Fall Studio at the AADRL is divided into Workshop 1 and Workshop 2, with a number of options in each set. The workshop I am taking part of is titled "Matter as Computation: Experimentation in Analog Machines" and is run by Theo Spyropoulos and Rob Stuart-Smith.
The workshop aims at engaging spatial/formal experimentation through rigorous material processes (to understand material behavior) that attempts to understand matter as both formed and formable. Ever since the workshop was presented, I could not let go of Denis Diderot's notion of "Irritable Matter." The workshop started with problematizing the (in)famous hanging model that Gaudi built over 10 years while designing Colonia Guell. We were asked to jump into building hanging model to understand the potential found in building and problematizing catenary structures.
The workshop works hand in hand with a series of seminars, all trying to situate (some of) the research that happens in the school within a historical lineage, attempting to bridge continuity between the work done by Frei Otto, Felix Candela, Le Ricolais, Bucky Fuller, Eduardo Dieste, and of course, Antoni Gaudi (which begs a nod at Mark Burry) and the work currently being done in studio.
The workshop has some goals that demand material expression. These goals revolve around viewing structure, surface, and ornamentation as integrated systems. These of course can be looked at separately at first, but throughout the 5-week workshop, iterative studies will attempt at integrating the three elements which all form, inform, and are formed by material experimentation. The catenary chain models being developed currently will be subjected to a surface investigation which will demand patterning as some of the ways that suggest how the translation from chain models to surface/spatial models will be through casting plaster in a number of ways.
Pictures to follow, sometime, hopefully.