast, urban space is increasingly more controlled and restrictive by excessive rules, becoming progressively less spontaneous and creative. Internet allows and promotes the interaction between people, while the design of many physical spaces cancels it. Urban centers of contemporary cities tend to become homogenized, subtracting character and identity of the city and eliminating the possibility to have unique experiences linked to them. Meanwhile, on the web, all kind of emerging and innovative dynamics of interaction and exchange happen. The network, as a piece of infrastructure, allows these kind of initiatives to multiply, a process that was unviable before. Can a physical space emulate the conditions that foster the exchange and interaction that occur among users of the web? Urban design Over decades cities have been conceived and mainly built from a physical point of view (infrastructure, buildings, technologies, materials, geometry...), completely forgetting about the citizens. In each of these areas the dominant perspective has tended to see or understand the processes as if they were completed or isolated situations, with no relationship between them. Also from this kind of perception the values, and the social dimension have been expelled. This dominant perception has led us to end up believing that reality and processes are constituted by definitive and closed situations, rather than processes, relationships, patterns, and significant networks. How can we - using design, participation, regeneration and communication improve/enhance/multiply/ promote the interaction, creativity and auto organization dynamics between people? How can we create the conditions for citizens to play an active role in the creation of cities and decision making processes?

FLOOR ELEV 0'-0"

ELEVATION 1B - LIBRARY SCALE 1" = 1'-0"

Nervous Landscapes

“Sharpen your organs as you would sharpen a blade.” This statement, originally from Deleuze, is both a call to action, a plea, and an explanation. Developments in the fields of cognitive science, neuroscience, and biology require us to question the Cartesian legacy that splits mind from life in the world. We can no longer understand ourselves to be isolated bodies controlled by a mind that is separate from and judges an independent environment. The mind, body, and environment form an inseparable and recursive entity.

London: A Particular Proposition

This studio looked at London, a city where design ingenuity has been nurtured by the unpromising parameters of layered historic regulation, international trade, and extraordinarily high land values. London was a starting point for testing the more general proposition that design intelligence and wit should be better utilized to accommodate ideas of need and raise ambitions to the point where commerce values delight. A visit to London engaged the studio in conversations with the actual producers (commissioners) and directors (designers) currently remaking large urban tracts, and encouraged students to consider how their visions are informed by different understandings of the city’s past, present, and future potentials.

There is no thinking that is independent of the feedback mechanism linking sensory input, body chemistry, the body map, and neural activity. The experience of our environment is mediated by our brain-body chemistry (body states) at the same time that our environment influences our nervous system. Environment and experience co-produce each other. What if landscape architecture could consciously embody, employ, and reveal this recursive condition?

The site was Shoreditch, a dynamic district located on the edge of the financial City of London yet creatively engaged with the entrepreneurial City of Westminster, where the twenty-first century opportunity is not to clear away, but to recycle, renew, and overlay.

This project, Nervous Landscapes, is primarily interested in the mechanics of experience and the subjectivity of perception. The world is not given to us objectively and fully formed—we actively construct it. We construct it by valuing certain things over others in our perceptive system. We notice some things and not others.

Here the studio researched the “city sandwich,” a project of the immediate future that responds to the programmatic, financial, and civic need for a new urban architecture, one that reorganizes the essential requirements for working, living, and playing and consequently rethinks the structure of the urban theatre.

In this sense, perception is the foundation of ecology. What we place a value on we let into our lives and care for. Think of the desert and the language describing the desert. Barren. Desolate. Empty. This language was written by early pioneers who were homesick for wet landscapes, and this language came back and wrote policy and structured cultural values, all based on a subjective way of seeing.

The proposition was that a better understanding of the tension between site, opportunity, and market helps describe critical design processes that rethink and reinvent architectural models and types. The challenge was to think and act as both producer and director. The project was the exploration of what these reconstructed models and types might be.

