David FreelandSouthern California Institute of Architecture
Conceptual Strategies for the Physical World, 1st Year Undergrad Studio
Spring 2013 w/Betty Kassis, Anna Neimark, Emily White
This studio serves to develop analytical and conceptual strategies that direct notions of spatial ordering systems and architectural form. A series of evolutionary and interrelated projects involving various media (both digital and physical) serve to guide the students toward an understanding of sophisticated notions of spatial compositions and material considerations.
Fielded Drawing, Seminar
While the introduction of the field into architecture is correlated most frequently with the early 1960’s conceptual work of Archizoom and Archigram as well as contemporaneous systems-driven Modernists, it has taken some time for a theory of the differentiated field in architecture to develop. Coalesced by Sanford Kwinter with Michael Fehrer in 1986 in the inaugural issue of Zone, this new regime of thought was a synthesis of chaos theory, non-Euclidean geometry, and complex non-linear thinking. In this context, the object was no longer understood in terms of figure and ground; it was bound up in a wider mileu of intensities, forces, and perceptions. Intuitively incorporated into most contemporary architectural production, Kwinter’s account of technology in “La Citta Nuova: Modernity and Continuity” was a significant overturning of classical and modern physiological constructs that destabilized the solidity of architecture in favor of dynamic, temporal multiplicity. Central to Kwinter’s text is a folding together of science and aesthetics to define the imminence of fields as the abstract and experiential space of the emerging digital paradigm. Moving beyond now tired continuously differentiated form, this class will investigate the graphic potential of the field.
Field Operations: Static Architectural Systems, 3rd Year Undergrad Studio
Fall 2012 w/Heather Flood, Patrick Tighe, Jenny Wu
This studio examines the impact of structure and material systems on site and building form, and the capacity to use transformation as a methodological tool to guide a rigorous approach to decision making through the design of new enlarged infrastructural node for high speed rail at Union Station in Chicago. Motivated by the rich structural and tectonic history of the train station, proposals explore relationships between structural morphology, urban movement, environmental forces, and other performative criteria. Topics focused on this semester include structural systems, performative envelopes, program and flow analysis, and the development of spatial conditions that create compelling public experience.
Evolving Media, Graduate Visualization Seminar
Woodbury Spring 2012
The drawing, as instrument of the avant garde, has been a significant transmitter of meaning in architecture, not through its faithfulness to translating a message, but in terms of the properties inherent to drawing which are deployed in support of a given ontology. Seeking the qualities inherent to computational drawing- multiplicity, systemiticity, gradation- this class reimagines the drawing in terms of visceral perception, a medium for the creation of a field of effects more atmospheric than Euclidean.
Performative Atmospheres, Thesis Prep Seminar/Studio Instructor
This seminar and studio looks critically at the how performance has become a pervasive motivation of contemporary architectural production. The shift towards performance moves away from a view of society and culture as static, constituted by a fixed set of meanings, towards one that is dynamic, understanding societal and cultural phenomenon as constantly evolving, affected by continuous temporal processes and defined by mediation and fluidity. The class focuses on the pavilion as a subject matter, investigating a spectrum of strategies through World Expos, biennales, and installations, to arrive at a new politics of architecture via performance. Whether via dramatic effect or effective building systems, students then pursue a research and design project that pursues this model.
Drift Studio, Graduate Vertical Studio
Woodbury Fall 2011
Every year Southern California experiences an average 37,300 earthquakes, or about 100 earthquakes per day. While large seismic events have catastrophic consequences leaving significant marks on the physical landscape and causing widespread damage to cities and homes, the majority of seismic activity is beyond human perception. These seismic events are part of subtle shifts between the major and minor plates of the earth's crust explained partially by drift; the tendency of the plates to move slowly in response to gravitational and centrifugal forces. Close attention to these unrelenting and continual shifts challenges the stability of architectural ground as an a priori condition for building, suggesting that ground is a complex non-uniform condition comprised of many parts. The ultimate design project for the studio, a seismic response center, is a museum-science center hybrid that creates awareness of seismic activity through exhibition as well as architectural effect.
Site Orders, Studio Coordinator
Woodbury Spring 2010/2011
This 2nd year undergraduate core studio is concerned with issues of site and the development of an awareness of orders generated by contexts external to architecture. Beyond a set of tangible forms that can be observed and measured, students investigate variability and evolutionary change through a focus on landscape, field conditions, infrastructure and the relationship between site and architecture.
Immaterial/Supermaterial, Fabrication Seminar
Woodbury Fall 2009/2010
Immaterial/Supermaterial is an inquiry into the potential material research offers to contemporary architecture, design, and fabrication. This class begins by polarizing materials research into two modes of operation: the pursuit of immaterial affect via form making techniques which inspire material innovation and materials research leading to the invention of super-strong, super-durable, or super-sustainable materials. Digital technology is the lynchpin of these pursuits, facilitating the development of complexity and computation that exceeds human ability.
