Elective Classes and Option Studios

Elective classes will be available in January.

people on a platform with household items around them

Italy: The New Domestic Landscape (1972), exhibition at MoMa, by Superstudio.

ARCH 4101/4102/5101/5116/7113
Commons in a Rural Dream: Universal Basic Income Cookbook and the New Domestic Landscape

  • Instructor: Sam Chermayeff, Danica Selem
  • Time: M, W, F 12:20-4:25 p.m.
  • Location: TBA
  • Credits: 6

"Rural and urban America clearly have distinct politics, one emphasizing individualism and limited government, the other shared commons that require bigger government."*

This divide is in the context of extreme societal changes wherein neither option functions independently. In the face of automation, rising inequality, and mass climate change migrations we can either escape or bond together. And, while our particular politics inclines us toward a shared endeavor with our countrymen there is much to be understood in the countryside.

The American desire for independence can be meaningful and wholistic beyond individual us vs. them attitudes. At many points in U.S. history, it appeared that the resources available could, without much intervention, provide for all. In a very basic sense, the American dream was a real thing and it still is. But, it is not going to happen through 'hard work' in its next iteration. The trend is in the opposite direction. Capital begets wealth and working begets less and less. We have to accept that robots are going to do the work so we're going to have to agree on a new system of distribution, maybe reimagining the original distribution of land that we once gave out to whomever first arrived. Our studio posits that universal basic income is the next path to independence. Money replaces the land as the resource from which we thrive, think, and create. Paradoxically, this change reconnects us to land, a resource that we continue to have in abundance. Universal basic income changes the value of land writ large.

In embracing universal basic income we'll find that the labor and wage part of the American dream morphs into other pursuits. We'll leave modern thinking and the idea of the universal architectural answer in favor of the specific.

The topic of this change is potentially endless, and while we cannot predict the future, we can begin to imagine what a world without labor would look like. The idea of the center and edge condition, which defines the contemporary metropolis, will also change. Rural environments may become as valid as urban ones, from a cost point of view. And while cities force a certain communal experience, rural living doesn't.

We will embrace that and focus on the rural. At the same time, we will reimagine the rural living landscape and the idea of private and public, creating the specific individual in relationship to the new commons. We will create new domestic landscapes for a UBI world without work where the notion of domestic itself is bound to change.

We'll read about universal basic income and degrowth.** We'll create a future that allows people to live in new, different, and authored ways. We are talking about reordering our world.

We're about the rural commons. We're drawing communities.

We're growing, we're cooking, we're eating.

*"The Suburbs Are Changing. But Not in All the Ways Liberals Hope." The New York Times, Emily Badger, Quoctrung Bui and Josh Katz, November 26, 2018
**Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams, Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work (VERSO, 2016)
Giacomo D'Alisa and Federico Demaria and Giorgos Kallis, Degrowth: A vocabulary for a new era (Routledge, 2016)
Albert Wenger, "World After Capital" (2016)

Instructor permission required:

  • B.Arch. students prerequisite ARCH 3102
  • Enrollment by ballot only, permission of instructor, and available space

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detail of intricate arches inside a cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral.

ARCH 4101/4102/5101/5116/7113
Criminal Behavior: Ornamental Exuberance through Efficiency

  • Instructor: Martin Miller
  • Time: M, W, F 12:20-4:25 p.m.
  • Location: TBA
  • Credits: 6

In 1908, the use of ornament as an architectural element was declared a criminal act within architecture by Adolf Loos in his essay, "Ornament and Crime." Loos argued on behalf of the craftsman claiming that "Ornament is wasted labor and hence wasted health."

The principles laid out within the essay served as foundational principles for the ensuing Modernist movement that debased and all but eradicated ornament as a fundamental component of architecture.

