This article describes an assignment that enabled students to undertake a design-and-build project. The educational facility, Tech Futures Lab, acted as client for which an interior was designed and fabricated using rapid learning process. In architectural design, 3D modelling software is becoming more readily available in fabrication activities. If the software used dictates the design, it can lead to the oversimplification of a rational, well thought-out design process. This article describes how students created ‘iterative prototypes’, and how this experience facilitated abilities to translate virtual designs into real-world constructs. Using a hybrid of digital and conventional making methods, the paper describes a modern studio, where students can actively participate in how making and design are taught.
Architectural pedagogy, digital fabrication, prototyping, iterative design, Architecture
Rohini Contractor is a second Master of Architecture Student at Unitec Institute of Technology. Her research interest centres on open source plywood construction. Contractor has been a student teaching assistant at Unitec for the past two years and has led a variety of collaborations with award-winning New Zealand architects. Over the past two years, her design-build research with plywood construction has been successfully exhibited at industry events in Auckland.
Adrian Janus is a second Master of Architecture Student at Unitec Institute of Technology. Janus has been a student teaching assistant at Unitec for the past two years and has worked upon a variety of research design builds since the Tech Futures Lab Interior Project. His current research focus is investigating how computational architecture can create complex bamboo structures.
Yusef Patel is a part-time lecturer at Unitec Institute and a doctoral candidate at University of Auckland. His interests lie in the application of automated CNC fabrication technologies within the construction industry. He hosts a number of research experimental design-build projects every year for both undergraduate and postgraduate students to participate and learn from.
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