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    038 - The Cooper Union

    Danny Wills Oct 4 '07 10

    So I've been neglecting these duties as blogger, but here I am to update you on school thus far.

    If you aren't caught up, here's what you missed. I have transfered from Kent State University (hence my school name at the bottom), to The Cooper Union in New York. Unfortunately, and to much factors out of my control, I have been placed into the first year of design. But so far, it looks like I'm alright with that fact.. as I am liking all of my classes. Aaaand, here they are:

    Computer Applications & Descriptive Geometry (Michael Young) - This is a pretty exciting class and may turn out to be one of my favorite. The goals of the class as described by the professor are to understand the procedural construction and operation of architectural representation, and to understand the figural poetics in the traces of projection. Put simply, it's a course in learning every aspect in drawing construction.. from orthographics to perspectives to insane operations like unfolding complex geometries.. some stuff I thought was only possible in rhino/maya. I've included the first big project from the class below..

    History of Architecture I (Georg Windeck) - I have decided to audit the architecture history courses, as I have received credit out of them. After the first lecture, I knew that this was not going to be a typical survey class.. the professor speaks of the periods and buildings as less of a fact and more of a study of concept and reasoning... and very intense discussions occur between the professor and students.

    Freehand Drawing (Mike Webb from Archigram) - Apparently this is his first time teaching freehand drawing, and sometimes it become highly obvious.. but none the less it is turning out to be a good class. At times he attempts to turn the class into another architecture studio, coming up with crazy concepts and less drawing tips. But it's Mike Webb, I think I can deal with that..

    Architectonics / Studio (Tamar Zinguer, Anthony Titus, Georg Windeck) - Studio is team taught between 3 professors, with a total of about 27 students. We're in precedent mode, spending 6 weeks studying the work of specific houses with a unique relation to the landscape.. Our assignment is to, through drawings and models, highlight these relationships and our personal interpretations. It's a little slow, at least from my transfer position, as most of the critiques are spent talking about technical aspects of how to set up the drawings/models.. but it's beginning to get very interesting. I will provide pictures soon..

    There are also some liberal arts classes and shop tech.. The shop, by the way, is apparently the biggest in all of Manhattan and houses a wood, metal, and plaster shop. It's an amazing thing to have a complete shop at your finger tips.. I'm a little new to this idea.


    Here, now is my first project/experiment in Descriptive Geometry..





    Computer Applications and Descriptive Geometry (Professor Michael Young)
    Experiment 1 - String Rewriting Process and Algorithms

    Given a series of random assortments of the letters a, b, and c, one can apply a set of rules corresponding to each letter, creating a geometrical expression and visualization.

    Each student was asked to provide 2-3 lines of a chain of the letters a, b, and c. Each line represented the replacement rule for a letter, for example:

    a > abcba
    b > bca
    c > baac

    Then, starting with the letter a, the string rewriting process begins:

    1 - a
    2 - abcba
    3 - abcba bca baac bca abcba
    4 - abcba bca baac bca abcba bca baac abcba bca abcba abcba baac bca baac abcba abcba bca baac bca abcba

    Now, with the understanding of a letter representing an individual move, one can invent a code system or algorithm for describing geometries either through an analog method or digital method. This mapping process displays both the patterns and individual characteristics inherent in the string rewriting process.




    Analog Method:

    Start with an equilateral triangle.
    a = Rotate object 30 degrees around the center point.
    b = Move object 1 inch to the right.
    c = Scale object 200 percent from the center point.
    aa = Mirror object against its right side.
    bb = Mirror object against its bottom side.
    cc = Move object 2 inches down.
    aaa = Transform object into a square (or back to an equilateral triangle).
    bbb = Rotate object 90 degrees.



    Digital Method:

    Start with an equilateral triangle.
    a = Rotate object 30 degrees around the center point.
    b = Mirror object about vertical axis.
    c = Scale object 200 percent from the center point.
    aa = Move object 1 inch to the right.
    bb = Mirror object against its bottom side.
    cc = Move object 2 inches down.
    aaa = Transform object into a square (or back to an equilateral triangle).
    bbb = Scale object 50 percent from the center point.

    More pictures at my flickr

     

     
    • 10 Comments

    • b3tadine[sutures]
      Oct 4, 07 5:06 am

      danny, it sucks to start from the bottom, but sometimes you need to unlearn the bad in order learn the good, enjoy the process it should be fun. by the looks of what you are doing it seems like a good time already.....

      will gallowaywill galloway
      Oct 4, 07 9:06 am

      i am definitely very envious. sounds fantastic.

      stevegambini
      Oct 4, 07 6:30 pm

      it is not Mike Webb's first time teaching freehand drawing. He has been teaching it at columbia for a while....

      Danny WillsDanny Wills
      Oct 4, 07 7:13 pm

      he said something along the same lines the other day in class, stevegambini. maybe more of a "i have never taught a freehand drawing course like this before." have you had him at columbia, and if so i would be interested in hearing your opinion of the class.

      holz.box
      Oct 5, 07 1:44 am

      is descriptive geometry the same thing as stereotomy?

      dlb
      Oct 5, 07 2:58 am

      i believe it is "projective geometry" that is basically the same as stereotomy.

      not sure the definition of "descriptive geometry" being taught at Cooper, though it would appear to be more to do with axonometric, isometric and other descriptive systems.

      WonderK
      Oct 8, 07 3:21 am

      Just out of curiosity Danny.....where did Micheal Young study, do you know?

      Good luck BTW....I'm sure you'll flourish there!

      Danny WillsDanny Wills
      Oct 8, 07 8:48 am

      wonderk, i believe princeton for grad. not sure about undergrad.

      awd11111
      Oct 22, 07 11:24 pm

      i like your works !

      Sbeth85
      May 14, 09 5:42 pm

      Hi Danny, I know you wrote this entry 2 years ago, but I am going through very similar issues right now. I'm in an arch program in israel, it's 2.5 years and allows you to build up to 4 stories. (so it's like a half-architect.)
      Anyways, if I have to sit through another crit about where NOT to put a bathroom, I'm gonna pull my hair out. I DO want some concept and theory, not just logistics. However, I am still unsure if I need THAT much concept and theory, especially considering israel isn't too progressive and i'd might just end up frustrated at everyone's squareness back here.

      anyways, now i'm looking into M.Arch's in America. Thank you for your well-written posts, and especially for these DESCRIPTIONS of your classes at Cooper Union! It's ridiculous, you can barely tell anything about what each class will be like from schools' websites.

      Best of luck to you; I think it's already clear that you're an inspired creator.

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