The contemporary laborer, however, is no longer the skilled craftsperson. Rather than on-site custom craft, components are produced in factories that are increasingly shifting from human labor to networked computational machines. Robotic CNC tools are programmed with routines, relentlessly repeating tasks with superhuman accuracy. While these tools offer an extreme level of precision and accurate translation from digital to physical form, completion of routines can often be very time consuming due to limitations within options for tooling. A smooth surface requires the creation of dense tool paths and hence long production times and loss of efficiency, for example. These routines are most frequently the result of standard processing algorithms, removing the role of the designer within the process of physical manifestation. Similarly, processes utilizing subtractive, CNC milling operations often involve excessive waste of material further losing efficiency.

Through intervention in this established system, new kinds of functional ornament may be introduced, having massive consequences for manufacturing processes, material efficiency, and the architectural expression of our emaciated built environments.

The studio will reconsider the value of ornamentation in architecture, considering logics of both expression and the functional potential of ornament. We will explore historical models of ornamentation and their significance as expressive, communicative, and pragmatic elements within the movements of the Gothic, Baroque, and Art Nouveau. Simultaneously, the studio will question ways in which the conceptual expression of ornamentation may be efficiently produced via digital fabrication techniques and computational formal generation. Exploring ideas of the digital craftsperson, concise tool selection and deployment will intervene within the fabrication process, resulting in patterning and texture as remnant traces while generating computationally efficient form.

Through the understanding of part to whole relationships, fabrication processes, and computational generation, students will progress through two-dimensional aperiodic tiling systems into generative structural assemblies. Looking to historical structural models and spatial organizations, the final construction will be a small contemporary chapel.

Instructor permission required:

  • Enrollment limited to B.Arch. students
  • Prerequisite: ARCH 3102
  • Enrollment by ballot only, permission of instructor, and available space

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diagram showing air flow into and out of a structure

photo / Alfred To

ARCH 4101/4102/5101/5116/7113
Project Zero (or Less)

"It is often neglected that the words animal and environment make an inseparable pair. Each term implies the other. No animal could exist without an environment surrounding it. Equally, although not so obvious, an environment implies an animal (or at least an organism) to be surrounded."

~James J. Gibson, The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception, (New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. Inc. Publishers, 1986), 8.

Forty percent of the energy consumed in the U.S. annually is consumed by buildings. In the last 10 years, more concrete has been used in China than in the last 100 years in the U.S. Architecture cannot continue as we know it. But applying sustainable strategies to existing design practices is not an adequate response.

Project Zero will investigate the topic of sustainability not as a postfacto addition to an aesthetically motivated contemporary architecture, but as a return to the first principles of ecological thinking. By rethinking the normative approach to site responsiveness and to design itself, the studio aims to produce an architecture that not only behaves sustainably but that also communicates the fact that it does: to produce a new ecological architectural language.

The studio will design a prototypical building for the university of the future. Based on real programmatic, site, and sustainability constraints to make the Cornell campus carbon neutral by 2030, we will work with invited experts from renowned practices, as well as officials from the offices of Campus Planning, Architectural Planning, and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. The studio will design an academic building for the Atkinson Center, an organization that has existed since 2010 as a collection of disparate faculty and students united through sustainability, but until now, without their own building. In 2017, the Atkinson Center had a feasibility study carried out to examine the possibility of a new building to collect their various members under one roof: the studio will use this document as a basis for design, but will aim towards a more radical approach to concrete problems.

Through a series of design exercises zooming in from the urban scale to the scale of the room, the final project will be a competition to design a building for the Atkinson Center. Students will learn about emerging environmental modeling tools and their integration in a digital design process. Students will be challenged to develop a new ecological architectural language through an informed design process. The ability to embed environmental modeling tools directly into the design process presents a paradigm shift towards integrated and intelligent design processes. Iterative and empirical testing of designs at various scales is an essential part of this studio's research methodology. Furthermore, the studio will involve numerous consultants and specialists. Dogan's background in sustainable design workflows and computational design tool making combined with O'Donnell's background in bioclimatic design and circular materials will combine to create a full spectrum of sustainable invention that will push beyond the inventions of normative sustainable architecture.