Public Work(s), Urban Studio w/ David Fletcher
Woodbury Fall 2009
Public works, projects carried out by the state on behalf of the community, have recently become the focus of a renewed discussion about the role of infrastructure in the city. Beyond the imperative to stimulate the economy and create jobs, these often massive projects, such as canals, dams, dikes, pipelines, railroads, roads, and tunnels leave an indelible mark on our landscape. Conceived primarily by engineers, infrastructure has historically been designed to meet certain performance criteria, concerned primarily with the efficient functioning of a single system. This has opened up a dichotomy between the space of the engineer, a mono-programmed space of efficiency, and the space of the architect, a multi-programmed space open to continual reinvention. This studio will interrogate infrastructures mono-functionality, establishing a new set of heterogeneous performance criteria that exploits the full potential of a publics work project, making infrastructure truly 'work' for the public.
Hybrid Constructs Thesis Studio w/ Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter
Woodbury Spring 2009
Within contemporary architecture discourse, new materialities may be conceived of in two ways. First, it implicates the field of material science, the tangible exploration of material microstructures and macroscopic properties to enable the creation of new materials with specific desired properties. This scientific approach is fertile for architects interested to employ high performance materials to achieve a greater degree sustainability and range of effects in their projects. Second, it refers a conceptual way of seeing the world as different phase states of matter, liquid, gas, and solid, which are invested with material properties.
Instructive is that both these points of view have discarded the idea of material as pure, invested instead with a complex mixing of elements that is better described as an assembly then anything approaching elemental. These assemblies are strategically organized to take maximum alchemic advantage of the relationships between its component parts to produce a highly performative hybrid. Here the functionality of architecture becomes synonymous with the production of experience and atmosphere, a mechanism for organizing energies and material flows that marries program and form into the performative utterance, " I do".
As you make the transition from research to design the construct will be an evolutionary agent that translates concept into form, underscoring the necessity of the architect to demonstrate ideas through material development and simultaneously conceptualize those ideas as part of a larger set of meaningful relationships. Construct is both the continuous performative act of making and the final end product of this process. It preferences neither "process as design" nor "ends justify the means", but acknowledges design as a much more fluid exchange between process and conclusion developing a critical feedback loop from repeated iterations.
Nested Complexity, Fabrication Seminar
Woodbury Spring 2009
The development of digital technologies has fostered the creation of unprecedented complexity in architecture. With it there is an incomplete and emerging discourse struggling to acquire the critical tools to evaluate the status of complexity. In science there exists many definitions of complexity yet in architecture it is Robert Venturi's definition that still overshadows any work in this realm. This seminar will return to Venturi's text and subsequent responses and conversations to explore alternate models of complexity that go beyond referential linguistic constructs yet also avoid contemporary trends towards perfecting complicated form.
Waterscapes, Urban Studio
Woodbury Fall 2008
As the population of Los Angeles continues to grow, by an estimated 2 million people over the next 20 years, existing public infrastructures will have to adapt and realign to meet surging demand. Of particular concern is the already strained water distribution system that imports water from a variety of long distance sources to make Southern California a liveable environment. This complex "virtual watershed" is far from the landscape that defined the region just 100 years ago. In this artificial context, the crisis demands moving beyond historic strategies of conservation towards innovative and novel ways of recycling water and planning distribution.
The studio will take on this problem through an urban study of the existing virtual water infrastructure in the San Fernando Valley, an area once awash with seasonal floods. Running counter to the master planning strategies that resulted in projects like the channeling of the LA River, the studio will look to local architectural strategies by homeowners and communities that can create large scale changes in city-wide water usage. We will remap the Valley by looking at water supply, usage, future demand, and cost. Local architectural strategies will be multiplied across the Valley to create new aqua-centric neighborhoods. The subtext to this explicit goal of "waterscaping"; will be an interrogation of the existing "supergrid" that defines the Valley, both as an organizational urban strategy and it's systemic ability to absorb change.
Hybrid Organizations, Thesis Preparation Seminar
Woodbury Fall 2008
Architecture's most difficult problem is perhaps the blank page, starting with nothing. This is where we all sit at the beginning of each project. However every architect, every designer, every artist, brings to the table a set of ideas mostly foreign to the problem at hand. This point of view is a collection of experiences, images, and ideas that together define a position or approach to a given project. It is an inevitably complex genealogy that grafts together disparate elements into a complex hybrid. This class will parse, dissect, and operate on this hybrid to better understand and locate positions and hence a potential project in architecture.
