Fall 2013 Topics & Studio Course Descriptions

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

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ARCH 533 Topics in Architectural Theory
Subtitle: Global Urbanities and Signature Buildings
Instructor:
Manu Sobti

This course examines how signature buildings designed by star architects have embellished urban contexts through the course of architectural history. From serving the legitimizing needs of powerful patrons in the ancient world, these signature creations served as extensions of power and authority in the medieval globalizing bazaar, pandering to idiosyncratic religious, liturgical and social needs. Finally, the radically changing pre-modern and modern eras re-positioned (and still insidiously do) their role as the evolving products of catalytic interactions across and within cultural boundaries, now recast in a worldview that is future bound. In its detailed, ‘thick-descriptions’ of selected buildings conceived across time and space in every continent and culture, from the ancient world until present-day, this course evolves a comprehensive model that effectively transcends traditional categorizations of chronology, politics and style, producing a synthetic, interdisciplinary understanding of history within the rubric of an overarching architectural history survey. In its labeling of special buildings across time as ‘signature buildings’ empowered by their distinctly ‘global’ urban context, the course focuses on how these structures are seemingly endowed with pregnant symbolism and meaning, often including the superlatives of scale, form and function, and setting the tone for important developments in each epoch. Likewise, their architects and patrons are often ascribed special status within the specifics of cultural contexts that vary greatly in their socio-cultural, economic and political content.

ARCH 533 Topics in Architectural Theory
Subtitle: Urban Design and Practical Theory
Instructor:
Larry Witzling

This course teaches students to critically evaluate theoretical approaches to urban design as a practical basis for making decisions about urban form and public places. The course examines a range of urban design theories, including both contemporary approaches as well as their intellectual and historical precedents. Relevant theories for today’s cities address issues of form and spatial order, social and economic factors, attitudes towards urbanism, and issues of public policy. Some theorists are practitioners who focus primarily on explanations of their aesthetic beliefs while others are social critics who address questions cultural, economic, and socio-political issues. Many theories evolved (and continue to evolve) in relation to so-called movements in urbanism including the City Beautiful movement, modernism, new urbanism, sustainable urbanism, landscape urbanism, and many others. For this course, the underlying issue is “practical urbanism” -- the relationship of theory to practice and, in turn, how practice informs theory.

At the start of the course, we will frame theories from two primary viewpoints – first from the various intellectual categories of the writers (architecture, anthropology, economics, etc.) and secondly from the standpoint of four critical aspects of practice – the goals of design, the approaches or methods used, the way in which we evaluate outcomes, and codes of professional activity. A series of theoretical approaches and authors will be selected for discussion. Selections will be based, in part, on the interests and background of the students in the class. The unifying themes for the discussion will focus on the applications of the theories to contemporary cities and urban design issues.

Design Studios
Undergraduate - Only Design Studio
600-level (not open to graduate students)

ARCH 636 Studies in Form and Composition
Subtitle: Wild Style: A Hip-Hop Museum
Instructor:
Chris Cornelius

In 1983 the film “Wild Style” was released bringing hip-hop, graffiti art and break dancing to a much wider audience. This film is regarded as an important part of hip-hop history in that it was the first time this culture was introduced in the mass media. Hip-hop (and jazz) is regarded as a truly American-born art form. Its roots are in New York and its Burroughs and it is inextricably tied to graffiti art and breakdancing.

This project will be a museum for hip-hop recognizing it as an important art form. The Cornell University Library has recently started archiving hip-hop, and in many ways legitimizing it as an art. This studio project will be sited in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn, New York and will be a home for a collection much like the one at Cornell. We will concern ourselves with a very specific time-frame in hip-hop history that is its origins, in the late 1970s, to 2000. We will examine the associated art forms of graffiti and breaking along with MC-ing and DJ-ing. Travel to the site will not be necessary or required. We will treat the project much like a competition where you may not have an opportunity to visit the site. All of the site information will be provided for you.

Mixed Undergraduate/Graduate Student Studio
600/800-LEVEL
(undergraduate students enroll in 600-level; graduate students enroll in 800-level)

ARCH 615 Studies in Architectural Technology and Theory
Subtitle: IP_BIM Studio
Instructors: Gil Snyder.

Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor. Email gsnyder@uwm.edu with expression of interest no later than 4/12 to be considered for enrollment. Students will be notified of acceptance prior to 4/15. Accepted students must also take ARCH 583, Emerging Digital Technology: Revit Skills Workshop. This is an integrated practice, research oriented design studio. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is rapidly becoming the tool of choice for building design, construction, and facility management. The studio will focus on joining design and technology in a fully integrated environment. It will seek to underscore the development of appropriate strategies for working with BIM software, both as a powerful force for design and as a critique of contemporary practice, and its organization into collaborative systems of integrated practice (IP).

The semester will be organized around the following:
1) A 6-credit design studio [ARCH 815/615 Studies in Architectural Technology and Theory: IP_BIM Studio] taught by Professor Snyder.

2) A 3-credit Revit Skills Workshop [ARCH 583 Emerging Digital Technology: Revit Skills Workshop] taught by professional BIM trainers from the offices of Epstein Uhen Architects, Milwaukee, and coordinated by Professor Snyder. Students enroll in the seminar/workshop simultaneously with the IP_BIM studio. The seminar is taught using Autodesk® Revit® building software, which is available to students at no cost.

3) Professional engineers and contractors join the design studio at regular intervals for integrated practice crits of student projects.

4) A field study component is integrated into the studio and seminar with travel to New York City at the end of October. This will provide an opportunity to visit cutting edge professional practices employing IP/BIM, as well as to examine the role of IP/BIM in fabrication and construction through site visits.

ARCH 615/815 Studies in Architectural Technology and Theory
Subtitle: Tectonic Fragments
Instructor
: Karl Wallick

This is studio focuses on details as the generating point for design. In architecture, detailing refers to any number of approaches that seek to reconcile technical constraints with poetic opportunities for space. In most cases, opportunities for detail occur at changes in orientation, material, or system. For instance, the way a brick is designed to turn the corner, or how a wall transitions into a roof. While such instances tend to occur at the ‘hand-scale’ (as opposed to building or site-scale) the definition of detail is not necessarily constrained by size or dimension. The way an architect resolves how a tiny building sits in a vast meadow or a dense city would also be within the realm of detailing. However, for the purposes of this studio, we will focus on hand, body, and spatial scale details rather than larger questions of site.

This is a paperless studio. At least initially. Our approach to the detail will start a large scale sectional model built in eight separate sectional slices over the first half of the semester. This is not to say that sketching or drawing is disallowed, but that all communication with the instructor will occur exclusively through the model. This methodology is called the tectonic fragment. Tectonic Fragments are a mindset that privileges the small-scale conditions of construction and assembly as a way of pre-figuring form versus a large scale shape-based approach to architecture. It reflects a belief that holistic design strategies can arise from careful study of isolated detailing conditions. In tectonic fragments, the word ‘tectonic’ refers to a long-established term in architecture and means the way we build and how that sequence of fabrication and construction is manifest in terms of detail and form. In other words, tectonic conditions are based in issues of construction that prefigure architectural assembly. By studying or designing isolated building fragments (a column for instance) and their tectonic character (is it comprised of metal or wood, is there a defining shape, what are the limitations of this choice?) an architect will ultimately arrive at a more tightly synthesized building form.

Our attempt to activate marginal details will occur through a modest infill building program. While the building use is not the central focus of our investigation, a workshop program such as a boat builder or maybe a violin maker with a live-work arrangement for an artisan-in-residence will be the vehicle for testing these details. One issue of coordination to consider is that this undergraduate-graduate elective studio will meet on MWF.

ARCH 615/815 Studies in Architectural Technology and Theory
Subtitle: Intelligent Skins for Intelligent Buildings
Instructor: Greg Thomson

Towards Zero Energy Buildings Through the Iterative Design Process Imagine an architecture where the skin of the building not only negotiates and mitigates the differences between inside and outside, but also communicates those differences in multi-valent ways to respond to occupants needs, demands of climate, and energy supply. Intelligent Skins for Intelligent Buildings is a design studio that will use design, research, and analysis methods to inform the appearance, performance, and intelligence of the building skin for the intelligent building of the future.

Current high performance buildings consist of integrated and modular components. In the future these components will include intelligence, which will provide for minimal configuration and system commissioning requirements, as well as controls, monitoring, and diagnostic capacity. Intelligent skins will contain autonomous features allowing them to function and provide local interfaces and feedback to users. These embedded intelligences will enable plug-and-play controls and diagnostics, allowing individual intelligent-agent controllers to work collaboratively across a network to minimize operating cost and maintain comfort in response to time-varying conditions. Facades of this type will be dynamic, changing appearance to respond changing interior and exterior conditions.