Instructor permission required:

  • Enrollment limited to B.Arch. students
  • Prerequisite: ARCH 3102
  • Enrollment by ballot only, permission of instructor, and available space

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People sitting in a wooden sculpture/structure in outdoor setting at night

Site-specific wooden sculpture/structure and informal meeting place for visitors to Venice’s Architecture Biennale 2010. photo / Rintala Eggertsson Architects

ARCH 4101/4102/5101/5116/7113
Site-Specific, Small-Scale Interventions: Design-to-Build Studio

Dagur Eggertsson, visiting professor; Partner, Rintala Eggertsson Architects
Sami Rintala, visiting professor; Partner, Rintala Eggertsson Architects
Mark Cruvellier, Nathaniel and Margaret Owings Distinguished Alumni Professor

The intention of this studio is to engage in the detailed design of site-specific, small-scale interventions within the context of large-scale natural landscapes. An essential challenge and objective will be to explore how to accomplish a lot with a little in such an environment. The central project will be sited locally in rural Ithaca. Site specificity has a lot to do with the people who are living there, their culture and way of life, and their understanding of/relationship to the landscape; all this generates an inner landscape that we need to explore. We will work with a real client for the project(s) which within a year or two could conceivably be built on site in full scale. One of the possible tasks could be to design a Finger Lakes Trail hiker's rest stop and/or viewing platform, perhaps combined with a stone mason's work-yard shelter — but other functions are also likely to emerge and be developed. We will conduct numerous on-site design workshops, closely exploring/reading the site and landscape in winter/spring conditions, and combining this with on-site, indoor(!) design charrettes in a unique setting. Local culture and history, as well as material crafts and specific technical expertise, will be integrated into the studio. A convivial studio atmosphere and a collective group dynamic is the intention — without, of course, sacrificing individual creativity nor high expectations for the final, ready-to-be-built design proposal(s). These will be highly material specific and closely detailed, with wood and stone being of primary but not necessarily exclusive interest. Partial prototype model building, detail resolution, and material testing are intended to be done at a large scale, e.g., 1:1, even if not likely on site during the semester. Structural form and its relation to design ideas/concepts will also be of central focus and concern. Cold weather climate and dark winter days will be integral to design considerations, but so will be their opposite during the warm, light-filled summer. Vernacular, as well as contemporary examples of Nordic architecture and other built works, will be closely studied for the lessons they convey.

The overriding goal of the studio is to produce architecture that offers clever, realistic, ecological, and economic architecture for the near future. This universal theme will be discussed with help of a selected literature list.

Rintala Eggertsson Architects was founded in 2007 by the Finnish architect Sami Rintala and the Icelandic architect Dagur Eggertsson. The office bases its activities on teaching, furniture design, public art projects, architecture, and planning. Important features in Rintala Eggertsson's practice are their 1:1 building workshops with students and clients. Occupying the space between architecture and public art, their work has been installed in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the MAXXI Museum in Rome, and in the Venice Biennale, and has been published extensively, such as in A+U, Wallpaper, Architectural Review, Blueprint, Domus and The New York Times. Their work has been described as narrative and conceptual. Resulting work is a layered interpretation of the physical, mental and poetic resources of the site.

Eggertsson and/or Rintala will be present in studio for week-long sessions roughly every three weeks.

Instructor permission required:

  • Prerequisite: ARCH 3102
  • Enrollment limited to B.Arch. students
  • Enrollment by ballot only, permission of instructor and available space

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abandoned industrial site on left and abandoned warehouse on right, black and white

Soviet industry, Armenia. photo / Lori Khatchadourian

ARCH 4101/4102/5101/5116/7113
Design Plan 5.0: Of Industry after the Fall

  • Instructor: Aleksandr Mergold
  • Time: M, W, F 12:20–4:25 p.m.
  • Location: TBA
  • Credits: 6

"Design Plan" studios work with stakeholders across the globe to investigate and precisely define problems that can be solved with the input of designers and architects. Ranging from the design of objects, buildings, and cities, to strategies, organizational principles, and policies of reuse, the studios aim at enabling the local communities to make their desires and concerns positively affect their immediate constructed environment. A "design plan" is hatched from observing, empathizing, and designing interactions with a given local situation, a critical alternative to top-down master plans.

