Throughout time, architects have used various art-based means to convey their conceptual ideas about space-making. These techniques have included hand-sketching, collage, materials assemblage, and physical study models, as well as technically-focused conventions such as drafting and rendering. More recently, many of these methods have undergone unprecedented change through the emergence of computational and fabrication technologies that have transformed the design process, as well as the act of making itself. In this contemporary context, graphic visualization and hand-generated physical modeling techniques must be carefully reconsidered to address their role within the prevailing framework of architectural representation. As visualization and digital fabrication have become central concerns in architectural education, the role of history in architecture curricula has become a subject of focused debate. Current discourse reflects increased criticism of the relevance and delivery of historical precedent, however emerging digital processes may be effectively re-informed by an alternative engagement with architectural history. In doing so, an increasingly digital and trans-disciplinary design process may be positioned within deeper historical, social, and cultural contexts.
This paper revisits the teaching of precedent and traditional acts of making in the undergraduate architectural design studio. The various studio projects presented here introduced students to historical precedents through art-based processes of visual representation and physical model-building. More specifically, the paper cast its lens on reinterpreting canonical buildings and classical literature through three mediums: the analytique—a scalar compilation composed of an arrangement of drawings including plan, section, site, and details; the interpretive collage, and the handmade architect’s model. The endeavors presented here attempted to redefine the role and contemporary delivery of these mediums, while simultaneously reinforcing their timeless relevance. This research postulates that history and theory can be integrated into the design studio context, and thus, more effectively taught outside of dedicated courses.
|Keywords:||Architecture, Art, Classical Literature, Film, History, Technique, Precedent, Model, Materials, Time, Space, Place, Memory|
Lecturer/Visiting Assistant Professor/Director-Curator, Department of Architectural Technology, and School of Art and Design, and Director-Curator, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA
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