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EMBODIED ARCHITECTURAL OBJECTS: designing through materiality, movement, and technology

EMBODIED ARCHITECTURAL OBJECTS: Designing through Materiality, Movement, and Technology

In this project we examine the notion of making architectural objects at body scale. As designers, we’re situated in a world which urgently needs to become more conscious of material consumption. As climate change forges ahead, research into new methods of production and new philosophies of making are slowly developing. Our impulse to re-think conventions brings us to explore how merging spatial technologies with local biomaterials can create a vehicle for producing embodied and sustainable architectural objects with basketry techniques.

Elements of architecture will come into focus, surfaces we interact with on a daily basis, we will question our perception of architectural objects and how we relate with them. With machines, new materials and our own bodily capacities we will search possible future objects where “technologies ...(can) understood as always embodied technologies, and material bodies ...(can)... be understood as always technologically invested bodies”

Paludiculture refers to the cultivation of wetland plants for agricultural purposes. Each indigenous plant adapts uniquely to its environment with their own specific material characteristics. Taking Sedge (Carex) as a case study, we will integrate design methodologies with material characterization experiments drawn from the field of natural science. Our aim is to gain insights into the unique material properties of these plants and leverage them strategically in our design process.

In this context, drawing and making embodied architectural objects calls for a more flexible and resonant design approach that is free from the conventional constraints of a flat screen or a sketchbook page. Taking drawing out of the 2D plane allows us to step into our thought process, thinking more closely with movement, rhythm, gestures and crafting techniques. With spatial drawing, we will develop ways to depict our spatial and material perception and explore the moving body as a form of technology in itself. An interdisciplinary approach will be developed, keeping in touch with material constraints, chosen techniques and ideas in progress.

Can we deepen our connection with spaces and architectural objects through spatial drawing and crafting techniques? What does it mean to create together with vision machines?

As we will work with whole plants, basketry techniques will be used to imagine forms, structures and textures. For this, we will primarily use one of the oldest basket weaving techniques, the coiling technique. This allows us to implement designs developed in spatial drawing in a similar manner of movement, as well as to utilize the material properties.

Throughout the course, there will be several guided spatial drawing sessions with movement practitioners (TBA), a field trip to explore how sedge grass is harvested, discussions around material and technological culture curated and led by anthropologists Lucy Norris and Yoonha Kim, a lecture about drawing with eye-tracking technologies by Matthew Attard, and a hands-on workshop on basketry techniques with Anja Müller. Students will be expected to create a digital sketchbook of spatial drawings and basketry prototypes with sedge grass at an architectural scale.

We will work with Rhino and Grasshopper (an algorithmic modeling software) to process and create drawings throughout the semester. Prior knowledge of the software is required for the course but can also be studied in parallel through the digital drawing courses Zeichnen, Farbe, Flache IV (6th Semester) and CADCAM II (4th semester).

teaching team: Elaine Bonavia, Charlett Wenig, Nuri Kang, Anja Müller, Matthew Attard, Prof. Lucy Norris, Yoonha Kim, Lesia Lumi (tbc)


Textil- und Material-Design



Sommersemester 2024


Montag, 09:30 – 17:00

Dienstag, 09:30 – 17:00

Erster Termin