Gilles Clement speaks of the third landscape—neither wilderness nor designed space. He says it is here that our future, our biodiversity, our imagination lies. My neighbor calls it a vacant lot but it is far from vacant. Think of all the different plant species and insects. Think of the discarded objects—beer bottles, broken toys, old coke cans. Robert Rauschenberg once said he felt sorry for people who thought discarded coke cans were ugly. And that’s the great thing about our perceptive ecology being subjective—we can change it. We can adopt new ways of being in the world. New ways of seeing the terrain we occupy in our daily lives. We are evolutionarily constructed on the scaffolds of the rhythms and changes in our environment. We survived by being able to predict and detect change. Our culture is becoming more and more divorced from these rhythms and defined by rapid change, and we are losing our ability to occupy these other, longer, slower landscape temporalities. But we can learn, we can train ourselves, to become sensitive to these more subtle gradients. Nervous Landscapes is an immersive environment based on the historical model of a hortus conclusus, and seeks to highlight the delicate interplay of mind, body, and environment by compressing and revealing the exchanges and rhythms that exist in human-landscape relationships. It is in a sense a machine for viewing—an observatory for what goes on over time. The project is not interested in a kind of broad utopic theory or approach. It is, rather, focused on pursuing a kind of individual utopia—a potential inherent in each individual’s relation to the surrounding world.

Minimum Structure: Musmeci and the Semiotics of Statics

My thesis examines the apex and subsequent dismantling of the theory emblematized by the Bridge on the Basento, conceived in 1967 by the Italian architect and engineer Sergio Musmeci (1926-1981). Trained under the auspices of Pier Luigi Nervi and Riccardo Morandi, Musmeci developed his own iconoclastic vision of structural design around the idea of “minimum structure.” This approach resonated strongly with contemporaneous investigations of structure in linguistics and semiotics, and thus can be lucidly explicated through the lens of structuralist thought. Much as semioticians of the time saw the meaning of words and signs as produced by the network of relations which bound them together, and not as emanating from their individual, assigned references to a world beyond them, Musmeci located physical structure in spatial and formal configurations that transcended both the matter from which the structure was built and the context of its implementation. Strikingly exemplified by the Bridge on the Basento, his emphasis on the static condition of structure—a fixed instance of geometric points removed from the vagaries of time and outside influences—especially harbors ideas of synchronicity analogous to those found in the structuralist linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure. Musmeci’s bridge and its theory prized form instead of substance, relations rather than objects, skeletal universals in place of local differences, and the autonomy of the system over external factors. The second section of the thesis turns to Musmeci’s work following the 1976 Friuli earthquake, which arguably prompted him to unravel this theory and rethink the rapport between his ideas and creations. Here, I uncover the impact of this catastrophic event on Musmeci’s science of statics as well as the implications of Jacques Derrida’s and Umberto Eco’s post-structuralism for Musmeci’s understanding of structure. Marked by the impossibility of locating an ultimate, stable base upon which even the concept of structure could rely, questions of form and spatial organization progressively gave way to questions of force and non-grounding. While Musmeci’s projects after 1976 continued to explore his longstanding interest in the idea of absence playing a key role in structure, they also emanated a new uncertainty and intricacy. He wrestled with how to adapt his theory of minimum structure precisely as it was proving increasingly untenable, and in doing so produced a series of works that both echo and undermine it. The story of Musmeci’s last projects helps us to better clarify his evolving matrix of ideas regarding minimum structure, and paradoxically compounds its richness by revealing its limits. In order to illustrate how the complex evolution of ideas broached by Musmeci’s work can have consequences for architectural thinking, I conclude with a short design exercise that develops three-dimensional iterations of an elevation he drew for a hypothetical bridge. The resulting designs demonstrate how conceptual issues of solid and void, mass and surface, inside and outside, hierarchy, absence, directionality, and inversion can propel design explorations. Although this thesis revisits a closed chapter in the history of cultural and intellectual production, I have also tried to demonstrate how the network of questions raised during this period can enable and inspire vital new terrains of inquiry which are equally relevant to problems in the sciences, humanities, and design.

