AA SUMMER DLAB :: WHITE Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture London / Hooke Park, United Kingdom 21 July – 08 August 2014 Summer DLAB experiments with the integration of algorithmic / generative design methodologies and large scale digital fabrication tools. Continuing its color based agenda, Summer DLAB immerses in ‘white’ for its 2014 cycle, as a starting point to investigate natural formation processes and interpret them as innovative architectonic spaces. ‘White’ becomes the means of looking into extreme natural conditions which it is associated with. Concepts of emergence, differentiation, and complexity shape the theoretical framework of this investigation. Natural structures of differing scales are observed, which are then abstracted and interpreted into elaborated design proposals. The computational process of Summer DLAB is based on generative design algorithms, as can be seen in natural growth patterns such as the Lindenmayer system and fractal theory. These concepts are carefully interwoven with interaction and participatory design in order to create full-scale working prototypes. One of the major objectives of Summer DLAB is to demonstrate the continuity of the workflow between computational software and digital assembly procedures leading to physical fabrication. In this respect, the programme is formulated as a two-phase process. During the initial phase participants benefit from the unique atmosphere and facilities of AA’s London home. The second phase shifts to AA Hooke Park campus and revolves around the fabrication and assembly of a full-scale architectural intervention which unifies the design goals of Summer DLAB. Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed
- Teaching team: Summer DLAB tutors are selected from recent graduates / current tutors at the AA. Participants engage in an active learning environment where the large tutor to student ratio (5:1) allows for personalized tutorials and debates.
- Facilities: AA London houses cutting-edge facilities for the fabrication of physical outputs through digital fabrication techniques or other forms including the use of plastics, wood, and metal. Digital Prototyping Lab (DPL) offers laser cutting, CNC milling, and 3d printing facilities. The facilities at AA Hooke Park allow for the fabrication of one-to-one scale prototypes with a 3-axis CNC router and various woodworking power tools.
- Computational skills: The toolset of Summer DLAB includes but is not limited to Rhinoceros, Processing, Arduino, and Grasshopper.
- Theoretical understanding: The dissemination of fundamental design techniques and relevant critical thinking methodologies to the participants through theoretical sessions and seminars forms one of the major goals of Summer DLAB.
- Professional awareness: Summer DLAB performs as a simulation of the professional environment due the priority given to team-based design approach. Participants ranging from 2nd year students to PhD candidates and full-time professionals experience a highly-focused collaborative educational model which promotes research-based design and making.
- Fabrication: According to the specific agenda of each year, a one-to-one scale prototype is fabricated and assembled by design teams.
- Lecture series: Taking advantage of its unique location, London, Summer DLAB creates a vibrant atmosphere with its intense lecture programme conveying the diverse expertise of professionals from some of the world’s leading practices in the areas of digital design and fabrication techniques.
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