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The Digital Sketchbook

Apple’s first tablet, the Newton Message Pad, debuted in 1993. It came with a stylus. With the development of the iPhone and the capacitive touchscreen, the stylus was abandoned in favor of the finger. But the physical immediacy offered by this technology is offset by its inability to record precise and nuanced marks, making drawing on an iPad a tedious experience for many. 

For a run-down of drawing apps that make this experience a little less tedious for those who can't or don't want to drop $800 plus on a new iPad pro (plus the $99 apple pencil) check out the full article at the the Architectural Record website

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Preview Platform 8 on Facebook

Platform 8 will be available soon!  

 A preview is available now on the Platform 8 facebook page

Platform 8 chronicles a year of design education and research at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Platform 8 is designed as a companion to practice, education and research for architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and associated fields. This 8th edition surveys the people, products and discourse surrounding design culture at the GSD, providing a reference for future students, educators and practitioners. 

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Zaneta Hong Presents "Making Platform 8" at Harvard University

Editor Zaneta Hong and the Platform 8 team present "Making Platform 8" at Harvard University this November 13th . Platform 8 chronicles a year of design education and research at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. The 8th edition surveys the people, products and discourse surrounding design culture at the GSD, providing a reference for future students, educators and practitioners.

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"Reciprocal Artifacts" @ ACADIA 2015 Conference

Reciprocal Artifacts is a series of design investigations focused on generating topological and material reciprocity between anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric spatial ontologies within a single artifact. Expanding on the role of the artifact as both, indexical of and emergent from the circumstances leading to its formation, this research posits that artifacts are more than a vestigial product of expansive processes at work. They are the means by which relationships between these circumstances and processes find expression. Reciprocity, between multiple agents or systems, is the degree to which each can perturb or irritate the environment of another, eliciting transformative responses and adaptations. Reciprocal artifacts are formed through mutual perturbations that generate integrated and co-evolutionary effects.

The subset of findings presented at the 2015 ACADIA Conference is a collection of artifacts produced through the merging of two divergent physiogenic spatial ontologies: spatial enclosure in the form of three-dimensional boundary/edge conditions, and biological (arboreal) continuities derived from their taxonometric morphologies. The resulting artifacts are not singularly anthropogenic in their formation, definition, and material assembly; nor are they centered, motivated, or evaluated by human experience and human affordance. Rather, these studies ground both anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic forms of creativity in a mutually foreign and equally representational computational environment. They explore questions of how design processes built from both human and nonhuman actors develop agency and expression.

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"Excerpts from the Proxy Series" @ BSA Exhibition - Bigger Than a Bread Box

The purpose of the proxy series of installations is to experiment with with the workflow of an entire project, from conception to construction.  Though these projects operate at smaller dimensional, programmatic and financial scales, they are always addressing larger issues of design practice by crafting resonance between procedural and material effects.

Bigger Than a Bread Box Exhibition Opens -  Beta-field was selected to contribute work from their proxy series in this "installation as research" exhibition. The Exhibition will run from June 17th - October 4th at the Boston Society of Architects / AIA - BSA Space, at 290 Congress st. in Boston MA.

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"Compu-tectonics" Awarded Bridge Research Grant

Computational Ecologies is a collaborative research project that focuses on computational design processes which and their cyclical relationships to computer numerically controlled machines via material artifacts. This project is an extension of the ongoing research of the RISD Code Studio, merging two research practices into a common computational environment to find novel ways of expanding design practice, artistic inquiry, and design education pedagogy. The following proposal is for an intensive three week project workshop during the summer of 2015 that utilizes the equipment and collaborative work space of the Co-Works facility.

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Intermittency Exhibition + Installation Opens @ RISD Museum

Student design work from Leighton Beaman's Intermittency studio will be on exhibit at the RISD Museum in the Chace Center lobby at 20 N. Main Street in Providence RI, May 22nd - June 1st 2015.This studio brings together students from Interior Architecture/Adaptive Reuse,and artists, educators, and RISD Museum staff to design an intermittent space for display, commerce, and communication at the Chace Center. Utilizing the newly completed Co-Works technology lab where students have access to all 3D printing, cutting, milling, and printing facilities, we worked with parametric modeling software and CNC manufacturing equipment throughout the semester to complete an installation in the RISD Museum Chace Center. The installation displays the work from the semester including full-scale mock-ups of the final design proposals. From a pedagogical standpoint, the use digital design and production methodologies that allow us to span from design concept to physical construction to interactive project documentation provided a common ground for a cross-disciplinary approach to design practice. For more on the studio please read Simone Solondz' article in RISD news " Designs for Flexibility "