Mediating Mediums: The Digital 3d

The visual and material arts work within the realm of a few defined categories...in a conventional sense, the first objects ever created by humans fall into the first, which is the material 3D. These are things like tools, weapons, eventually sculpture and architecture. At some point writing and cave paintings were invented and began to form the second category of the material 2D and things like photography and the moving image engendered the digital 2D. People assume we have digital 3D already but that doesn’t seem to be the case. When you rotate your model on a screen or watch a Pixar animation it’s actually just a digital 2D representation of material 3D. What people are calling 3D TV and 3D Movies are just a form of shallow depth or Bas Relief. As it escapes the screen to become digital 3D it enters into the realm of architecture and ceases to function merely as representation. This concept expands on and encompasses “augmented reality,” and describes visual and operative conditions that can function spatially within a site-specific context. The visual category allows for things like material overlay, perceptual barriers, building transparencies, and the creation of artificial spatial depth. These can be viewed by one or more groups, depending on the designer’s intent. The operative condition allows invisible spatial barriers to turn functionalities on and off and also have awareness of your spatial location, identity, and preferences. A wireless network is a perfect example of this type of barrier, and if we turn that weak boundary into a more spatial one, it can be tied to material walls and work as a part of the building itself. The operative can also act as a social organizer and affect the physical space through user efficiencies based on time and occupancy. The ideal condition is an architecture that is designed simultaneously with the digital; projects that consider both material and digital realities from conception to finish and allow architects continued effect and commission throughout the lifespan of a building. With this new agency, architects are able to update and maintain the digital and can reauthenticate digital spatial paradigms as the audience changes. The digital 3D has the potential to alter perception and action, but it is fundamentally unable to replicate material effects like shelter, texture, touch, and heightened privacy. The new medium, it is not meant to supersede material architecture and would be unable to if it tried. The tools simply provide new potentials for architects and create a site-specific condition that can empower and give agency to the profession at-large.

Indeterminate Systems: Re-factoring the Design of Topologically Unstable Patterns within Associative Modeling Environments

Renewed interest in the problem of patterning within architecture in the last decade has been facilitated by new methods of digital production. However, given the complexity of and knowledge necessary for computational pattern generation, this shift has been limited to relatively few computer-savvy designers. The introduction of visual scripting tools has helped to expand the user base of pattern generation tools to some extent, but more can be done to make digitally assisted intuitive pattern-making accessible to a larger number of designers, as well as introduce real-world constraints into pattern definitions. This project is seen as a statement towards the integration of systems thinking and creative sketching within architecture, and it suggests an interactive software framework for accomplishing this goal. Most of the research for this project was accomplished through the creation of an experimental patterning tool as a plugin for Revit. The main goal of the patterning tool was to provide an interface for sketch-like pattern generation within an associative modeling environment. A key challenge for the plugin was the difficulty of combining topological variation, and the inherent problem of temporal destructibility of its elements (vertices, edges, faces), with a resilient stack of geometric pattern modifiers. In other words, it is difficult to make modifications to specific vertices, edges, or faces and ensure that these modifications remain after the pattern changes, because those specific elements may no longer exist. Because explicit references between pattern elements and modifier controls would not have the desired persistent quality, it was necessary to make non-explicit associations. To accomplish this, the topological data-structure was disassociated from the modification structure. Two discrete systems were introduced, one to discretize the pattern into topological elements, and another to modify those elements. The discretization of the pattern uses the half-edge data structure to define its topological elements, and modification of elements is defined by a secondary grid structure in the form of a bitmap image that influences all topological elements based on proximity. The rules for how elements are influenced vary by modifier. The plugin was successful in achieving fast, easy, and interactive generation of topologically variable patterns by novice users; integration of contextual building data into the pattern generation; integration of construction and fabrication constraints into the pattern generation; and a robust patterning tool for Revit, which is currently very restricted in this area.

