Design Course Does Digital The goals and aspirations of teaching a digital design process vary widely between different educational institutions, as well as between academia and the profession. In contrast to those who see computer use as a technical skill like 2D drafting, we believe that teaching an explicitly digital design process will substantially improve the students’ design abilities. The student work shown here is testament to the ability of computer visualizations to strengthen design thinking and radically alter the students’ fundamental processes. We believe that this shift will result in a substantial improvement over traditional practice.
Some in the profession chastise the schools for not teaching the more technical skills. Clients and competitive demands for efficiency and presentation graphics have pressured many architecture firms to create a skill base more dependent upon young designers than at any time in history. This is primarily because older designers are reluctant to learn new computer skills. However, to focus the debate about the computer’s role on skills versus ideas ignores the fact that computers have the potential to change the process of architectural design. Computer-aided design provides architects with a highly effective simulated 3D design environment. This is a significant shift from the two-dimensional process architects have practiced for centuries. The 3D nature of these tools invites the designer to think and act in the third dimension to a greater degree than previously imagined.
Sport City is a stag the extreme sport players, signifying a age of dynamic movements, design Elisa Lui, an architecture student at the University of California at Ben Image: Elisa Lui Sport City. Image Elisa Lui
For only Design Course Does Digital The Course At the University of California at Berkeley, we have developed a course that teaches the process of digital design as an endeavor independent of the design studio. “Process and Methods of Modeling and Presentation” has six basic educational goals: 1.To teach students to design “on screen,” as an alternative to the traditional plan and elevation process; to understand the value of a digital-based evaluation and prediction process. 2.To encourage students to design more three dimensionally, using a variety of complex, organic, and/or compound curve based shapes.
3.To encourage students to use digital design in their studio courses. 4.To teach students a comprehensive digital design process, beginning with initial massing studies and ending with high-resolution presentation drawings. 5.To expose students to the image-making opportunities of realistic rendering techniques and their role throughout design. 6.To expose students to the opportunities of graphic design via the computer and to explore presentation methodologies beyond the painterly approaches of architectural tradition. The first half of the class introduces the process of digital design, wherein students learn to design exclusively using the computer (beyond an initial site plan sketch). Design decisions are made on screen, using from-Z and Photoshop.
Sport City. Image: Elisa Lui In a student design Swatch Headquarts Wilson Au-Yeung a series of overlappir planes to represent Image: Wilson Au
These two cross-platform (PC and Macintosh) programs are widely used in professional practice. Recent advances in computer hardware and software have opened opportunities for a digital design process that does not diminish but rather enhances creativity. Course Projects Course Projects A finished design for a simple building, in a 3D digital format, is typically due at midterm. This has required that the problem by simple and that the students be free to design individually, unencumbered by the demands of a normal studio. The second half of the course studies the use of 2D computer graphics as a medium for creative expression. The goal is to explore digital presentation as a creator of meaning that goes beyond the traditional use of plan, elevation, or perspective. The 3D design model serves as the foundation.
Ray-traced rendering techniques are used to translate the design into a 2D format. Ray tracing allows the photorealistic to the poetic. Image editing software is used to study the relationships between images created from the 3D model and images that are relevant to the design but created independently of the 3D model. These images may come from a variety of sources, including photographic, historical, contextual, or text. Computer graphics offer new opportunities to express process as an element of a presentation, as well as the ability to create great depth in layered meaning, which, when done with traditional techniques, is inordinately time consuming. The final project is a 600-square-inch (4000- square-centimeter) high-resolution collage based on the 3D model produced in the first half of the class.