Liminal Boundaries and Scripted Scenarios, Fabrication Seminar
Woodbury Spring 2008
Towards a Non-Standard Architecture, Fabricatio Seminar
Woodbury Fall 2007
Thesis Project Advisor
House & Housing, Core Studio
Woodbury Fall 2006
Site Orders, Core Studio
Woodbury Spring 2006
Brennan BuckYale University
Spring 2012, 2012
Digital Fabrication has been theorized by Greg Lynn, Mario Carpo, Bernard Cache and others as paradigmatic of both digital technology and contemporary commercial culture. This course, on the other hand, will focus on the capacity it opens up for architects to directly engage with manufacturing and construction techniques, integrating fabricated mockups and material studies into the design process and gaining greater control over the resulting construction. The seminar is centered on the collective design, production and assembly of a full-scale pavilion sited on the green in New Haven in June 2012. The project will be developed through component fabrication and assembly studies during the semester, and fabrication of the final pavilion will occur in-house and in collaboration with local manufacturers and contractors.
Fall 2011, 2012
Calculus, the underlying mathematics of digital form, is the study of differentials – relationships between multiple points on a curve or elements in space. At least a decade before calculus was employed by large numbers of architects, Robert Venturi argued for a differential understanding of the built environment and Gregory Bateson described differential relationships as the key to understanding nature. Today, architectural computation allows for the precise modulation of differentials, opening up a new extension of the digital formal project. This seminar proposes that a formalism combining the continuity of topological surfaces and the articulation of tectonics, enabled by the precise modulation of computation, might catalyze a more diverse mode of formal continuity: pattern.
Inner Worlds Seminar
Since the 18th Century, the architectural interior has been directly associated with subjectivity; an inner world bound up with psychological content - moods, sensations and affects. After the exteriorizing treatments of universal space and the banality of Junk Space, architects interested in a post-linguistic set of effects or constrained by tighter economic conditions are re-considering the potential of interior as a carefully curated alternate world.
Often left underdeveloped or unconsidered by architects, the design of the interior is peripheral to logics of construction, organization and urbanism. The seminar will seek to define a set of precise criteria for the design of interior spaces by looking at the social, political and psychological implications of the architectural interior. In addition, we will rely on the discourse of fabrication, the most contemporary set of ideas devoted (largely) to interior scale design and construction. Students will exploit the inherent complexity of material fabrication to develop full scale interior surfaces that produce specific and richly affective interior environments.
Growing Old Studio w/ Greg Lynn
On The Face Of It Seminar
Modern Architecture rendered the facade conceptually transparent, reducing it to a literal expression of the interior and incorporating it into the building as an indivisible whole. While Robert Venturi and others revived the facade as a distinct entity in the 1970s, 21st Century architects, focusing on iconography, environmental performance and their ever-diminishing scope of work, have re-directed their technological and cultural energy on the building envelope.
Alejandro Zaera-Polo and others have also made the building envelope the threshold for a tentative re-engagement with politics. This seminar will examine architecture's political effects through the facade and its three modes of expression: symbolism, affect and performance. The building facade encapsulates both performance (structural, environmental and organizational) and politics (transparency, permeability and fenestration.) It orchestrates the building's spatial relationships as well as engages with its social context. 'On the Face of It' proposes that as architects have begun to engage with hands-on information processing, a set of related sensibilities have simultaneously emerged which open up alternate modes of faciality. The dense pattern and expressed joints common to many contemporary building skins perform at multiple scales and orientations beyond front-to-back or top-to-bottom. Geometries of aggregation produce relationships between the part and the whole, the one and the many, the individual and larger social structures.
Bauhaus 4.0 Studio w/ Lise Anne Couture
The Third Arm Studio w/ Greg Lynn
Voluminous Surface Seminar
In 1972, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown proposed an architecture based on the notion of surface rather than the idea of space an understanding that had been both at the core of modern architecture for most of the 20th Century and that had remained largely unchanged since the dawn of modern thought. Surface for Venturi and Scott Brown served as a site of linguistic meaning, but as contemporary concerns have shifted toward affect rather than legibility, the understanding of surface has morphed as well.
Within recent discourse, surface has had two distinct and seemingly mutually exclusive roles. First, it is the geometric medium of topological form. This reading, indebted to mathematics and materialist science, is squeezed between the virtual and the actual, focusing on techniques of digital design and CNC fabrication. Second, surface is the site of atmosphere and affect. Grounded in the discourse of modern art, materialized surface avoids formal gymnastics but emits color, pattern, gloss, translucency and other affects to its surroundings despite its own wallpaper-thin depth.
'Voluminous Surface' proposes that the recent interest in the techniques of programming and scripting and the effects of figuration and pattern suggest a dissolving dichotomy between these two categories; surface-as-form and surface-as-material. By revisiting alternate notions of both space and surface, we will attempt to synthesize a conception of surface that accommodates spatial depth and material robustness. Our work will produce geometry through the parameters of fabrication and assembly, and orchestrate the architectural effects of interior and exterior, producing affect through form and vice versa.
Studio Lynn at the Angewandte