Architecture I

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In this studio, architectural conventions and typologies were taught by means of anomalies: extreme or exceptional conditions of space and form that elicit a heightened awareness of the norms that are customarily taken for granted. The aim was to bring architecture to heightened consciousness, and to confront it at a deeply conceptual level while learning the fundamental tools of the architect’s craft. The four projects were each conceived of as conundrums, seemingly impossible or paradoxical problems that demanded ingenuity and inventiveness. Project 1: The Hidden Room. This project involved designing a group of five rooms, one of which appeared hidden from the other four. The program required providing a means of access to the hidden room while controlling the degree to which the room was vulnerable to disclosure. Project 2: Elevator Intervention. This project asked students to insert the continuously extruded circulatory device in a building composed of remarkably interlocked volumes, passages, and staircases. Though the context could accommodate the extruded spatial element, the student was required to reconcile the conflict that necessarily ensued. Project 3: Lodged House. The goal was to design a flexible space, capable of serving either domestic, work, study, or other private uses, in a new house to be located in a space between two existing, nearly identical houses. A problem to be solved was the likelihood that the proposal would create difficulties for the adjacent buildings, blocking several windows and making some rooms unusable. Project 4: Lock Building. The project was about movement in time and space, actualized mechanically. The program was a building, parts of which were connected to and moved with the gate of a boat lock. The building was required to enable continuous pedestrian passage across the lock when the gate was shut, and nautical passage through the lock when the gate was open. The project was about the development of two crossing, mutually disruptive paths.

Performative Wood: Integral Design Computation and Materialization

Today, thanks in part to the new theories of self-organization that have revealed the potential complexity of behaviour of even the humbler forms of matter-energy, we are beginning to recover a certain philosophical respect for the inherent morphogenetic potential of all materials. And we may now be in a position to think about the origin of form and structure, not as something imposed from the outside on an inert matter, not as a hierarchical command from above as in an assembly line, but as something that may come from within the materials, a form that we tease out of those materials as we allow them to have their say in the structures we create. Manuel De Landa In recent years architecture has experienced an unprecedented increase of technological possibilities for advancing architectural design. However, the complex geometry, elaborate forms and articulated surfaces of contemporary architecture should not distract from the fact that the impact of information-technology has left some profound aspects of design largely unchallenged. Architecture as a material practice is still predominantly based on design approaches that are characterised by a hierarchical relationship that prioritises the generation of geometric information over its subsequent materialisation. Thus the material's innate characteristics and inherent capacities remain largely unexplored. This is particularly evident in the way wood constructions are designed today. In comparison to most construction materials that are industrially produced and thus relatively homogeneous and isotropic, wood is profoundly different in that it is a naturally grown biological tissue. Due to its highly differentiated material makeup and fibrous structure wood is anisotropic, featuring different material behaviour and characteristics relative to the fibre direction. Thus wood can be conceived of as a natural, high performance composite material that is extremely energy efficient, fully recyclable and naturally renewable. However, over the last 150 years, due to industrialisation and the related aim for standardised building products, the advantages of the inherent heterogeneity and differentiated material make-up of wood have become increasingly neglected. In addition, the primacy of representational design techniques in most CAD applications has made it difficult for architects to integrate material characteristics in a specific manner. This studio will investigate how the transition from currently predominant modes of representational Computer Aided Design (CAD) to algorithmic Computational Design allows for a significant change in employing the computer's capacity to instrumentalize wood's complex behavior. In this regard, one of the key differences lies in the fact that CAD internalizes the coexistence of form and information, whereas Computational Design externalizes the relation between procedural formation, driving information, ensuing form and resulting performance, and thus allows for the systematic integration of material characteristics and properties in the design process. In this way the complex behavior of wood resulting from its differentiated material makeup and anatomical structure can become a generative design driver. This enables an understanding of form, material, structure and environment not as separate elements, but rather as complex, co-evolving, reciprocal interrelations that can be embedded in and explored through integral computational design processes. The aim of the studio is to explore such an alternative, morphogenetic approach to architecture, which unfolds specific material gestalt and related performative capacities without differentiating between processes of computational form generation and physical materialisation.