Swatch Headquarter Image: Wilson Au Inspired by Michae Jordan, Han Chung focuses the Monun the 20 th Century Si on professional ath road to success. Image: Han Chung
The Outcome This technique has produced significant results at many levels. Foremost has been an explosion of creative energy in the three-dimensional quality of the forms the students have studied and in the quality of their results. The majority of students in the course report that they were able to study architectural forms which they would never have attempted without the computer as the primary design tool. This technique has produced significant results at many levels. Foremost has been an explosion of creative energy in the three-dimensional quality of the forms the students have studied and in the quality of their results. The majority of students in the course report that they were able to study architectural forms which they would never have attempted without the computer as the primary design tool. In particular students explored designs which range from the “fluidity of form” found in the work of Elise Lui, to the more conceptual “supplanted topography” of Martin Schaedler. In general, all of the students are creating designs with increasing levels of detail and use of texture maps. In particular students explored designs which range from the “fluidity of form” found in the work of Elise Lui, to the more conceptual “supplanted topography” of Martin Schaedler. In general, all of the students are creating designs with increasing levels of detail and use of texture maps.
Monument of the 2 nd Century Sports. Image: Han Chung A campus center designed by UC Berkeley student M Schaedler Image: Martin Schaedler
Many of the students used from-Z to study materiality method would allow. In essence, the students have clearly learned to use the computer as a true design tool resulting in substantially better designs. Many of the students used from-Z to study materiality method would allow. In essence, the students have clearly learned to use the computer as a true design tool resulting in substantially better designs. John Marx is an architecture lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley. He is also a principal in the San Francisco firm Form 4. John Marx is an architecture lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley. He is also a principal in the San Francisco firm Form 4. Sport City Project by Elisa Lui Signifying a new age of dynamic movements, exciting advantages, and ultimate fun, the Sport City is a stage for the extreme sport players. It is the essential stop for the death-drive seeker. The form of this new stage is derived from the shape of the human heart. Twisting, bending, and overlapping, the two organic-shaped glass tubes in the center of the stage move like the rushing red blood cells in our arterioles.
It is the source of vibrant energy for the structure and the players. These seemingly light and free- flowing arterioles are in contrast with the solid, stable, ridge-shaped structures on their sides. Deriving their shapes according to the arterioles, the two structures on the sides act like the two sides of the human heart. They function not only as protector for the arterioles but are the place for performance. Here the players will execute their ultimate act and generate a new source of energy back to the arterioles, creating an endless revitalizing cycle. Like the human body, both parts of the building are essential for the function of the whole.
Swatch Headquarters Swatch Headquarters Project by Wilson Au-Yeung Project by Wilson Au-Yeung Time is an infinite matter. To express this concept in a building, a series of planes represent time. The planes overlap each other, giving a feeling of continuity. To emphasize this continuity, the design needed to create a sense of movement. The domes at the bottom act like the gears of a watch, turning the parts of the building. Being a Swatch building, bright colors were used to catch attention. Red and White, the colors of the Swiss flag, were an eye-catching combination. Time is an infinite matter. To express this concept in a building, a series of planes represent time. The planes overlap each other, giving a feeling of continuity. To emphasize this continuity, the design needed to create a sense of movement. The domes at the bottom act like the gears of a watch, turning the parts of the building. Being a Swatch building, bright colors were used to catch attention. Red and White, the colors of the Swiss flag, were an eye-catching combination.
Monument of the 20 th Century Sports Project by Han Chung This project was inspired by Michael Jordan’s retirement. As a professional basketball player, he achieved the highest accomplishment in the history of the sport. But how many people realize all the hard work he had to do to get to the top? Instead of looking at the glamorous side of professional athletes, this project focuses on the road to success. The building features one athlete at a time, exhibiting footage of his or her career, awards, behind-the-scene training, etc. The glass elevator represents the “road to the top,” It takes visitors to each floor of the exhibition tower, featuring different stages of the athlete’s career.
The destination of the tower is the sky garden, which represents the career high point. Being on top of the building and seeing the surroundings through glass evokes a feeling of accomplishment and success. A more interactive part of the building, where the featured athlete can meet the fans and answer questions, takes place in the ground glass atrium. The idea is to make visitors personally experience the athlete’s hard work and determination. A more philosophical reading of the project is to encourage people to seize the moment, carpe diem. Like these athletes, this project urges people to focus on the present, live their lives to the fullest, and work hard for what they do. Ultimately, they will enjoy the sweetness of their own success. Most of these projects were first published in the 1998-99 form-Z Joint Study Program Annual Report.
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