Previous design plan studios:

  • D/P 1.0 – of Fears and Desires in Trumansburg, New York
  • D/P 2.0 – of Histories and Identities in Bzionkow, Polish Silesia
  • D/P 3.0 – of Empathy and Possibilities in "Temporary" Refugee Settlements
  • D/P 4.0 – of P/Fast and Future Building in Ithaca, New York

This edition of D/P Studio will reconsider the fate of industrial complexes that had once been the backbone of a massive socialist experiment and the planned economy of the Soviet Union. Now, they are both monuments to the recent past, and a resource for the local populations that found themselves in newly-founded countries that once made up the USSR. People who live around these industrial wastelands are slowly beginning to repurpose the massively scaled and dramatically shaped spaces through practices of rebuilding, spoliation, curation, and rent extraction that variously accelerate or impede their decay. A situation not unlike medieval Rome, with the lore of the Soviet industry slowly fading, these massive, nearly cyclopean, brutalist structures stand amidst a new post-industrial post-soviet reality. Caught between their picturesque, nostalgic appeal and the extreme complexity of their permanent reoccupation rooted in deep environmental, technological, regulatory, and preservation issues, these complexes are both places of the past and of the future. As such we will study them as ruins in formation, in collaboration with an archeologist, and as resources, in collaboration with a local architecture faculty and students.

The studio site will be one of the many factory complexes in the Republic of Armenia. Once a largely agrarian society before the Soviet takeover under Stalin and his successors, Armenia became one of the world's most rapidly industrialized countries. Armenia is a palimpsest of histories, mythologies, conflicts, and struggles that stretches deep into prehistory, but is perhaps best known architecturally for its distinctive medieval churches. The Soviet period comparatively is a small blip in its long history, but it is perhaps the most palpable, because of the multiple social and physical residues that remain, including the massive remnants of the centrally-planned industry whose future remains unresolved. The fate of these ruins, now mostly empty and stripped of all salvageable machinery components, is uncertain — they are too large to reoccupy or to demolish. What can they be? The studio will concern itself with timelessness vs. temporality, locality vs. globalism, and lightness vs. firmness within the context of an ensemble of existing buildings with complicated histories, geopolitical situation, geography, environmental contamination, and conflicting and contradicting perceptions.

The studio anticipates a weeklong field trip* to Armenia from February 16 to 22.

*$500 field trip contribution per student is required.

The studio is a collaboration with Lori Khatchadourian, Department of Near Eastern Studies; and Zara Mamyan, head of the Department of Urban Planning at National University of Architecture and Construction (NUAC); as well as a group of architecture students from NUAC.

Instructor permission required:

  • Enrollment limited to B.Arch. students
  • Prerequisite: ARCH 3102
  • Enrollment by ballot only, permission of instructor, and available space.

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detail of a colored piece of brick

John Ruskin, Study of a piece of Brick to Show Cleavage in Burnt Clay (1871), watercolor and bodycolor over graphite on wove paper, 21.3 x 17.2 cm.

ARCH 4101/4102/5101/5116/7113
Found Thing

  • Instructor: Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen with Diego Perez
  • Time: M, W, F 12:20-4:25 p.m.
  • Location: TBA
  • Credits: 6

Perhaps the only difference between objects and things resides in their scale. Before objects were available to be found, even before they had a proper name, things were already there. Mute, opaque, tacit, like posing for an impossible still life, one without an author. Things precede words, yet sometimes they exceed them. Ruskin, in one of his many didactic enterprises, could describe a mountain formation through a tiny rock, and vice versa. Architecture, as any work of art, is founded in the same tautological principle. There is no purpose in nature (even if we see it). It has been clearly (and irrevocably) entitled as the "useless utility" (the same a brick or a tulip). We keep dreaming about those innocent days, those bright mornings, in which we had no name for walls or rooms. Can we sincerely fake ignorance? Can we really "forget the name of things?" Architecture, as any other natural thing, can certainly be produced without history, but also without context, program, or construction. What is left, then? Perhaps no more than some invisible tendencies, some comparative sizes, and basic directions. As if in a logical venture, buildings will be collected from a personal and rather impulsive memory. They will be translated into repositories for geological fragments. Not a large museum for a prefabricated urban scene, but a small house for a private pilgrimage into pure (and idealized) wilderness. Celebrating its 10th variation, this studio further extends our Naïve Intention program; an intimate research on the apparent contradiction between intentionality and chance, rationality and futility, prediction and circumstance, authorship and anonymity. Based on a series of subjective constraints, every student will elaborate a precise inventory of architectonic propositions, a selection of which will be developed through handmade models, drawings, and paintings.