Urban Planning Core

Urban Planning I The first semester core studio of the Master in Urban Planning program introduces students to the fundamental knowledge and technical skills used by urban planners to create, research, analyze, and implement plans and projects for the built environment. The studio operated in conjunction with GSD 3329: Core Urban Planning Workshop, which introduced students to spatial analysis through GIS; visual representation techniques; projections and forecasts in plan-making, including how demographic, economic, and market forecasts inform land use and infrastructure needs assessments; how alternative land use scenarios are constructed, including approaches to allocating land use, estimating carrying capacity, and build-out analyses; and evaluation of land use impacts through fiscal, economic, social, environmental, and transportation frameworks. Urban Planning II The second semester core studio builds on the concepts and methods of urban planning introduced during the first semester studio, when each student began to approach and think about urban circumstances and planning interventions. Of course, students learned that planners can, and must, approach problems in many different ways, because there are many different kinds of problems that an urban planner confronts. Being aware of the idea that there is a single or overarching “planning method,” beyond a sensibility that prioritizes the common good as it may apply to a particular scale of problem or a social milieu, is important. Still, at the heart of most urban planning problems are issues pertaining to space and place: how to allocate and distribute space equitably; how to protect the qualities of existing places or guide their change; how to establish criteria for the intensity and character of use; how to use space more wisely relative to environmental and human resources; how to facilitate social interaction and propinquity; how to transport people and goods within and between places; how to fund the creation, renewal, or expansion of places; and how to make places useful, enjoyable, easy to negotiate, and beautiful for those who live, use or visit them. For “place” one can substitute a street, a block, a square, a residential precinct, a park, a neighborhood, a development district, a “downtown,” an entire town, or a metropolitan region. The studio was based on the conception of planning as a physically centered profession, dedicated to the organization and shaping of places for human occupation. Through the work, the semester emphasized an awareness of urban environments as complex physical organisms that in whole and in innumerable parts are subject to analysis, programmatic decision-making, plan formulating, and design interventions. Students did not ignore the fact that the places we inhabit are products of complicated social, cultural, historical, economic, and political processes. The city, indeed any human settlement, represents the physical embodiment of all those processes. The studio focused on several of the roles that urban planners play in relationship to such processes in the creation of urban place.

Beyond Paris: The Palaiseau Campus at Paris Saclay

Introduction Research on strategies for new campuses in the Paris region continues in this third studio on the subject. The growth of metropolitan Paris beyond its present political and physical boundaries remains a national priority, and the expansion of the university system to achieve international competitiveness is seen as an important stimulus for that development. Last year we explored the proposal for the University of Paris Sud XI science campus in the Moulon area of the Saclay plateau to the southwest of the city. Building on analyses of the region and morphologies of campus and open space in that studio, this semester we will turn to another site on the plateau- the area west of the Ecole Polytechnique. This sector will be developed as "a campus of campuses" for several post graduate "grandes ecoles" and research institutes together with research based companies in related sciences, student housing, and retail services. The landscape and urban design framework of the team of Michel Desvignes working on the site will be our point of departure for consideration of the campus district as well as the architectural development of a campus center building. Pedagogic Goals and Methodology The tradition of the "quartier universitaire," (an entire quarter of the city permeated with university buildings) remains a compelling ideal in France. Attempts in the 1960's and 70's to create new campuses on the outskirts of the city in the American tradition have met with mixed success. While the ideal of a pastoral campus with library and academic buildings gathered around a leafy quadrangle is frequently evoked, the reality of current planning for the next wave of university expansion focuses on providing much needed research office and workspace and threatens to result in developments more like office parks than communities of living and learning. It is in this context that we will explore the urban design and architectural strategies capable of redefining a culturally viable notion of campus on the periphery. As in previous studios, Prof. Antoine Picon will provide background on the growth of the Paris metropolitan area and the various systems of higher education. The studio will include a component of individual research in parallel with the design project.

