Disruptive Continuity – Solutions in(Form)ed via Iterative Digital Process
In contemporary architectural education, students use digital tools to produce digital models that tend toward superficial or visual representations of a built work; however, in practice, the digital model produces the constructed reality. Academia and practice are both being revolutionized via parametric tools that allow for increased speed and variation. As our tools and ability to produce new and unique solutions increase, it is imperative that young architects learn how to rapidly evaluate and analyze solutions, altering and adapting them within a fluid process of making and discovery.
Critical to this process is an understanding of form. Form operates within a complex set of interactions where the shape of matter and the ability to precisely control its construction, lead to new spatial possibilities and embedded intelligence within the form and the digital model that drives it. Individual decisions are used to maximize problem-solving opportunities while further increasing overall coherence. Problems are understood within a field of relative relations where the architect controls the specifics at both the macro and micro-interactions and where they are now primed to seek out new combinations where win-win solutions are manifested.
Mr. Summers’ has developed a unique process that informs his professional work at PLUS-SUM Studio. He then introduces and tests its translation to academia in his architectural design studios at the University of Kentucky College of Design, School of Architecture through an exercise titled “Disruptive Continuity.” This exercise forms the foundation of each studio’s broader project. His research into design pedagogy attempts to bridge the gap between academia and practice while maintaining critical distinctions to address where they are unique. These two realms are developed reflexively so that each informs the other, establishing continuity and allowing space to seek out new and productive gaps. Secondary issues within the research: design process, digital workflows, definitions of performance, formal acumen, poché, complexity, adaptive strategies, aesthetics, error (in both process and production), camouflage, glitch, intuition, rationalization, integrated practice, and contemporary methods of fabrication.
The exhibition contextualizes ongoing academic research that attempts to structure student workflows that parallel advanced professional workflows, where conceptual ideas, aesthetics, and performative form are understood within a rapid decision-making process. Both professional and academic work is shown to demonstrate these ideas, open up a conversation, and allow space for misreadings, errors, and invention.
Thanks to Jasmin Aber and CEL Center for Architecture + Design St. Louis, for hosting the exhibition. Thanks to the University of Kentucky College of Design, School of Architecture for funding the installation, and a special thanks to Chandler Ahrens for the opportunity to show this work in St. Louis.