Photo by Vera Nebolsina, Grandmaster
As I've alluded to before (Brunelleschi = BIM), I tend not to see digital design methods - such as Building Information Modeling or parametric design - as paradigmatic ruptures within architecture and its history. The capacity of parametric modeling as a means of reading and predicting the sea of boxes that comprises most of industrialized space may, ultimately, be more significant than its implementation in form-finding with differentiated and repeated components. (Summary of a course I taught at Columbia GSAPP about this is here)
That said, I have been working recently with Vera Nebolsina, a Chess Grandmaster here at the Akademie, on a project that has got me enthusiastic about the conceptual implications of using Grasshopper (the Rhino plug-in). We are designing an environment that could host both formal and informal chess tournaments and workshops. One of the primary goals is to enable a Grandmaster to play up to 20 people simultaneously, including both experts and a lay public.
It turns out that World Federation Chess (FIDE) standards, updated last in 1975, are written a bit like very small zoning codes. They start with the height of the king (the tallest piece), and other dimensions radiate out from there, defining the range of allowable board and table dimensions.
The goal is to build upon this highly coded spacing to make a kind of inhabitable game.
This blog started with research, theory topics, travel and architecture discoveries during my fellowship at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany. It continues, somewhat awkwardly and sporadically, with my relocation to Detroit as an Assistant Professor at University of Michigan. The blog spans architecture, urban design, planning, and tangents from these.