Digital Media: Writing Form

This course offers an introduction to the field of design and computation through the essential pursuit of writing form.

Setting aside the better-known paradigms of sketching, 3D modelling, scripting or coding, writing –in this context– refers to the application of parametric formulations to visual design. This is not simply a technology offering, but a place for designers to expand their general grasp of form and typology, by taking on the newer and sneakier types to have emerged during the past 20 years.

This is a crash course in indexical modelling (the deployment of variable analytic surfaces to parametrically define the space, boundaries, structure, and tectonic texture of a three-dimensional form). It will be organised around synchronous weekly lectures and applied workshops in parametric design. There will be three to four design sketches, and a final design project. The deliverables will include small physical fabrications —as well as traditional drawings and diagrams.

On the theoretical side, the course will introduce participants to the notion of form, practically (mathematically) and theoretically, through a series of semi-monthly reading precepts (group readings) of seminal texts, from Erwin Panofsky to Rosalind Krauss.

On the practical side, generative design tools include PTC MathCAD Prime 7, Rhino 7 /Grasshopper, and a host of proprietary, third-party Grasshopper plugins (such as Surf_TM). Participants will be issued powerful software templates to work with on a weekly basis. No experience necessary, only an open mind.