“The design of how we go about designing, and ultimately making, circumscribes what we make. It controls the art found in its quality, scope, or features and also the resources of time and money expended on its production. This reality is completely contrary to the artistic and contractual structure of much current architecture, which specifically excludes the architect from participation in the “means and methods” of making, thus turning architects into mere stylists.” Refabricating Architecture, (7)
In their 2004 book, Refabricating Architecture, Steven Kieran and James Timberlake argue that the contemporary process of causing buildings to be constructed operates in nearly the same manner as it did 150 years ago. This is in contrast, the say, to other industries, such as the automotive, which have been able to leverage changes in material and information technology to become far more efficient while enhancing both quality and features.
TOPIC: Project delivery methods in the United States today
QUESTION: What are the most common project delivery methods, who has agency over what portion of the project, what are some of the more recent advances in project delivery.
WHY: To reduce assumptions on the state of the industry; to better understand what its strengths and weaknesses are now; to understand how it fits into larger supply structures which are already in place, all so I will have a better understanding of how it can be improved, as well as an idea of how some firms are pushing the boundaries of the in-place structure.
So we know we can easily discern the hypothetical model of practice, but what we want to know is how and why does it deviate from the actual delivery model, and what really happens in the actual model? What are the real strengths and real weaknesses of the process?
How are we going to do that?
TOPIC: Contemporary manufacturing techniques in Automotive, Aerospace, Shipbuilding industries
QUESTION: What are the means, methods, and product delivery processes that these industries have employed which have resulted in increased efficiency and quality?
WHY: To begin to assess whether principles which have been applied to those industries, e.g. the componentization of automobiles, or process / industrial engineering principles that could be applied to the building industry.
What we will need is a survey of how the automotive, shipbuilding, aerospace industries have changed over time in response to advances in technology, compared to how the AEC industry has changed in the same timeframe and in response to the same technological shifts.
What are aspects of how things are done in the A,S,A industries would not lend themselves to the AEC industry? Which ones would?
TOPIC: Data collection, management, visualization, and utilization
QUESTION: How can current methods of understanding, managing and visualizing data inform the architectural design process?
WHY: To understand conceptual applications of data and information at two scales: at the scale of practice and delivery –understanding and representing a network model of practice. And second, at the resolution of a project –the ability to manage data through input and output, and how these are intrinsically connected, interrelated, and co-dependent. ‘Design Thinking in and Automated World.’
Brainstorm of potential fields “big data” exists within, and research how they can be applied to the design process:
-environmental data collected from sensors in a building?
-Anthropological data (behavior, demographic)
-Emergent behavior / evolving systems
-performance data: material performance
-Harnessing computational power for design in the service of mass customization
– are we writing scripts or are we writing algorithms?
-harnessing information Dan learns from Jeff
Perhaps there are two branches of this idea: the first is how do we use data to influence design,
The other one is how can we automate / design / process engineer systems in order to rapidly produce customized objects via Digital fabrication and rapid prototyping principles? In other words, there is an input and an output.
Input: Data to influence design
Output: digitally fabricated objects
How can you allow the fabrication process to be an equal expression of humanity or art and commodity (in other words, architecture?)