This studio includes a field trip to the Grand Canyon National Park and selected architecture of the region. Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen, associate professors of the practice and founding partners of Pezo von Ellrichshausen, will be in Ithaca on the following dates: January 23–25, March 13–15, April 12–15, and May 7–10. They will also participate in the weeklong field trip, February 16 to 22. Diego Perez, assistant professor and project director architect at Pezo von Ellrichshausen, will be based in Ithaca with a full-time commitment to the studio.

*$500 field trip contribution per student is required

Instructor permission required:

  • Enrollment limited to B.Arch. students
  • Prerequisite ARCH 3102
  • Enrollment by ballot only, permission of instructor, and available space

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Four images of woven structures or material

From left, Lumen detail (Jenny Sabin Studio); 3D printed chitosan (2016 option studio and Sabin Design Lab); Lumen; fiber-winding end effector; robotic fabrication process involving two interacting six-axis robots. ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart.

ARCH 4101/4102/5101/5116/7113
Matter Design Computation: Human-Centered Adaptive Architecture in the UAE

  • Instructor: Jenny Sabin
  • Time: M, W, F 12:20–4:25 p.m.
  • Location: TBA
  • Credits: 6

Frei Otto also took up the notion of self-generation and the analogy between biology and building, but eschewed the imitation of nature in favor of working directly in materials to produce models that were at once natural and artificial. At the same time, he also eschewed their translation into a universalizing mathesis. Rather than focusing on form or formula, he took the idea of analogy in an entirely different direction, preferring to stage experiments in which materials find their own form. ~ Detlef Mertins

  • Sabin Lab senior personnel: David Rosenwasser
  • Robot: SULLA; ABB IRB 4600; payload capacity = 45kg; 2.05m reach and 6 axis rotation

Rationale

How might buildings behave more like organisms responding to and adapting to their built environments?

In the not so distant future, materials will not just be elements and things in buildings, they will generate immersive spaces, acting upon and responding to affordances in our built environments. Like the cells in our bodies, sensors and imagers will learn and adapt, making materials not only smart but also aware, sensate, and beautiful. We will be able to tune our spaces, to personalize architecture.

This studio will explore current and future applications of human-centered adaptive architecture in extreme climates for outdoor public programming, including parks, beach activation, recreation, and play. To do this, we will incorporate digital and robotic fabrication with an emphasis on user feedback through handcraft and external bioinspired datasets and models. We will focus on materially-directed generative fabrication inspired by natural systems, specifically natural fiber and textile composite structures (e.g. bone, sea sponges, plant fibers, cellular systems). The studio aims to advance materials research and robotic digital fabrication through questions that probe the economical, ecological, and cultural production of complex built form in extreme climate conditions. While nonlinear concepts are widely applied in analysis and generative design in architecture, they have not yet convincingly translated into the material realm of fabrication and construction. How have these advancements impacted material practice in architecture, engineering, and construction at economic, technological, and cultural levels? How might we address these issues during the design process? The main thrust of this studio concerns the evolution of material and digital complexity through radical experimentation in robotic fabrication and digital handcraft with the following themes: static and interactive robotic drawing; materials research; natural fiber-based systems and composite structures; additive manufacturing and custom end effectors and sensors; component and part fabrication; 1:1 scale prototypes; and structural elements.

The expected outcome for the studio is for students to develop an integrated architectural proposal and program for the Makers District beach activation project through materially-directed generative fabrication and the production of 1:1 scale prototypes and structural elements (canopy, column, tower, etc.). The final project must represent a thorough design idea documented by material investigations, models, prototypes, drawings, tectonic strategy and sections, overall and partial views, and diagrams illustrating the concept and its development into a coherent architectural proposal.