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Intermittency Installation Featured @ the RISD Honorarary Degree Program

The Intermittency installation displays the work from the semester including full-scale mock-ups of the final design proposals. From a pedagogical standpoint, the use digital design and production methodologies that allow us to span from design concept to physical construction to interactive project documentation provided a common ground for a cross-disciplinary approach to design practice. 

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“Woven Building Systems” Receives Technology Research Grant

The Woven Building Systems for Developing Communities research project is an investigation of performative woven systems for buildings, which have low environmental impact, yet require little to no construction experience to make. Over the summer of 2015 this research will focus on three aspects of woven building skins generated and analyzed through computational methodologies and developed and tested through material practices: Patterns, Performances, and Assemblies. This project combines two broader research objectives: 1) the exploration of computational processes through procedural and material design investigations, and 2) the development of design agency for underrepresented and developing communities interested in shaping their own built environments.

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Proxy No. 15 @ Boston Society of Architects Exhibition

Leighton Beaman and Zaneta Hong’s Proposal for the Boston Society of Architects [ Proxy No. 15 ] was selected as part of the Bigger than a Bread Box exhibition a BSA Space in Boston opening June 17th 2015. The purpose of the proxy series of installations is to experiment with with the workflow of an entire project, from conception to construction.  Though these projects operate at smaller dimensional, programmatic and financial scales, they are always addressing larger issues of design practice by crafting resonance between procedural and material effects.

Proxy No. 15 is a lightweight, translucent suspension structure built from recyclable polypropylene and nylon. The installation is derived from the architectonic language, assembly process, manufacturing techniques, and material effects of Proxy No. 10, an installation created for the American Institute of Architects National Emerging Practitioners Exhibition in 2012. No. 10 was designed as an interior pavilion at the AIA Headquarters in Washington, DC using a series of custom-coded digital modeling algorithms to rationalize, structure, and generate all the parts required to build the pavilion in a single day. No. 15was designed by reprogramming those algorithms, inverting many of the original pavilions characteristics; whereas No. 10 is oriented vertically, configured through two minimal surfaces, operating in compression, resting on the floor and rising to a height of 7 feet; No. 15 is a synclining symmetrical landscape, oriented horizontally, operating in tension, and suspended twelve feet above the floor.

 

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Intermittency Studio Featured on RISD.edu

“Since the tools are often invented to do something else, it can take a novice or outsider to hack into the technology and come up with a new purpose,” 

Simone Solondz' article "Design for Flexibility" discusses the new Co-Works technology lab and the Advanced studio "Intermittency" lead by Leighton Beaman, visiting critic in Adaptive Reuse + Technology. We often think of adaptation and reuse as the long-term and relatively stable re-purposing of an existing, under-utilized space, towards a new agenda.  However our expectations, needs, and desires for change operate at various spatial and temporal scales, challenging this notion of adaptation and reuse. As the expectations, needs, and desires of the museum  have evolved into immersive experiences that go beyond architecture to incorporate interactive digital environments, way finding, and the transformation of existing spaces, the question temporality and extent present new opportunities to re-think the act of adaptation.   Working in tandem with the RISD Museum, this collaborative interdisciplinary studio explores how existing interior and exterior spaces can be redefined and delimited through graphical, material, and structural cues - reprogramming and re-imagining it’s parameters, program and identity.

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Landformation Catalogue Exhibition Opens at Harvard University

The Landformation  Catalogue  Exhibition  held at Harvard University Graduate School of Design from  March 27th - May 16th examines the generative methodologies of landform manipulation, revealing correlations between the histories, morphologies, assemblies, materials, and affordances of landscape practice. It analyzes the resulting spatial artifacts of humanity’s larger Earth transformation project.

The exhibition was supported by the generosity of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD), GSD Lectures and Exhibitions, and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

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"Excerpts from the Proxy Series" | Exhibited @ RISD Art Museum

“Excerpts from the Proxy Series” -  Models from Proxies No. 08 + No. 10  will be on display as part of the Rhode Island School of Design Faculty Biennale held at the RISD Museum Chase Center from February 19th through March 22nd, 2015. 

