AA San Francisco Visiting School

11 to 22 July 2011

Workshop Description

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Biodynamic Structures
California College of the Arts
Monday 12 to Wednesday 21 July

Biodynamic Structures is a two-week design workshop co-taught by the Emtech faculty at the AA and the faculty of Architecture and MEDIAlab at California College of the Arts, exploring active and passive systems in architectural design that respond to changing environmental and spatial needs.
In its second year the workshop will delve more into the concepts of self-organization, emergence and systems behaviour in architecture, borrowing concepts and tools from biology. Associative modelling, simulation, material experiments and digital fabrication tools will be introduced in order to apply this information to the design of both passive and active responsive architectural systems.
The digital toolset for the studios will be Rhino, Grasshopper, VB.net, Firefly and Arduino. Model making, engagement with different materials and utilisation of digital fabrication will be integral to the core of the course throughout the workshop.
The workshop will provide students with the opportunity to engage in parallel with both the theoretical aspects of biomimetics and integrated design processes, as well as the technical tools essential for the realisation of design outcomes. It will explore adaptive and responsive systems in architecture, capable of interacting with their context, both environmental and social in a context specific brief.
The work generated throughout the workshop, as well as the final prototypes constructed will contribute to a publication and travelling exhibition as the culmination of the three-year programme.

+ CONTENT TAGS: Biodynamic, Parametric, Scripted, Mimetic, Responsive, Interactive, Digitally Fabricated
+ SOFTWARE: Rhino, Grasshopper, Firefly, Kangaroo, RhinoScript, Arduino

The school runs from 11 to 22 July in San Francisco. The workshop is an intensive, studio-based programme requiring full-time participation. The workshop will be hosted at the California College of the Arts. CCA San Francisco is the hub for design innovation and experimental architecture in the Bay Area.


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