Design as a representation
The formulation of an architectural proposal using a representation medium isn’t just a technical choice or a business necessity for an architect, but a way of contemplating space. The different techniques aren’t simply production tools but at the same time affect the way we perceive space, time, motion, and matter. The cognitive processes set in motion during architectural design obey the restrictions of the representation tools that have been incorporated into architectural thinking.
Understanding the importance of representation codes for design isn’t without its difficulties, when the complexity and the inborn inconsistencies of the history of representation techniques are taken into consideration. However, being aware of the particularity of architectural representation is invaluable for comprehending how thought and practice have historically progressed through their bidirectional relationship with visual methods. The techniques which depict how a certain era views space have a clear cultural and ideological direction that can be seen in the architectural approaches which in turn modify these techniques. Each representation medium encompasses older aesthetic and technical quests.
The coexistence of traditional and modern technologies
Through the mixing of traditional and modern representation technologies a new visual consciousness and perception of reality has set in. Certain important aspects of the design procedure have changed due to the prevalence of the digital representation media, and gradually new systems of visual consciousness and perception of reality have been established. The digital media introduce new ways of viewing and handling space, allow for more complex morphological representations, and incorporate multiplicity, transformation, motion, change and interaction as norms rather than as exceptions.
Digital space can be divided into two big categories:
three-dimensional virtual space that adheres to the model of perspective and cinematic language
the space of interactive multimedia which has multiple layers and windows and which is built on art, typography and the moving image.
The course consists of a series of lectures and presentations and is organized in three parts. The first part deals with the theoretical approach of the contribution of representation codes to architectural design. The second part is about digital visualizations, followed by a two-day workshop of digital photo editing (2D-3D mixed media). The third part is an attempt at further examining the representation media focusing on the relationship between natural and digital environment and their impact on architectural design. The first two parts cover the first half of the semester while the other half is covered by the third part.
History and theory. An introduction.
The importance of representation codes to architectural design
Representation codes and architectural design, G. Papakonstantinou
Perception of space and rationalization of the way we look at things, G. Papakonstantinou
The revisualization of an architectural idea as a way of controlling construction, Eleni Kalafati, historian of technology, teaching at the Postgraduate courses of the Architectural School of NTUA.
Design tools and their flexibility. Evolving Architecture, how this evolution is captured so that it can be designed.
Dimitris Papalexopoulos, teaching at the School of Architecture of NTUA.
Project: An essay of 3000 words must be written. [Bibliographic review, analysis of a certain topic, selection from topics offered or free selection after coming to an agreement with the instructors.] Final date for handing in the projects is the opening date of the laboratory of part B.
Representation Technologies Architectural Visualizations
Representation Technologies, Vassilis Bourdakis
Architectural Visualizations : from historical research to contemporary design practices, Joseph Robson, AVR and University of Bath
Project: Digital photo editing/ photomontage in an urban area of the city of Volos with some interventions.
This third part is structured along 5 weeks of lectures and 2 weeks of corrections. According to the number of students who will select this course, the ratio of lectures to corrections could be altered and they could even be done at the same time.
3dimensional spatial representations, Vasilis Bourdakis
Social, interactive locative media, Vassilis Bourdakis
Interactive installations, design of an interface, Maurice Benayoun, interactive artist, teaching at the universite Paris I-St Charles.
Interactive applications using open source software (mainly through Blender)
Project: Research on and production of a representation structure. The object, process and way of handing in the project are open. The students can hand in an essay, an interactive application, a video or even conventional constructions/ designs.
Final date for handing in this project is the day of the exams.
The following add up to give the final grade of the course:
workshop of part B 20% and
final project 50%.
In order for the students to successfully complete the course, they are required to hand in all their projects which must receive a pass grade.
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