HAA 179X - Tectonics Lab: Conference Course





Andrew Plumb

Monday, 9:00am - 10:00am; Friday, 3:00pm - 5:45pm

Tectonics Lab introduces students to the roles that materials and their disposition play in the production of meaningful architectural experience. We explore material properties and expand upon traditional definitions to include a critique of the ecological, social and cultural impact of their production and end use. We will consider materials through the lense of Good, Clean and Fair. Terms that are borrowed from the slow movement and which are conspicuously absent from the discipline and practice of architecture and construction.
Students will work in teams to research and experiment with wood, masonry and concrete in a series of design-build projects throughout the semester pairing concepts of making and construction with realities of material ability and craft. Through these projects, we will build our shared knowledge of material properties, their expression and their effect on architectural experience. Weekly lectures provide a theoretical basis for the design-build projects. Topics include structural fundamentals; material properties and fabrication; joinery and assembly; scalar transformations; modular construction and more.
Representation plays an important role in the exploration of analytical and intuitive modes of making throughout the design and fabrication process. The physical artifacts from each project will be discussed with reference to modes of conception and representation, both digital and analog. Project development documented through drawing, photography, and video is an essential component of the coursework, and a comprehensive portfolio will be due at the end of the term.