Digital Architecture Open Lecture: ‘Worlds of possible plans and built forms’

This week’s Digital Architecture Open Lecture will be given by Philip Steadman from the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at UCL. His lecture entitled, ‘Worlds of possible plans and built forms’ will be held in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1 on Thursday 1st February 2018 at 6PM.

The lecture will describe methods for enumerating and cataloguing certain classes of plans and built forms exhaustively. These are rectangular plans with small numbers of rooms; and more complex rectangular built forms, described in terms of zones. The designs are laid out in what biologists call morphospaces: theoretical worlds of possible forms. Historical building types are shown to occupy particular areas within these worlds, because of their generic geometrical character. The purpose is not so much to provide a design method, as to give a strategic overview of the ranges of choice open to architects in design.

Philip Steadman is Emeritus Professor of Urban and Built Form Studies at the Bartlett School, University College London, and a Senior Research Associate at the UCL Energy Institute. His main research interests are in the geometry of buildings and cities, and their use of energy. With colleagues he is currently building a 3D model of the UK building stock, for use in energy analysis. He has published three books on geometry and architecture: The Geometry of Environment (with Lionel March, 1971), Architectural Morphology (1983) and Why Are Most Buildings Rectangular? (2017). His study of The Evolution of Designs: Biological Analogy in Architecture and the Applied Arts appeared in 1979 and was republished in 2008. Vermeer’s Camera, his investigation of the Dutch painter’s use of optical aids, came out in 2001. In 2014 he published a book about building types, considered from both historical and geometrical points of view, with the title Building Types and Built Forms. He is currently working on Renaissance Fun: The Machines Behind the Scenes (2020?).

PhD Seminar Series: Giacomo Damiani

As part of Kent School of Architecture’s PhD Seminar Series, PhD student Giacomo Damiani will be presenting on Wednesday 24th February at 4PM in E.Barlow (Eliot College).

The philosophical-mathematical paradigm in the architecture of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Italy, and its contemporary relevance, focusing on De divina proportione by Luca Pacioli

A philosophical, cultural and aesthetic transition took place in present-day Italy during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when renewed interest in classical studies began to define a novel theoretical paradigm. In order to understand this new thinking at the time and the formation of its theories, Luca Pacioli’s works will be investigated, with particular focus on De divina proportione (1509). Through its interdisciplinary nature, the study will highlight Pacioli as one of the seminal figures, with the aim of making a contribution to a growing, but insufficient, body of research on the mathematician, writer and friar. Mathematical and geometrical principles will be examined in their structural significance for the theory and practice of architecture and related arts. A critical analysis of the historical evolution of this theoretical paradigm in the architectural context will also be provided, with a focus on the present-day relation between architecture and mathematical theories in the digital realm.

Erlend C. L. Birkeland Student Profile

 

 

 

 

 

Full name: Erlend C. L. Birkeland
Degree subject and level: Architecture BA, undergraduate stage 1
Home country/Nationality: Norway/Norwegian

1. Can you give us a bit of background to why you chose a UK qualification (E.g. national/global reach, career prospects, skills and experience gained…)
I chose to study in the UK partly because I wanted an education that was a bit different from the Norwegian architectural courses. In that way, I am hoping to bring some other perspectives and views on the subject when I begin practising as an architect in Norway.

2. What do you find most inspiring about your degree and institution?
The most inspiring thing about my degree is the fact that we get time and space to test different ideas and develop ourselves whilst learning a lot about a wide range of topics. That is the fantastic thing about architecture: when learning it, you can’t simply learn how a wall should be built or why structures don’t fall down. You have to learn a bit about history, psychology, sociology, art, composition, physics – and at Kent School of Architecture and I feel we get the opportunity to do that.

3. How did your perception of your subject change as a result of your course and studies? (E.g. What did you think of ‘design’ before and what do you think now?)
Before I began at Kent, I thought architecture was quite a bit more technical and full of memorising details than what it actually is. Yes, you have to understand quite a bit about how a building stands up, but you will learn that naturally as the course proceeds. The hard bit is to come up with the design you like.

4. What advice would you give students hoping to apply to your degree/course?
If you choose architecture, you have to be really interested in it. This isn’t a subject you study at the university a bit each day before you go home and have the rest of the evening off. The design process will be your life, so put some effort into learning good and effective time management.

5. Is there a memory of a trip, a workshop, a course or a speech that you attended that really stands out in your memory? Why?
In December, after all the work for the first semester has been finished, the year 1 students at Kent go to Barcelona to sketch and have a great time off and become even better friends. Working in the studio is the way we mostly make friends on this course, which is fantastic. Then after all the hard work at the end of our final project, we go into the beautiful city of Barcelona together with the enthusiastic teachers and that binds us together even more. It’s a wonderful dynamic.

6. What are your ambitions for the future?
I want to become an architect developing public buildings and public spaces for others to enjoy. To create spaces where people can meet each other and create memorable moments is what I really want to do.