The intelligent skin of an intelligent building will move beyond passive control of energy flows (heat, light, solar radiation), to being an active agent in optimizing energy flows. Intelligent buildings will have intelligent skins to navigate the complex relationships between human comfort, capricious climate conditions, and fluctuations in energy supply and costs. This skin will communicate with building systems to optimize interior service demands (e.g. heating, cooling, lighting, computing) with the energy grid to determine where and when energy is used – timing the use of immediate needs for the least cost and lowest emissions, and future needs with the cleanest source of energy. Ensuring this capacity will require not just smart building components, but intelligent ones that can forecast energy demand and production, and make complex calculations of human interaction with the built environment.

The primary goal of this studio is to participate in design-based, iterative processes for developing and demonstrating concepts and technologies to enable the design of Intelligent Skins for Intelligent Buildings.

Specific objectives are to: 1) develop an analysis framework for designing modular and intelligent building subsystems; 2) identify and develop modular, intelligent building envelope and comfort/energy delivery subsystems; 3) develop architectures and methodologies for embedded intelligence and plug-and-play modules to enable high performance buildings; 4) evaluate the integration of modular, intelligent subsystems into whole building systems.

ARCH 615/815 Studies in Architectural Technology and Theory
Subtitle: Inner Harbor Brewery
Instructor: Marc Roehrle

Premise
The history of Milwaukee cannot be fully understood without appreciating the economic, social and cultural roles beer played in its development. This funded studio will explore the impact of the insertion of a microbrewery with a beer garden into the Inner Harbor. This building type mixes light industrial with commercial usages – exemplifying the nature of the site. The ongoing investigations of Milwaukee’s Inner Harbor by SARUP have revealed many possible solutions to understanding the potential of this important post-industrial landscape. The Inner Harbor consists of a series of overlapping systems that function simultaneously with one another. These organizational networks, be they infrastructural or ecological, reveal the complex nature of this area. In this studio, students will be challenged to develop a design solution that demonstrates a clear understanding of how these existing systems operate and postulate the introduction of one or several new layers that seamlessly maneuvers within the existing construct.

This Studio is predicated on two things – the mythology of the primitive hut and the value of siting. These two concepts, though seemingly unrelated are reciprocally allied. Buildings inform the site and the site informs buildings. With this in mind, students will develop a series of solutions that consider how the structure can be viewed as an object within the site and how the site can be framed from the structure. However, before one can dovetail the building and site together, one must first define the nature of siting as well as the intrinsic logic of building.

The first act of building is placing. How and where one chooses to build should never be taken lightly. This initial act will ultimately imply and inform the final resolution of your design. W.G. Clark suggests that building takes away something from the existing site and that we must build in such a manner that assuages this sacrifice of the land. We should strive to “make building an act of understanding and adoration of the place…in the hope that our buildings will seem part of the place, rather than just being sited on it, and will gain strength and meaning from the alliance.”

Heidegger, in Poetry, Language, Thought explores the essence of building and dwelling. Employing a linguistic argument, he draws conclusions of the root word (in German) of building and dwelling –bau. He uses the example of the Black Forest farmer who, from living upon the land for many generations, has learned how to properly build upon the land and thus dwell.

The mythology of the primitive hut is, as stated by Joseph Rykwert, a conceptual apparatus, not a physical one. It is not an artifact that can be unearthed physically but rather it is essentially an intellectual quest. No inquiry regarding the nature of the first dwelling and what it means to build can be done without a critical reexamination of the basic elements that comprise a structure – foundation, wall, aperture, door, threshold, and roof. We must question our preconceived notions of these elements to better understand their essences.

You will iteratively develop your projects to a level that demonstrates how the macro and micro scales reinforce one another. That is, you will discover how those details with which one intimately comes into contact will express not only their own logic, but in addition will also reveal larger ideas. This studio will be historical and theoretical grounded. Critical inquire will be enhanced through a series of readings and discussions. Selected Bibliography Critical readings are intended to provoke vigorous discussions and debates in the studio.

