Introduction: Etymologically the word architect is derived from the Greek word arkhitekton meaning “chief builder” (arkhi-, chief + tekton, builder). Originally, architects were primarily builders or artisans. Since that time architects have moved increasingly further away from the act of building. However, recent technological advances in such fields as digital fabrication, custom prototyping, and materials science are drawing architects back to the craft of making. This issue of TECHNE focuses on the relevance of building, making, and fabricating in architectural pedagogy and practice, and presents essays, conceptual proposals, and projects that address this topic. We consider why it is important to provide students with opportunities to engage in building and making and reflect on what students gain from these experiences. What are the lessons learned from student projects that have embraced a design:build approach? How can we provide more of these opportunities to students?
This issue features the extraordinary work of our students and faculty on the Solar Decathlon. The project exemplifies the epitome of a hands-on experiential learning opportunity in designing to build. It is through projects like this that students are afforded the opportunity to learn soft skills, such as communicating, collaborating, scheduling, and managing, together with hard skills such as drawing construction details and using tools on a job site. Both students and faculty discover that, unlike in a traditional classroom, each learn more than they could have expected.
We also discuss the impact new digital fabrication tools have on the way we conceive, practice, and, most importantly, teach architecture. With the onset of these tools, architecture is being conceived differently both in its conceptual approach and its multitude of possible job descriptions. These tools have enabled students and practitioners to engage more directly with the act of expeditiously making and have inspired projects that are seemingly less constrained by the confines of a traditional architecture practice. These explorations and inspirations expand the field of architecture, and what it makes, and exponentially increases the number of potential trajectories that we can embark upon. Are these tools and processes redefining the role of an architect? Should we use what we learn from these contemporary processes to inform traditional practices and pedagogies or are they something entirely new?
Student contributions: Ashley Amador, Rosemarie Castillo, Darwin Diaz, Meilledjine Francois, Percia Gomez, Asli Oney, Ana Perez, Carolina Rianchos, Steven Zimmerman
Table of contents:
Introduction: Ting Chin, Michael Duddy, Jason Montgomery p. 1
Precise | Concise: Sanjive Vaidya p. 3
Iris Pavilion: Mentor: Professor Joseph Vidich Assistants: Michael DiCarlo & Anner More Students: Shadeen Dixon Allon Morgan Heraldi Sadmojo Mimu Sakuma Claudia Tupayachi p. 5
ARCH4890 Computation & Fabrication: Professor Hart Marlow p.15
Terra Table: Henry Aguilar p. 33
Solar Decathlon: Solar Decathlon Team p. 41
Energy Modeling Report: Professor Jihun Kim p. 69
Stratusquo: Anner More & Franklin Rojas p. 89
Adaptive & Autonomous Tensegrity System: Anner More & Franklin Rojas Student Team: Mimu Sakuma Allon Morgan Heraldi Sadmojo Anastasiia Shaiukova p. 99
Opposite Reactions: Anastasiia Shaiukova p. 105
Projecting Architecture in the Digital Era: Professor Severino Alfonso, Students: Espinoza Edinboro Leitch Choudhury p. 111
Design Build Experiences of a Practicing City Tech Faculty Member: Professor Mars Podvorica p. 123
Chin, Ting; Duddy, Michael; and Montgomery, Jason, "TECHNE Issue 04" (2017). CUNY Academic Works.