From TED talks, Vijay Kumar presents autonomous quadcopters that have a lot of applications in the near future. I’m particularly interested and fascinated in how they can be potentially programmed to locally interact with each other, a basis for swarming logic.
This is very similar to my graduate thesis explorations during my studies at California College of the Arts. In the near future, the automation of human transport (in this case the airport terminal) will radically change the way we experience / use transportation hubs. During my thesis research, I’ve drawn parallels between the extreme efficiency of logistics hubs that ship hundreds of thousands of packages a day. These packages are constantly scanned, routed, and re-routed in an immense automated network. My thesis then questioned, what can the future airport adapt / learn from the automated logistics hubs to move people toward their intended destination? What are the implications of the increasing pervasiveness of technology (automation / self-service) on the future of human transit?
After an intense 11-day workshop, we presented our pavilion of sound on July 22 as a culmination of what we learned in the seminars. Our intent was to create a “Soundcatcher” that questions the interplay between wind and sound to create mood. How can users experience the passive nature of wind in an intimate and visceral way? By harnessing the ethereality of wind, ‘Soundcatcher’ creates sound that both informs and structures space. As wind creates reverberating pressure zones inside the cylinders, users are immersed in a primal environment that directly corresponds to their local position amongst an emergent global form.
Last spring, I was enrolled in an Energy Analysis seminar at CCA. The link will take you to the press release of our presentation. I have visited CCA recently and was informed that many of our proposals are already underway and being implemented.
It’s been awhile since my last post! I will update with a more thorough post soon (about thesis, graduating, recent events) but I’m in a 10-day intensive workshop called Biodynamic Structures here at CCA. It is co-taught by the Architectural Association in London; we have tons of talent here teaching and learning about passive and active systems that respond to dynamic environmental and spatial factors in architectural design.
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2011, by Chris Bliss
California College of the Arts (CCA) has purchased from Greyhound Lines, Inc. a two- and-a-half-acre (approximately 102,000 square feet) vacant lot in the Mission Bay area of San Francisco. The property, formerly a bus maintenance facility, abuts CCA’s main San Francisco campus building at 1111 Eighth Street and is bordered by 7th, Hooper, and Irwin Streets. The purchase price was $8.4 million.
CCA’s Board of Trustees spearheaded the effort to acquire the property and provided the financing for the purchase. CCA Board Chair F. Noel Perry stated, “This is a wonderful example of board stewardship. We now have an opportunity to truly ‘dream big’—the theme of our current Strategic Plan—and lead the way in delivering the best arts education for the 21st century. CCA has been a tremendous success story in the last 15 years, with enrollment increasing by 75 percent and demand for our programs continuing to grow. Acquiring this property opens up a world of possibilities for us and cements our presence in San Francisco.”
Design in architecture is heavily weighted by research and rigor. Research involves analysis, precedents, methodologies, strategies, and more. Rigor is the exhaustive and thorough filter that which the research and experimentation must be subject to. I recently attended a lecture by Marc Fornes here at CCA, and was inspired by the work, but even more fascinated by the intense processes that his studio goes through for the realization of projects. I appreciated the format of the lecture, as Marc presented his projects in the manner of its failures and evolutions. His extensive research in architecture via what he qualifies “Explicit and Encoded” protocols of design (scripting and computational methods) to me, resembles the inherent processes of nature. Although Marc claims that he does not intend to explore biomimicry in architecture, I see an analogous process. With the exhaustive research of material applications and structural tendencies coupled with the rigor of testing, failing, and evolving; Marc and his studio “THEVERYMANY” are creating an immense body of work that pushes the boundaries of computational modeling and experimental morphologies that mirror the natural processes of adaptation and evolution. After the lecture, I had the pleasure of attending dinner with Marc and some CCA faculty, where the discussions ranged from traveling, futures in architecture, even to my thesis project and horoscopes!
My last semester’s classes: Thesis Studio (Nataly Gattegno, Advisor); Energy Analysis (Ryan Stroupe); and Glass Blowing (Pamina Traylor). Graduation May 14!!
So far, thesis is going slow.. but steady. It’s pretty weird having to fully direct your own project at this stage. I’ve gotten accustomed to the typical design studio where there’s tons of work and you’ve got a general idea of what’s required in the class. In thesis, its all driven on your own, and you set your own pace. I have a pin-up/review on Monday so my pace right now has accelerated greatly..
Energy Analysis is a great Building Tech elective that I’m glad I decided to take. In May of 2010 our CCA president, Stephen Beal, signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). This agreement puts the college on a path to climate neutrality: an impressive objective that will require strategic planning and aggressive action. The seminar will undertake some of the first steps toward this ambitious goal. We are both benchmarking and visiting existing buildings within our CCA campus, conducting energy audits of facilities, exploring energy conservation measures and the feasibility of renewable energy systems, identifying facility re-design opportunities, developing project proposals, producing a financial assessment of each proposal, and creating a climate action plan and timetable.
Glass Blowing is my third open elective and is a great break from being inside studio. It’s an awesome class, because I’m being introduced to a completely new world of art & craft making through a medium so complex as glass. So far, I’ve learned how to make small orbs, hollow spheres of various shapes, and cylindrical cups. I also had my first skills/techniques project due recently in which I had to use only cold-working with glass.
The coolest effects that I didn’t foresee in this project are the shadows and how my ‘bowl/dish’ is rendered in light. Our next project will focus on sandcasting.