Bioinspiration

Cable nets based on the high strength-to-weight ratio of the spider web; conditioning systems modeled after termite mounds; superhydrophobic coatings based on lotus leaves; pneumatic structures inspired by soap bubbles and foams; surface structures abstracted from the exoskeletons of radiolarian; structural color change engineered from the 3D geometry and structure of butterfly wings; and towers generated and engineered from the distribution of stress forces observed in the femur bone. Architects, scientists, and structural engineers have always looked to nature and the sciences for inspiration, and each profession demands collaboration across a broad range of disciplines. Clearly, biologists and architects share similar concerns, and this is best reflected in the relationships that have emerged between their respective fields. Models borrowed from architects — such as tensegrity structures and geodesic domes — have led to radical new insights into how living systems — such as cells, tissues, and whole organisms — are assembled and function, as well as to a new understanding of how the microecology of cells influences the genome. Similarly, models borrowed from biology, particularly regarding self-organization, metadata structures, and the emergence of complex, non-linear global systems from simple local rules of organization have led to radical new forms and structural organizations in architectural design. Examples such as these demonstrate how attentive architectural and scientific practices can be to each other — particularly within architecture and biology, which are constantly challenged to reinvent and question themselves in a manner similar to the historic avant-gardes, or in the face of new technologies.

Site and Travel

This studio anticipates a weeklong field trip from February 16 to 22 to visit sites in Abu Dhabi and perhaps Dubai. We will work with local developers and architects, including IMKAN/Soulful Places. Enriched Lives. Our site is a beach area within the Makers District, a mixed-use development strategically located in Reem Island in Abu Dhabi, across from the cultural hub of Saadiyat Island, home to the Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. We will focus on the waterfront activation development.

*500 field trip contribution per student is required.

Instructor permission required:

  • Enrollment limited to B.Arch. students
  • Prerequisite: ARCH 3102
  • Enrollment by ballot only, permission of instructor, and available space

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rendering of modern buildings and a public square in a city

Split, Croatia. photo / D. Pejkovic

ARCH 4101/4102/5101/5116/7113
Split 3.0 - Urban Editing: Contemporary Potential of Late Modern Public Urban Space

  • Instructor: Saša Begović, Lina Malfona
  • Time: M, W, F 12:20-4:25 p.m.
  • Location: TBD
  • Credits: 6

The city of Split, Croatia has had a long history of urban development, of which the most valuable and important historical example is Diocletian Palace (AD 295–305). The last Roman Emperor House has, over time, become the structure for a very lively city — a house/city that is not a monument, but a place full of life, people, and events and that, after 2,000 years, is still being upgraded, built, and rebuilt with new contemporary layers.

This example of Diocletian's Palace encouraged the young Team X architects to refuse the tabula rasa methodology of modern urban development. Dutch architect Jaap Bakema "rediscovered" the palace during the 1956 CIAM Team X meeting in Dubrovnik, and described it as "a model for a strategy of preserving a building's historic substance by employing a method of permanent transformation and contemporary reacquisition," Today, more than 50 years later, the palace might again become a source of inspiration for architects and urban designers in regards to new challenges.

The winning team of the urban design competition of the Split III district was led by architect Braco Mušič. A Harvard GSD graduate in an age when Modernist principles were strongly criticized, he had also participated in Dubrovnik Team X, CIAM congress, and his project established a connection between the architecture of megastructural scale and the reestablishment of the pedestrian zone — the street.

Our studio, Split 3.0 - Urban Editing, is therefore about researching, editing, and improving public space in the city of Split. Fifty years after the very successful design and realization of this (late Modern) quarter Split III, we will examine the potential of its streets and neighborhoods at both urban and architectural scales. This studio recognizes the role of the street — the urbanistic and architectural potential of the street — in the matrix of the city of Split (Nolli plan of Split 3.0 revisited).

