Second Semester is off to a quick start with our first studio project due next week. The second semester of first year at UBC follows up the introductory studio with the second core studio called “ A Culture of Making”. This studio introduces key issues of material culture in architecture while suggesting the rich fields of disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry that such issues engage. Specifically, the studio is intended to introduce the essential and formative contribution that structural and material issues bring to an understanding of architecture. More broadly, the term’s work is grounded in an understanding that the varied cultures of construction have direct implication on subsequent cultures of inhabitation. Recognizing that the discipline of architecture is both expansive in its cultural engagements while highly specific in its material resolution, the studio addresses such a breadth of purpose via focused inquiries regarding scale, force, material property, geometry, assembly, and manufacturing process.
There are five studio sections of ten students each, as opposed to the three studios of twelve students that we had last term. This is because all of the advanced placement students, who were exempt from the intro studio, are still required to take the Culture of Making studio. The instructors for the five sections this term are Oliver Neumann, Patricia Patkau, Annabelle Vaughan, Bill Pechet, and Mari Fujita. We also have the structural engineering professor Annalisa Meyboom available to us to help with design problems. This is a great line up for a first year studio and the upper-year students have complained at how many professors we have taken from their vertical studios!
I will be in Mari Fujita’s sections and am very excited to have the opportunity to work with her. With degrees from Columbia and Princeton and work experience with Libeskind, Asymptote, and LTL Architects she is currently running her own practice as well as doing extensive research in many different Asian cities.
Our first project is called the “One to One Shelter”, which asks us to build an actual structure at a 1:1 scale that explores material and structural issues, while also “producing delight”. We have been given bamboo rods, of differing thicknesses, twine, and white lycra fabric to construct this one man tent. I have started drawings and will post them with pictures of my studios final results next week after our reviews.
In addition to the “Culture of Making” studio this term we are also taking another three required courses:
Design Media 2, taught by Ian Ross McDonald is meant to help us become adept with parametric modeling, digital fabrication and tooling, as well as dynamics and animation. The software we will be using in this class are Maya, Grasshopper, and Rhinoceros 3D.
The second is Architectural Technology 1, taught by Greg Johnson. This class investigates building materials and systems in the design context.
Lastly, is Architectural History with Daniel Millette. This course covers everything in Western Architecture up to the 19th century.