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FIRST YEAR DESIGN STUDIO PROJECTS
Architecture Design & Communications
RMIT Bachelor of Architecture
Design 1 Co-ordinator:
Shelter Follies Exercise, Design 1
Students are introduced to architecture as the spatial construction of relationships through the act of making things and revising them. This iterative process of making has consequences on the students design processes.
The act of making is central to this creative process. Drawing and modelling are introduced as constructive acts. Students are asked to develop drawings and models that are consistent with the spatial aspirations of their work and as part of the generative process itself.
This introductory semester explores fabrication methods and material behaviour as an agency for generating architectural ideas.
The semester unfolds as a progression of understanding how simple relationships develop into more complex ones, of how ‘Tectonics’ becomes ‘Architectonics’. Although the word “skilling” is used to describe aspects of teaching in the first semester, one could add that craft, precision, integrity of thought and action are equally important pedagogical goals. Implicit in this is the belief that the precision of thought is directly contingent on the precision of making, and vice-versa. However, this should not exclude the freedom to engage in a process of experimentation, where students are given the space to make mistakes. Freedom and flexibility are maintained within the creative process.
The ability to experiment is encouraged. Printing, collaging and painting are all possibilities for communicating architectural ideas. Students are prompted to understand the part that materials play in the process of making architecture. They learn how material can be used as part of the generative process and also as a performative representation of other materials. To develop this working method, the Design 1 First Year group is brought together to perform a series of modelling workshops. These occur at the beginning of each project and introduce the general approach for each of the projects.
Through the workshop exercises, students are introduced to a basic design question and way of initiating a response through material and tectonic investigations. The learning objective of the workshops is to arouse the student's sensibilities for making through an iterative process of formalizing ideas.
The semester is structured into three three-week design exercises, followed by a four-week final exercise.