by SCI-Arc as Architects - Wed, 16 February 2011
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This studio will borrow some of the techniques developed and mastered by artists, and will apply them to an architectural project. The work of the students will aim to extend the potential of architectural envelope and massing to produce hyper-realistic experiences through the invention of new breeds of artificial matter. Students will investigate how synthetic materials can induce novel sensuality, intellectual associations, and visual effects. The goal of the class is to broaden students’ intellectual and critical understanding of how architectural envelopes are perceived, while increasing their range of technical skill sets. Although the studio will make heavy use of digital techniques like 3d laser scanning, CNC machining, and advanced software like Maya and Zbrush, one of the ambition of the studio is that these digital procedures will not be clearly visible in the final project, but the viewer will wonder how such things have been or could be made. The projects will not yield to clean judgments or bottom lines, especially not about what is living or non-living, organic or technological, promising or threatening, true or synthetic. Ideas about nature and its simulation are central to the studio, inviting the students to question what is 'real' and what is not. The interest of the studio is an expanded, hybrid nature rather than the purist 'return to Eden' concept that is usually opposed to the artificial. Made with the aid of computer technology, each project will collapse reality and artifice, and propose that contemporary architectural materials are often a mutation from the “original” producing a world in which fact, fiction and fantasy co-exist.
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