Computational Design and Material GestaltPerformative Wood: Reciprocities of Form, Material, Structure and Environment

\”The manifest form – that which appears – is the result of a computational interaction between internal rules and external (morphogenetic) pressures that, themselves, originate in other adjacent forms (ecology). The (pre-concrete) internal rules comprise, in their activity, an embedded form, what is today clearly understood and described by the term algorithm.\”Sanford KwinterThe option studio will investigate the largely unexplored field of computational design research that aims at integrating processes of form generation and materialisation. Contrary to the still predominant modes of Computer Aided Design in use in today\’s architectural practice, Computational Design externalizes the relation between form, formation and information. This enables an understanding of form, material, structure and environment not as separate elements, but rather as complex, co-evolving, reciprocal interrelations that can be embedded in and explored through integral computational design processes. The aim of the studio is to explore such an alternative, morphogenetic approach to architectural design, which unfolds specific material gestalt and related performative capacities without differentiating between processes of computational form generation and physical materialisation.The studio will commence with the hands-on development of material systems. Wood has been chosen as the common starting point, with the aim of investigating how one of the oldest construction materials can now be understood and employed as a natural, adaptable, high-performance fiber composite material. Step by step the material system\’s characteristics, manufacturing constraints and assembly logics, as well as its interaction with external environmental influences and forces will be embedded in a generative computational design framework. The studio work will conclude with the development and production of material prototypes, functioning as vehicles to speculate about the repercussions of an integral computational design approach on architecture as a material practice.The studio work will be supported by a number of workshops that introduce the related computational design tools as well as the concepts of material systems and algorithmic design thinking.Requirements: Proficiency in Rhino 3D modeling and Rhino VB Scripting is advantageous but not obligatory. Bibliography:Hensel, M., Menges, A. (eds.): 2006, Morpho-Ecologies, AA Publications, London. (ISBN: 190290253X)Hensel, M., Menges, A. (eds.): 2008, Versatility and Vicissitude: Performance in Morpho-Ecological Design, Architectural Design Vol. 78 No. 2, Wiley Academy, London. (ISBN: 978-0470516874)Hensel, M., Menges, A., Weinstock, M. (eds.): 2006, Techniques and Technologies in Morpho-genetic Design, Architectural Design, Vol. 76 No. 2, Wiley Academy, London. (ISBN: 0470015292)Hensel, M., Menges, A., Weinstock, M. (eds.): 2004, Emergence – Morphogenetic Design Strategies, Architectural Design, Vol. 74 No. 3, Wiley Academy, London. (ISBN: 0-470-86688-8)Menges, A.: 2008, Integral Formation and Materialisation: Computational Form and Material Gestalt, in B. Kolarevic and K. Klinger (ed.), Manufacturing Material Effects: Rethinking Design and Making in Architecture, Routledge, New York, pp. 195-210. (ISBN 978-0-415-77574-8)Barnett J. R. and Jeronimidis G. (eds.) 2003, Wood Quality and its Biological Basis, Blackwell CRC Press, Oxford. (ISBN 0849328195)Dinwoodie J. M.: 2000, Timber: Nature and Behaviour, Taylor & Francis, London. (ISBN 0419235809)