University of Pennsylvania (Jacob)



Aug '09 - May '10

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    By jacob
    Aug 31, '09 4:19 PM EST

    And we're off.

    I'd previously blogged on archinect during grad school 1.0 at Kent State's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborativehere

    In typical blog fashion, I'm going to immediately apologize for not posting enough and resolve to do that that's out of the way.

    I'm at UPenn in their post-professional MArchII program. It's a 1 year program for students with a professional degree. There are about 40 students in the program.

    Since it's a post-professional program and many students are coming from odd backgrounds (different schools, work, countries,) we start the year off with a week long "intensive digital methods" class to bring the class to a generally equal level. This class is/was taught by Justin Diles. I expected this to be a general technique class regarding rhinoceros, grasshopper, maya, and generally hit all of the typical areas of parametricism. On the contrary, it was pretty much a week long Maya tutorial, focusing on the parametric capabilities of the program: animation, dynamics, with a bit on rendering and polygon modelling as well.

    Diles refers to the method he teaches as the "Digital Workflow;" designing parametrically in maya, using rhino for preparation and fabrication, and then Adobe Creative Suite for presentation. I'm possibly the sole member of the class that has used this workflow extensively. (Good job Kent!). Nonetheless, the class was great for me to really have some time to practice and feel comfortable with the program.

    IDM lasted a week and on first day of classes (Sept.9) we're presenting projects to test / prove our skills - using the PS1 YAP prompt. This week will be some extensive studio wood-shedding.

    I went to NYC (my first time...ashamedly) this weekend with some classmates to check things out (including PS1, by MOS). After having seen pictures and perpetuating the snuffleupugus joke, I was surprised at how nice the space actually was. While I still kind of think that MOS phoned it in terms of detail / construction / material, it's an okay place to be.

    More to follow! Including; pictures of the rarely photographed UPenn studio space.


    • "Digital Workflow" !

      Aug 31, 09 8:21 pm

      What happened to winka? 40 students, must be a recession.

      Aug 31, 09 8:55 pm

      welcome to penn... i'm in the phd program... have you decided what classes you're going to take yet?

      Aug 31, 09 9:48 pm

      Winka's still coordinating. She's team-teaching with Roland Snooks and Ferda Kolatan...

      And yea, 40 students is a ton. Something around double what they usually get for this program...and supposedly unintentionally inflated; I guess nobody turned down acceptances this year.

      And architphil; cool to meet you (digitally). I've registered for classes - I'll post 'em in a bit.

      Aug 31, 09 9:53 pm

      hey jacob... i guess you'll get used to comments like mine, but would you mind defining 'parametrics'? it gets bandied around quite a lot... I ask because I'm interested in UPenn for the M.Arch I. Thank you!

      Sep 3, 09 1:19 am

      Parametrics = designing using parameters.

      Ideally, it's setting parameters of some sort and letting them interact to derive a design, either theoretically or formally. I suppose it's as simple as thinking of "weather" as a parameter that vernacular architecture is typically resultant of.

      In academic practice, it seems to flavor being about "testing options." One might model something in rhino / grasshopper, and include a "slider" so that you could visually and immediately test what happens to a design as inputs changes.

      I think it's a really intriguing concept and probably the way design is moving; however I feel that it's being mislabeled quite a bit for gratuitous form-making.

      I don't think I'm in the minority with this opinion...even the most parametrically driven formalists seem to brandish this opinion.

      Sep 8, 09 11:14 pm

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