Studio Writes Software to Make Drawing

By Carl Lostritto | Apr 13, 2014

The Spring 2014 Advanced Studio, “Computing Drawing: Inhabiting Surface,” explores computer programming as a design medium.

Despite the pervasive role of digital media in architectural education and practice, the question of how (and even if) programming can and should be used to conceive of architecture remains open. Rather than immediately producing three-dimensional architectural models with existing commercial software, this studio begins with students creating their own software to generate computed drawings. Drawings allow the human eye and mind to play a prominent role in design–they are inherently architectural, but ambiguous with respect to form and space. For example, A line can be an edge, a material, a trajectory, or a seam. Conceptions of authorship, ambiguity, and representation remain the focus of attention and criticism as the course will eventually move from drawing to building.

This studio is the evolution of a similar studio taught last spring. Last year, initial drawings responded to each other as though they were stacked. This year, in an unexpected pedagogical twist, students are asked to write descriptions of what another student’s drawing was to become. These written descriptions are intended to pose a challenge and motivate shifts in drawing language and drawing content. For example, Daniel Kim wrote this description for Lucy Liu:

“Can prisms generate around an attraction that can potentially also become a vanishing point?”

Lucy based her final drawing on that description:
Iteration#4

Some descriptions are analytic, resembling the Python code used to create drawing software. Lucy, however, wrote a poetic description for Chen Sun:
lucy-For-Chen

Chen went on to produced this drawing:
caa-phase-1-final

(The full collection of descriptions and drawings are available on the course website.)

Over the course of this project, there were many productive mistakes, “improper” use of machines, open-ended experiments, and serendipitous accidents. What might normally be considered flaws are in this case opportunities to merge the analytic and logical world of computer science with an artistic culture of drawing.

Malcolm Rio

Malcolm Rio

Malcolm Rio

Malcolm Rio

Daniel Kim

Daniel Kim

Shoujie Eng

Shoujie Eng

Tony Yoon

Tony Yoon

Tony Yoon

Tony Yoon

Jianshi Wu

Jianshi Wu

Because this work isn’t composed in the traditional sense, and is instead designed algorithmically–with rules and operations that indirectly lead to material phenomena–we’re also interested in the drawings made to plan, diagram, and resolve other drawings.

Malcolm Rio

Malcolm Rio

Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu

Matthew Bohne

Matthew Bohne

Vintage pen plotters and laser cutters were the (non-human) machines of choice.

Jianshi Wu

Jianshi Wu

James Morris

James Morris

On March 10, 2014 our studio hosted guest critics Hansy Better, Nathan King, Kyna Leski, Greg Nemes, David Ross, and Matt Trimble for a gallery review of the students work in Phase 1.

Hansy Better and Matt Trimble reviewing Chen Sun

Hansy Better and Matt Trimble reviewing Chen Sun

Malcolm Rio presenting his work, Tony Yoon's work pinned up at right

Malcolm Rio presenting his work, Tony Yoon’s work pinned up at right

The work (left to right) of Matthew Solomon, Shoujie Eng and Matthew Bohne

The work (left to right) of Matthew Solomon, Shoujie Eng and Matthew Bohne

The review of Phase 1, which tasks students with the challenge of designing experiments to produce six three-dimensional constructs, will take place Thursday April 17th in BEB 106.

 

Advanced Studio: Computing Drawing

Computing Drawing: Animating Thick Surfaces, Studio Update

By Carl Lostritto | Mar 18, 2013

This studio explores the role of computation as medium for thinking and making. This means avoiding the treatment of the computer as a tool to help solve already defined problems. It means going deeper than using software. It means operating outside the bounds of the digital. Perhaps most importantly, it means conflating the action of continue reading…

Spring 2017 Events

  • February 23, 6:30 PM Brett Schneider, Guy Nordenson and Associates & RISD Architecture
  • March 2, 6:30 PM at RISD Auditorium Petra Blaisse, Inside Outside, Hosted with INTAR, Textiles, RISD Museum
  • February 27, 6:30 PM Jeanette Kuo, Karamuk*Kuo
  • March 13, 6:30 PM Allan Wexler, Allan Wexler Studio, Hosted with ID
  • March 16, 6:30 PM Jarrett Walker, Jarrett Walker + Associates
  • April 3, 6:30 PM Kunle Adeyemi, NLÉ, Yoder Lecture
  • April 24, 6:30 PM Nader & Katie Faulkner, NADAAA, Shoemaker Lecture
  • May 11, 6:30 PM Shumi Bose, Central Saint Martins & Architectural Association

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