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.

Chris, Tyler, Robyn - LiteBrite

In order to get a smaller light beam, we purchased a 2-Lumen maglite, which could be adjusted to allow either a  wide or narrow beam.


Video 01: kuka in action

Photo 01: flashlight with wide beam

Photo 02: flashlight with narrow beam

Photo 03: increased lighting

Architectural Model as Machine_Tyler Smith

Architectural Model as Machine_Tyler Smith

The architectural model has played an integral role in the production of architecture throughout history. Models have allowed architects to achieve a variety of goals ranging from basic representation to complex structural experimentation. While at its most basic level, the architectural model is often thought of as a representation of the desired product, advanced fabrication techniques have brought on an advent of large scale prototypes and installations which act as both model and architecture. Somewhere within this spectrum of simple representation to full scale prototype, I believe there lies the potential for an architectural model of the Gaudi suspended chain variety. I would argue fabrication tools like the kuka robot workcells offer the potential for a model, which at once, denies finality and tests the limits of material and design techniques. This type of model would speculate on possible paths towards a final design, while intentionally avoiding a final, pre-conceived product. In this way, the architectural model once again becomes an integral point in the design process, testing and experimenting with potential ideas just as Gaudi's model did.

Architectural Model as Machine_Chris Makowiecki

        The scale model has been a vital tool to the field of architecture for many years.  It provides the designer a medium through which to experiment and better understand their solution.  How these scale models have been used and how they will be used, fluctuates based on the current environmental conditions.  From reading “Architectural Model as Machine”, one is introduced to how Gaudi went about using the scale model in furthering his work.  Using white plaster, hanging wire and chain models, Gaudi was able to explore complex geometries and was able to provide a definition for what was previously invisible.  As this type of exploration was becoming more recognized, people became more convinced of their control over technology and the environment.  With the work of Tatlin and Lissitzky, the environment within which they worked had changed and the model was used in exploring a combination of creative form and utilitarian form.  The model became a reference from which certain standards could be applied.  Kahn also saw the architectural scale model as a representation of order or reference standards.  However, he struggled to define what order truly was.  It was the scaled model that provided him with some insight into a possible solution.  The model gave him a view of what the future building may appear like.   With Libeskind, the model is reinterpreted and the model no longer has to intend this or that.  Rather, Libeskind seeks to rediscover his reference standards and does so largely through his drawing.   The interpretation of the scale model has changed over time and as new mediums continue to become available, the potential for what these scale models may become will continue to change.  Models are able to mediate between the designer’s dream and what is currently possible.  Understanding and defining the model will continue to be an issue architect’s toy with as long as the desire to create new design exists.   

Monday, January 20, 2014

Digitizer+LiteBrite test


Chris Makowiecki

Robyn - Digitizer/Kuka/SMT Test Animation

This is the studio sketch model made for studio, which was then digitized, using the manual digitizer, into Rhino. This rhino file could then be used to generate a Kuka script using SuperMatterTools.


This test animation is running a linear path of the digitized studio model. For next week, I will most likely edit the speed and number of poses in SMT, and will re-design the path to more efficiently/accurately draw the desired shape with the flashlight.

After class discussion on Tuesday, I would also need to orient the tool so it faces the correct direction for the flashlight project, as well as adjust the size and placement of the model to prevent the robot from over-extending itself.

Digitizer+LiteBrite test 01

RoboFab_Digitizer+LiteBrite test 01
Tyler Smith                           01.20.14