KARL WEBER :
ABOUT : My name is Karl Weber I was born in Queensland Australia and I am attending Melbourne University as a mature age student. Prior to attending University I had been living in London for several years working as a Site Engineer on various Infrastructure projects for the Olympic games. My background is in construction and I have worked in multiple trades throughout the industry, after graduating with a diploma in construction, however I have also worked in the skateboard industry off and on throughout this time. My experiences in London where the catalyst for me to return to Australia and study Architecture, I am currently in my third year of study. Outside of architecture (which has become uncommon) I enjoy spending time surfing, cycling and visiting galleries and museums.
PREVIOUS STUDIOS : For my previous studios, Earth and Water, I made a point of hand drawing my final presentations ( although I am confident in AutoCAD ), I feel being able to hand draw or sketch is still one of the most valuable tools a architect can have. However, last semester I did Virtual Environments ( photo of model opposite page ) which was an enjoyable studio, learning Rhino was a steep learning curve ( panelling tools in particular ) but I now have a basic grasp of the software. For my final design the precedent and natural process was derived from the structural design of a dragonfly wing and how it moves under different wind and turning patterns. The design outcome was a circular lantern, bottom lit, expressing the panel tabs as structural elements. However, my favorite studio so far has been Water, for this studio we had to learn the theories and principals of a master Architect, in my case it was Tadao Ando, and apply then to our own design. My design was a terraced building nestled into the landscape, taking advantage of the surrounding environmental conditions and vistas, overall it was well received and displayed in the architecture atrium. DIGITAL ARCHITECTURE : My experience with digital architecture is rather limited, I am aware that it is changing the face of architecture and I understand it’s importance within the industry. I am confident with AutoCAD and moderately confident with Rhino ( but I am hoping that will change by the end of this studio ), I look forward to exploring the possibilities of Rhino and applying them to my designs and presentations, although I still feel that a pencil is the architects most powerful tool. However, I feel that architects of today will react to digitization in a similar way to how the architects of the early 20th century reacted to industrialization, it will be a tipping point of change and innovation. I am familiar with many digital architectural projects, but one that sticks in my mind (not for its aesthetic) for it’s innovation and exploration of digital programs is Liz Diller’s proposal for the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. Using Rhino, Liz Diller and her team have designed and calculated the loads of a fluid and inflatable structure, a design which would be impossible to create and construct without the refinement and aid of digital software. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/liz_diller_a_giant_bubble_for_debate.html
ARCHITECTURAL INSPIRATION : I am inspired by many architectural projects and it is almost impossible to narrow them down to two, however the projects I have chosen to discuss are ones that I often think about during my studies. Firstly, the work of Glenn Murcutt ( top left ) I find inspiring and extremely relevant to the issues designers and planers are faced with today. By way of understanding the local environment of a proposed site his buildings can work in harmony with it, which reduces its amount of energy consumption and its environmental footprint . It is an intelligent and simplified architecture that designs out the use of outdated climate controlling methods, his architecture is regional and site sensitive, a type of vernacular Renaissance. The second building ( bottom right ) by Ă baton Architects in Spain is also a project that I find extremely inspirational, this building follows the same theories as Murcuttâ€™s work. By way of returning to the vernacular ( materials and building type ) they have created a house that is totally modern, Luxurious, self-sufficient and low impact. The occupants have to become aware of the local environment because the house needs to adapt to the changing weather patterns and seasons ( doors and windows need to be opened and closed depending on the time of day and year ). Last of all the Modernist movement is extremely influential in my thinking of design and aesthetics (painting by Le Corbusier bottom right ), Le Corbusier, Kahn, Gropius and Schindler. I love how they striped architecture back to the raw elements and their embracing of new building materials and
ICD / ITKE Research Pavilion 2011, University of Stuttgart. This project explores the architectural transfer of biological principles from the Sea Urchin, by way of computer based design and manufacture.
COMPUTER AIDED DESIGN : Throughout the history of construction and architectural design there have been several watershed moments that change the course of its path, such as the “Age of Enlightenment”, which was the catalyst for movements such as the “Baroque” and “Neoclassical” seen in the works of Borromini, Ledoux and Schinkel. Followed by the “Industrial Revolution” which introduced architects and engineers to new construction materials and methods, such as wrought Iron, Steel and reinforced concrete. Enabling new forms of construction, such as Skyscrapers, long spanning bridges and factories, seen in the works of Sullivan, Behrens and Le Corbusier. Leading to now, the 21st century with the introduction of Computer Aided Design, which is another watershed moment for the construction industry and architectural design. The introduction of computers into architectural design has greatly benefitted the design and the manufacturing processes involved in construction. The architectural design process is extremely complex and involves the input and cooperation of many professionals and trades from a variety of fields (engineers, construction management, trades and suppliers and manufactures). Computer aided design brings all these fields closer together, the architect can now work on an drawing and instantly send it to various manufactures to get feedback on cost, time of production, material usage/wastage and know that it is all done to an exact specification. Also, with the aid of digital 3D modeling architects and designers can now construct virtual models of their final design to an exact scale, allowing for engineers to calculate the exact loads and weak points acting on the structure, this allows for instant changes to be made to the design before any costly manufacturing is done. Furthermore, once a final design and material is decided upon, the file can then be sent anywhere, instantly, to the manufacturer (laser cutting, mechanical routing (opposite page), precast, etc ), and know that it will be produced to the exact specs as the file, this cuts down man hours on site and human error, all of which can delay a project dramatically.
Private House, Gramazip & Kohler, Switzerland
Archi Union, J-Office & Silk Wall, Shanghai
Published on Aug 15, 2012