CREAte Open Lecture: Benno Gammerl

The upcoming CREAte Open Lecture will be given by Benno Gammerl, entitled, ‘Out and About: A Spatial History of Gay Liberation in Germany’ on Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 18.00 in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

From hiding in the closet to openly and proudly displaying queerness – the history of homosexualities in the second half of the twentieth century has a spatial dimension that deserves further exploration. For a long time, same-sex desiring men encountered each other in barely lit locales or behind carefully drawn curtains. However, since the 1970s open shop windows and frank advertising increased gay visibility in German cityscapes. How does this shift connect with broader architectural developments, and how did occupying these new spaces change the lives of queer people?

Benno Gammerl is a lecturer for queer history at Goldsmiths College in London. Before coming to the UK he conducted research on the emotional lives of same-sex desiring men and women in both rural and urban settings in West Germany, while at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Gammerl’s new project explores how transnational migrations shaped sexual cultures in the twentieth century. He recently published (with Jan S. Hutta and Monique Scheer) ‘Feeling differently: Approaches and their politics’, in Emotion, Space and Society (2017).

Digital Architecture Open Lecture: ‘Morphogenetic Creations’

The next Digital Architecture Open Lecture will be given by Andy Lomas entitled ‘Morphogenetic Creations’ on Tuesday 23rd January 2018 in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

Inspired by the work of Alan Turing, Ernst Haeckel and D’Arcy Thompson, Morphogenetic Creations is an ongoing series of art works that explore how intricate complex structure and motion can be created emergently using computer generated models of morphogenesis.

The aim is for deep emergence, with rules for growth specified at the level of interactions between individual cells. Digital simulation techniques are used to algorithmically encode the rules, and processes are run over many thousands of time steps and millions of primitives. Using a combination of evolutionary methods and machine learning, the space of possibilities is explored to discover areas of rich emergent behaviour. Creating forms using unnatural selection: survival of the intriguing instead of the fittest.

Andy Lomas is a digital artist, mathematician, and Emmy award winning supervisor of computer generated effects. He has had work exhibited in over 50 joint and solo exhibitions, including at The Royal Society, SIGGRAPH, Japan Media Arts Festival, Ars Electronica Festival, and the ZKM. His work is also in the permanent collections at the V&A and the D’Arcy Thompson Art Fund Collection. In 2014 his work Cellular Forms won The Lumen Prize Gold Award.

He is a Visiting Lecturer at The Bartlett School of Architecture and a Visiting Research Fellow at Goldsmiths University of London. His production credits include Walking With Dinosaurs, Matrix: Revolutions, Matrix: Reloaded, Over the Hedge, The Tale of Despereaux and Avatar.

 

fete des lumieres

MAAV Students head to the Fete des Lumieres in Lyon

MA Architectural Visualisation (MAAV) students returned to Lyon following the successful inaugural trip in 2016. The study tour to Lyon specifically complements two modules; AR822 Virtual Cities and AR846 Architectural Photography. The schedule was designed to take advantage of the rich architecture during the daytime, whilst allowing students to explore the illuminations during the night.

The Lumières festival was varied this year, and differed in style and range from the previous year. Highlights of the festival included an animation focused on the history of film and cinema in the Place des Terreaux, many of the references to which, the students could understand from their work in AR821 Film & Architecture.

This year, the trip to Lyon was incredibly important, providing an opportunity for the students to see first-hand the ways in which buildings can be animated through projection mapping. The research was directly fed into their own projection work for AR822 Virtual Cities at the recent Cheriton Light Festival in February. This module allows the students to bridge the boundaries between architectures; the actual and the virtual. The quality of their work was, without doubt, aided by the visit to France.

MAAV student feedback;
“The Lyon trip was a great experience! It developed my technique of finding interesting photographic subjects. As we toured the sites, we came across a lot of buildings that would perhaps be deemed unattractive, but their geometry made for some of the best photographs. It definitely helped me redefine my photographic eye. The Light show was incredibly inspiring and I have not experienced anything like it; I was so inspired by our trip, I am making efforts to recreate something for my local community, whom many may not be able to get the opportunity to experience what I had”
“…A very positive and useful trip toward my technical knowledge in projection mapping, where we had the chance to see real projects which were produced by known professional artists and companies. That experience helped me a lot to know what the real impact of projection mapping on people is, what works well and what is not”
“…This trip helped me a lot to strengthen my relationship with my colleagues, it’s made me feel like I have real friends on my course, which I need as an international student…”

KASA Open Lecture: Gilles Retsin

KASA is delighted to announce an upcoming open lecture by Gilles Retsin, from Gilles Retsin Architecture. This event will kick off the School’s Open Lecture series in the new year on Tuesday 16th January at 18.00 in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

Gilles Retsin is the recent winner of the 2017 Tallinn Architecture Biennale TAB Installation Programme competition and directs a research cluster at UCL / the Bartlett School of Architecture.

Gilles Retsin Architecture is a London based architecture and design practice which is interested in the impact of computation on the core principles of architecture. The lecture will be entitled ‘Discrete Architecture’ and explores themes about digital architecture of the future.