Monday, January 27, 2014

Architectural Model as Machine - Robyn Wolochow

Reading Response: Week 01
Smith, Albert. Architectural Model as Machine, 2004.

Gaudi pursued the architectural model because his ideas, formal explorations, and construction methodologies could not sufficiently be expressed through drawing, but rather required the use of three dimensional form. Though, according to Smith, Gaudi's interest in the architectural model was partly due to a desire to model and better understand invisible things, such as his strong beliefs in the Catholic faith, the primary reason for these 3D formal models was to explore nature's engineering and begin to test structural possibilities.

It is in this sense that the architectural model continues to play a significant role in today's architectural profession. Whereas Gaudi used his models to "develop definitions of the truth" (95), we now use models to better understand what can and cannot be built, or to test formal ideas for their built possibilities. In a robotics class, we understand the architectural model in a different sense, as the robot becomes our tool, and what we produce, whether or not it be architectural in nature, becomes the architectural model. As Gaudi used the model to better understand physics and characteristics of nature, we use the robots to understand what can and cannot be built, fabricated, or programmed. Gaudi was a "blind believer" in his faith, as we are unknowing believers in the robots, hoping that, through experimentation and trial and error, we can develop a clearer understanding of the limits and possibilities the robots present.

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