Readings
Cadwell, Michael. “Strange Details”, MIT Press 2007
Ching, Francis D.K. “Building Construction Illustrated”, John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2008.
Dennis, Michael. “Court and Garden”, MIT Press, 1992.
Deplazes, Andrea. “Constructing Architecture – Materials, Processes, Structures, a Handbook”, Birkhauser, 2005.
Ford, Edward. “The Detail of Modern Architecture Vol.1”, MIT Press 1990.
Ford, Edward. “The Detail of Modern Architecture Vol.2”, MIT Press 1990.
Ford, Edward. “Five Houses, Ten Details”, Princeton Architectural Press, 2009. Heidegger, Martin. “Poetry, Language, Thought”, Harper & Row, 1975.
Herdeg, Klaus. “The Decorated Diagram – Harvard Architecture and the Failure of the Bauhaus Legacy”, MIT Press, 1983
Harries, Karsten. “Ethical Function of Architecture”, MIT Press 1998.
Jensen, Richard, Clark and Menefee, Princeton Architectural Press, NY, 2000.
Laugier, Marc-Antonie. “An Essay on Architecture”, Hennessey & Ingalls, Inc, 1977.
Leatherbarrow, David. “Topographical Stories”, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.
Risselada, Max. “Raumplan versus Plan Libre”, Rizzoli, 1988.
Rowe, Colin. “The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa and Other Essays”, MIT Press 1992.
Rykwert, Joseph. “On Adam’s House in Paradise”, MIT Press 1993.
Steenbergen, Clemens and Reh, Wouter. “Architecture and Landscape”, Prestel, 1996.
Williams, Tod and Tsien, Billie. “WorkLife”, Monacelli Press, 2000.
Zumthor, Peter. “Atmospheres”, Birkhauser, 2006.
Zumthor, Peter. “Thinking Architecture”, Birkhauser, 2010.

ARCH 634/834 Distinguished Visiting Design Critic Studio
(Fellowship Studio)
Instructor: TBA

The Fellowship Studio represents a NEW SARUP tradition in which we offer a one year visiting faculty contract plus research stipend to an exceptionally talented young designer through the submission of a competitive design research proposal. This studio will examine cutting edge issues in current architectural theory, technology and design as a core activity of the Fellow's design research. The search for the 2013 Architecture Fellow is currently underway and the content of the studio will be announced once the Fellow is identified.

ARCH 635/835 Studio
Subtitle: Historic Preservation Studio
Instructor:
Matt Jarosz

The Historic Preservation Studio a required course for students pursuing the Preservation Studies Concentration. This studio focuses on the interrelated problems of historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and the design of new construction. These issues are investigated through design interventions in complicated and controversial physical, social, and political settings. The purpose of the studio is to go beyond the hypothetical and to use real programs and real budget constraints to address matters of design, heritage research, technology, and building construction with extant buildings and environments. These existing conditions will not merely serve as the default backdrop for new design interventions, but will, in fact, determine the most appropriate reuse function and visual expression for a new generation.

This studio is an introduction to a new way of understanding the role of the architect in the creation of intelligent and sustainable environments. Design proposals in this studio will be less about individualism and self-expression and more about the spirit of cooperation and collectiveness. Our interventions will use existing buildings and environments in a respectful way, one that understands and values heritage significance and embodied entropy. Our philosophical partners in this undertaking will be the vast and growing collection of visionary leaders who understand that existing buildings need to be the baseline component of smart growth. Retention and expansion will be the new normal. Successful proposals will neither be sentimental nor abrasive to the existing heritage fabric.

In this studio the designer will function as both a technical and social researcher, understanding an existing historic building on a much deeper level than is required of other design studios. Design proposals will be generated by a keen understanding of the existing building(s), their material reality, the architects and artists responsible for their creation, and their importance as a cultural treasure. Analysis and synthesis will be both technical and theoretical, with design proposals avoiding neo-historicism and advancing the matter of contemporary building technologies, just as the historic artifact that we are working with had done. This approach is the only way to generate truly creative, engaging, and intelligent proposals. The semester is divided into two major design projects and one short documentation project. It also includes a short preservation study trip to Chicago or New York. 

Project 1 is an addition to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois. We use a previously generated program and feasibility study that identifies the necessary components to accommodate new program and functions. The project includes an overnight stay in Chicago and a study of influential projects completed by Wright at that time. This ‘preservation by addition’ project examines the theoretical and conceptual foundation of building design in an intense and challenging existing context with international importance.