We will be using the editing method, as used by filmmakers, musicians, classical and contemporary DJs, and cook master chefs. And, as in film editing, we will use the "ready-made" elements and found realities on the spot, rearrange them, adapt, transform, repair, reuse. The studio also aims to critically explore the contemporary impact of digital technologies on communities and urban space. Sensors and networks are part of everyday life now. The addition of temporary, adaptive, innovative objects/structures (parasites), can transform existing spaces into spaces of urban and cultural production that interact with neighboring parts of the city. What will the consequences of this new scenario be on urban public life?

Students are highly encouraged to independently visit the exhibition Towards a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980 at MoMA in New York City (closes Sunday, January 13, 2019). The exhibition serves as an important introduction to the period of the creation of the Split III district, demonstrating not only an urban and architectural overview but also the social, economic, and political condition of that country and that time. Sasa Begovic will be in Ithaca for an anticipated four, 10-day visits on the following dates: January 22–31, March 13–22, April 10–19, and April 29–May 9; and will also participate in the weeklong field trip* to Split from February 16 to 22. Visiting Critic Lina Malfona will collaborate in the studio on a full time basis in Ithaca.

The final product of the studio will be realized through a presentation, exhibition, and publication/folder book.

*$500 field trip contribution per student is required.

Instructor permission required:

  • B.Arch. students: prerequisite ARCH 3102
  • Enrollment by ballot only, permission of instructor, and available space

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pink site plan of Central Park in Taichung, Taiwan

The Southern Coolia of Central Park, Taichung, Taiwan (2012–18), Philippe Rahm architectes, mosbach paysagistes, Ricky Liu and Associates

ARCH 4101/4102/5101/5116/7113
The Anthropocene Style

  • Instructor: Philippe Rahm, Sarosh Anklesaria
  • Time: M, W, F 12:20-4:25 p.m.
  • Location: TBA
  • Credits: 6

Architecture and urban design were traditionally primarily based on climate, comfort, and health issues as we can read in treatises of Vitruvius or Alberti, writing about wind and solar exposures, humidity, and temperature rates. These fundamental causes of the urban design were ignored during the 20th century thanks to the enormous use of fossil energy by pumps, motors, refrigerators, heating systems, and air conditioning that cause today the greenhouse effect and global warming. Sustainability and the fight against climate change force the architects and urban designer to take back seriously the climatic issue in order to base their urban development plan and public spaces design on more consideration to the local climatic context and local energy resources.

At the urban level, we will analyze sunshine, wind direction, sources of pollutants, and noise emissions and respond by working on the form, layout of programs, choice of materials, and definition of new functions for the benefit of the quality of the atmosphere and the climatic sensuality of public space. Our tools will be real, those of the physical properties of materials such as albedo and emissivity, shading, meteorological phenomena such as evaporation, convection, pressure, whose behaviors will be modeled at the very beginning of the project with software to simulate fluid flow or solar radiation. We will, as an example, revalue the political and social essence of public space through the fundamental climatic values of summer freshness and winter warmth in the millenary tradition of urban know-how forgotten during the 20th century.

At the architectural level, with formal, aesthetic, and social consequences, we will respond to new environmental and energy requirements by providing a meteorological understanding of building physics, revealing internal convection movements, variations in thermal radiation, thermal conductivity gradations, water vapor emissions and trajectory, physiological air and light quality, and material effusivity and emissivity values in order to minimize the responsible energy consumption during building operation of more than 30 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions. We also draw conclusions at the programmatic level by reassessing the degree of individualization and sharing of functions, which can enhance the value of living together and the community.

By abandoning the overrun use of fossil energy, we will abandon the 20th-century modern style, white, thin, and minimal, for a new architecture style we will invent together — the Anthropocene Style.

Philippe Rahm will be in Ithaca on the following dates: January 28–February 1, March 11–15, April 8–12, and May 3–9.

Visiting Critic Sarosh Anklesaria will collaborate in the studio on a full-time basis in Ithaca.

Instructor permission required:

  • B.Arch. students prerequisite: ARCH 3102
  • Enrollment by ballot only, permission of instructor, and available space

View a PDF of this class description.

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