Landscape Architecture III

Addressing the inertia of urban planning and the overexertion of civil engineering in the twentieth century, this third semester core studio focused on the design of large, complex, contaminated brownfield sites with a regional, ecological, and infrastructural outlook. Employing the agency of regional ecology and landscape infrastructure as the dominant drivers of design, the studio involved the development of biodynamic and biophysical systems that provide flexible yet directive patterns for future urbanization. Through a series of contemporary mapping methods, field measures, case studies, readings, and design investigations, the course resulted in a series of collaborative exercises leading to a large-scale design project and future scenarios. Drawing from canonical case studies on regional reclamation strategies from across the world, the studio was further enhanced by a robust, regional representation program. Focusing on the metrics of geospatial representation and remote sensing, two intensive workshops throughout the term of the studio didactically dealt with the interrelated subjects of regional cartography and site topography as operative and telescopic instruments of design across scales. Contributing to a complex, multi-layered profiling of the site as “system” and the reformulation of program as “process,” the studio established a base platform for engaging an array of complex issues related to site contamination, biophysical systems, regional ecology, land cover, urban infrastructure, and economic geography. Precluding conventional forms of urban development such as housing or retail development, the penultimate objective of the course was to explore and articulate the potential effectiveness of broader and longer range strategies, where biophysical systems prefigure as the denominator for re-envisioning public infrastructures and regional urban economies in the future.

Typological Inversions or An Alternative Modernist Urbanism

Modernist urban planning was born from two closely related concerns regarding the density and chaos of medieval cities: access to light and ease of movement. Ultimately, however, an obsession with circulation became the primary driver behind Modernist urban form, and improved light access was achieved only as a by-product of the low density and functional zoning enabled by pervasive transportation networks. But what if this had not been so? What if light access had been prioritized over movement? Today, much of the imperative behind these Modernist cities of circulation has been eliminated as digital information networks have supplanted their physical counterparts. The density and heterogeneity of the medieval city are now desired rather than condemned. And so we can imagine other possible Modernist strategies that would have addressed light access directly and used its requirements to organize the city. This thesis project is one such alternative. It reimagines the city as an inversion of its extant self; rather than a diffuse distribution of building masses separated by a network of streets, this new city is a continuous and dense urban mass from which public access to light has been periodically excavated. The rules for this kind of lighting are essentially an inversion of those celebrated by Hugh Ferriss in his Zoning Law drawings, but rather than limiting the extrusion of tall buildings, in this alternative version, light vectors define the mass surrounding urban courtyards. In order to ensure that a zone receives light, that zone must be defined within a hypothetical urban mass. Then, a period of time during which the zone will be illuminated must be identified. Annual light parameters control the northern and southern components of the light vectors, while daily light access controls the east-west axis, and the most extreme vectors combine to describe a volume that must be excavated from the urban mass in order to light the courtyard zone. In order to test and demonstrate the potential of the solar courtyard type, two instances of this inverted urbanity are proposed here. The first is a new city located in a valley at 23 degrees north latitude, and the second is an urban reclamation scheme for the heart of Paris. The first represents a relatively straightforward development of a system of solar courtyards, while the second takes on the challenge of adapting that system to the contentious surroundings of an existing city.

Peri-urban Development in China: Alternatives for the Landscape of Southeast Beijing

This planning and design studio will focus on alternative landscape/urban futures for the town of Taihu (Taihuzhen), located at the low-lying southeastern periphery of Beijing, just inside the Sixth Ring Road. The study area comprises 22 villages in a patchwork of residential clusters, ad-hoc industrial development, and agricultural lands, including wetlands and ponds used for lotus root production. Much of this area, formally designated as a "green wedge" in Beijing's Comprehensive Plan, is now undergoing rapid development and population growth. The Beijing-Tianjin High-Speed Railway traverses the site with a recently completed station at the center of the town; construction of a massive "new community", as well as a tourism / recreation-oriented townscape, have both been proposed. Studio participants will be required to reconcile competing demands and realities - social, ecological, economic, hydrologic, aesthetic, et al. -- in their visions for alternative futures. The outcomes of the studio will be twofold: broad district-level proposals, involving integrated landscape, urban, and architectural strategies within the larger Beijing Metropolitan Region; and site-specific proposals particularizing those strategies on the ground in Taihuzhen.

FARSHID OPTION

ARCHITECTURE CORE III

ARCHITECTURE CORE III

11 1/2"


Photographs (courtesy Justin Knight)


Photograph (courtesyJustin Knight)


Drew Cowdrey Portfolio June 2013  

My final GSD Portfolio.

Drew Cowdrey Portfolio June 2013  

My final GSD Portfolio.

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