Proxies complete systems of inquiry and production with strategically reduced complexity which correlate to more extensive systems of uncertainty. More than just a substitute, proxies transmit the agency, qualities, and considerations of that which they represent. At times the conditions within which we find ourselves working are often truncated, constraining our ability to operate within in typical modes or scale of practice. Proxies offer a methodology for accepting these constraints as a way of expanding design inquiry while remaining grounding in fundamental design problems.  The Proxy Series began in 2007 as an on-going set of research-based projects focused on the exploration of emerging technologies and how they are reshaping design theory, process, and production. Each project investigates a discrete set of issues spanning all three of these categories. While each is aligned to address a specific design problem, the imposition of extra-disciplinary constraints allows us to, pursue production techniques, use materials, employee software, or work with others, outside our particular disciplines. As such proxies offer an alternative formulation of how we research design problems in architecture, landscape architecture, and industrial design.

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Transformations Studio featured in Harvard Magazine

“Architecture as Liberal Arts: Building an Undergraduate Design Program”

By Stephanie Garlock

Harvard Magazine | January - February 2015

Zaneta Hong was featured in the latest Harvard Magazine for her undergraduate architecture studio, the Transformations Studio.

“Design has no boundaries. It permeates through any kind of profession.”

New concentrators begin with “Transformations,” a studio that focuses on “the development of a common language”—of surface, frame, volume, and composite—according to Zaneta Hong, a lecturer in landscape architecture who taught the course for the past two years. Like Mulligan and Smith, she begins the semester with the simplest of transformations: folding a piece of paper in half. From there, students learn technical skills like digital modeling and laser cutting, and incorporate new materials like Plexiglas™ during the semester. What they never get in this first studio is an assignment to design what most people think of as architecture—a structure to be inhabited, on a site, with a specific use or “program.” Even the final project remains abstract, the only guideline being to “transform” paper, museum board, and Plexiglas™, within the constraints of a five-by-five-inch model. “The luxury to be able to focus solely on the design aspects is a good thing to do for a little while,” says Angie Jo ’16, who took Transformations last spring. “I never could have expected that you could get so much conversation, so much thought and creative iterations, out of such a small seed.”

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Leighton Beaman + Carl Lostritto awarded Co-Works Research Project

Leighton Beaman + Carl Lostritto were awarded a Co-Works Summer Research Project - "Compu-tectonic Assemblies".


Computectonic Assemblies is a collaborative research project that focuses on computational design processes and their cyclical relationships to computer numerically controlled machines via material artifacts. This project is an extension of the ongoing research of the RISD Code Studio, merging two research practices into a common computational environment to find novel ways of expanding design practice, artistic inquiry, and design education pedagogy. The following proposal is for an intensive three week project workshop during the summer of 2015 that utilizes the equipment and collaborative work space of the Co-Works facility.

Through the combination of multiple modes and dimensions of assembly and analysis, our goal is to develop new hybrid methodologies, which may be models for new courses, workshops or tutorials within and around the Code Studio. The findings of this research may offer relevant knowledge to design manufacturing. The artifacts produced by and implicated in this research may also stand as autonomous works. Computectonics is the practice of generating workflows that span to and from computational models to physical artifacts. Our inquiry into the assembly of computectonic methods fall into two research domains: Procedures and Materials.

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Zaneta Hong featured in Archinect Article

Harvard's new undergraduate design program teaches "Architecture as Liberal Art"

By Amelia Taylor-Hochberg

 

“The Graduate School of Design at Harvard has long been revered as one of the world's top institutions, but only recently has that pedigree been extended into an undergraduate architecture program. As recently as a few years ago, there were no architecture studio courses available to Harvard undergrads – those interested in architecture would concentrate in the department of History of Art and Architecture, a liberal arts program which isn't tailored towards the 5-year accredited BArch programs of similar undergraduate institutions. But for the first time in Fall of 2012, the GSD and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (where History of Art and Architecture is housed) opened a new, collaborative program for undergraduates. Students who enroll in this track of studies will take two studio courses in architecture, within the context of a wider-ranged liberal arts education – the foundational idea being that architectural design thinking is its own form of liberal-arts practice, and that the two fields will serve to complement and reinforce one another...”

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