Project 2 is a short ‘charrette’ type project and only lasts one week. We set out as a team to document a local landmark building using the National Park Service HABS documentation standards. That information is submitted to the NPS for the annual Peterson Prize Competition. It is an opportunity to understand historic building documentation and create additional portfolio material accomplishments to help strengthen future professional job opportunities.

Project 3 is a remodeling and addition project to an existing facility in the metro Milwaukee area. Though the specific site and program vary each year, this project functions as an academic foil to the first design project. We use an important local building complex, that hasn’t been designed by an internationally famous architect. It is secular in nature, advancing the challenge of future commercial use, not religious. It represents a design challenge circumstance that students will most likely encounter in their future professional career. Along with innovative technologies we will also be dealing with the challenging and restrictive component of national and local historic preservation guidelines.

ARCH 636/836 Studies in Form and Composition
Subtitle: High Performance High Rise Adaptive Reuse
Instructor:
Kyle Reynolds

The High Performance High Rise Adaptive Reuse studio is a sponsored studio by Jones Lang LaSalle of Chicago. The studio will focus on creating an innovative design for an existing Jones Lang Lasalle structure in Chicago while exploring high performance building envelopes and adaptive reuse programmatic strategies. The sponsorship affords this studio the opportunity for detailed research as well as the potential for guest speakers and possible dissemination of the student work in a publication.

ARCH 675/875 Studies in Facility Planning and Design
Subtitle: Wanderlust: Poetics of the Moving Body
Instructor:
Kyle Talbott

STUDIO TOPIC [MOVEMENT] We are on-the-move. Even in our most tranquil moment, our heart pumps, our lungs heave, our nerves fire. We are a pulsing flow of motion. To be human is to move, to act, to go. So much of who we are comes from our actions: our victories, our collaborations, our work, our travels. [TENSION] All this teeming activity fills the space of architecture. So much of our lives happen inside buildings that we often take for granted this basic tension: To move is human, yet architecture, for the most part, sits unmoving. It harnesses our energy. It contains and directs our flow. It stands firm against our actions, binding-them-up in volumes of finite space encompassed by solid boundaries. [FLOW] How are we to deal with this tension, this fundamental contrast between moving bodies and static walls? How can architecture work with the flow of life? How are people affected by architecture in their daily routines, in their work, in their leisure? Architects, contemplating these questions across centuries, offer us many answers, each pointing the way to dramatically different architecture. How are we to conceive of and respond to human movement in our designs, from programming to detailing?

DESIGN PROJECT [BODY] The Wanderlust studio asks students to respond to inhabitants’ moving bodies, to study the effects of space on the flow of human actions, and to develop expressive themes related to “man the actor” and “man the traveler.” [THEORY] We will study theories of programming and develop a program for a hotel and conference center located on the outskirts of the ancient metropolis of Rome, Italy, in Rome’s controversial EUR district. [SCALE] Students develop a design proposal in three stages. In the first stage, they create a master plan and schematic design for the hotel complex as-a-whole, in relationship to the surrounding EUR district and in response to its unique history. In the second stage, students develop the lobby and ground-floor facilities of the hotel in greater detail, sculpting interior spaces to orchestrate flows of movement and experience. Finally, in the third stage, students sharpen their focus even further by developing a detailed design for the lobby space and its sculptural staircase. At each scale of design – urban, building complex, arrangement of rooms, single room, and staircase – we encounter a different scale of human movement with its own set of flows.

DESIGN PROCESS [EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES] Wanderlust gives students an opportunity to experiment with contemporary design methods, including digital modeling, parametric design and generative scripting. While students are not required to use these technologies, Wanderlust offers students a technological sanctuary for the exploration of such methods. The studio does require some use of rapid prototyping (laser cutting and 3d printing), so it is an excellent opportunity to learn and hone a design process that embraces these technologies. [TEAM COLLABORATION] Furthermore, the studio supports and encourages, but does not require, collaboration among members of the studio. Students have the option to develop design proposals individually or in teams, at each stage of the project. [PROTOTYPING] Students will test design ideas in larger-scale, material-based models, and generate new ideas through materials-based experimentation. [EXHIBITION OF WORK] And finally, Wanderlust aspires to develop a professional-quality gallery exhibit by the end of the semester. This is a public display of the studio’s work, preferably located in an off-campus venue, such as a privately operated art gallery, temporary exhibit space, or other high-exposure venue in the city. [WHO IS RIGHT FOR THIS STUDIO?] Wanderlust is a high-energy, high-expectation studio geared toward students who want careers as designers in progressive, alternative and entrepreneurial practices. Wanderlust is for students who love creative design, who want an invigorating challenge, and who are ready to reflect on their creative process and their personal convictions in order to clarify what is most important to them in the pursuit of poetic architecture.

