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program name College of Design

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stereotomic Transmission: Stonecutting Studies of Three 16th Century Mexican Rib Vaults

Stereotomy, the science of cut solids, is a field of study that connects building technology to the history of Architecture. Deviating from past studies that focused on the art historical implications of stereotomy, the focus of this research is to better understand the true origin of the discipline of stereotomy and the means of its transmission from Europe to America through the lens of Architecture. Three 'late-gothic' masonry vaulting systems in Oaxaca, Mexico have been chosen as the focus for this research. The rib vaults will be documented in both analog and digital format and then studied using three-dimensional modeling.

Update 8 May 2013: YouTube Video of 3D model creation.

Monday, August 23, 2010

IPD Case studies

My most recent grant is funded by AIA national to study Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) Case studies. The work is being done in collaboration with AIA Minnesota with an interdisciplinary advisory group that will give periodic feedback. Unusual for this particular group of case studies is that all the projects will use multi-party agreements, contracts that typically bind the owner, architect and contractor to a single contract.

The duration of this grant is short, wrapping up in December, but we hope that there will be additional phases over the next year or so. The work builds on previous case studies that I have done over many years, most recently focused on projects that use BIM and implement IPD principles.

AIA is most interested in understanding the collaboration needed in IPD and better defining the skills an architect needs to set up, lead and/or participate in these endeavors. This fits well with my own agenda to explore the value of an architect in this new type of contractual arrangement. I expect that there will be some core skills unchanged from the traditional expertise of an architect, and some new or hybrid skills required. Eventually, this feeds into my interested in pedagogy, how should education change to support both the old and new ways of thinking.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ethics for Architects

My next book, Ethics for Architects, will be published by the Princeton Architectural Press and available by the end of 2010. In it, I apply the theory developed in my last book, Architectural Design and Ethics, Tools for Survival (The Architectural Press, 2008) to 50 case studies of ethical dilemmas that architects have encountered in the course of practice and that they have described to me. I show in the book how a "holonistic" view of ethics can help us see that our best interest always lies in working toward the best interest of the whole.

Friday, August 13, 2010

OSWall (Open Source Wall)

Oswall (Open Source Wall) is an experimental wall prototype that challenges conventional residential wall construction through an open, collaborative approach to material, fabrication, and installation methods. It proposes an "open source" construction platform in which third-party designers, engineers, scientists, or "do-it-yourselfers" can create, produce, market, and sell "applications" that are plugged into the wall.