Graduate Only Studios

ARCH 825 Comprehensive Design Studio - Prereq: Arch 516(C)
Subtitle: A Public Face for the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences
Instructor:
Tom Hofman & Jim Wasley

This Comprehensive Design Studio goes to the heart of the Inner Harbor Project to propose an addition to the new School of Freshwater Sciences Laboratory, which itself is currently under construction. This addition to the addition is the missing piece in the current building plan, which was scaled back to leverage all of the current State funding in order to build laboratories, and consequently excluded the major PUBLIC functions of such a 'world class research facility.' The missing programmatic pieces- the lobby, lecture hall, Water Policy Institute facilities, administrative suite, cafe, and research display aquarium, are expected to create the public face by land and by water that the current project is missing.

This project raises challenging questions about the nature of building an addition to an existing complex, especially an addition with the role of distilling the character of the whole. This will be a 'place based' project in which the dominant poetic idea will be to "learn to listen to the murmur of the site" in the words of Raphael Moneo. The site includes the footprint of the existing office block and extends to the dock wall, with an amazing view of the downtown. It will be designed as a LIVING BUILDING.

The studio will be team taught by Tom Hofman and department chair Jim Wasley. We will work with the Dean, Faculty and Students of the School of Freshwater Sciences as clients, and with the State and Continuum Architects to observe the construction of the new three story laboratory block in an ongoing and detailed way, learning from the process of construction as we develop our own construction strategies and details.
As a comprehensive studio, you will cycle through the project in detail from programming to environmental systems design to construction detailing, and will produce a comprehensive presentation of your individual designs.

A parallel directed research course will be offered which will combine architecture and biology students in the ecological design of a spawning stream water feature that will be fed by the aquaculture research facilities currently under construction.

ARCH 825 Comprehensive Design Studio - Prereq: Arch 516(C)
Subtitle: Thick Skin Required: The School of Freshwater Sciences Boat Storage Facility on Milwaukee's Inner Harbor
Instructor:
Sebastian Schmaling & Brian Johnsen, AIA

This comprehensive design studio is sponsored through the Inner Harbor Project to examine the very real need for a 25,000 sq. ft. structure at the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences that will house boats for the University, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Milwaukee Police Department, a maintenance workshop, and administrative offices for the DNR and Police. The client for this project is the Dean of the School of Freshwater Sciences. This is a real project, and this studio's work has the potential to inform the client's vision for the facility.

“Thick skin” refers not only to the stamina expected of our students to actively engage in a rigorous architectural dialogue throughout the semester and to embrace the studio’s ambitious and time-intensive design and research agenda. More importantly, “thick skin” describes the central theme of our architectural investigations: the conception of the building enclosure as a deeply articulated and program-responsive surface, a thickened, three-dimensional condition that oscillates between envelope and space. Questioning the flatness commonly associated with conventional façade systems, we will examine how “thick skins” can function as spatial devices, improve a building’s environmental performance, and facilitate the nuanced architectonic reading of a building, blurring the distinction between exterior and interior, between the totally enclosed and the totally exposed, between foreground and background.

Our architectural research and design investigations will focus on the evolving technologies, tectonics and aesthetics of contemporary wood construction. New-growth timber is arguably one of the most renewable and sustainable building materials available today and acts as an enormous, global carbon sink, turning wood fiber-based structural and cladding products into powerful tools in the fight against global warming. We will explore how “raw” as well as engineered wood products can be utilized as both structure and envelope, culminating in a comprehensive building design with a high level of innovative and expressive architectural detail. Students are expected to make extensive use of the school’s digital fabrication lab and wood workshop and will be asked to produce a series of physical models and mock-ups over the course of the semester. The studio will be taught in tandem by Sebastian Schmaling and Brian Johnsen. Several project-related field trips are planned, as are visits by knowledgeable critics to discuss technical strategies and add outside perspectives to our inner-studio design process. The studio will conclude with a small publication of our findings and representative student work.