On the Bri(n)ck: Architectural Envelope traces the historical development of a debate concerning the architectural envelope beginning at the end of the 19th century. It was then when new materials and technologies became available and began to inform architecture and discussions led in its behalf. Architects began to question the role mass-production should play in architecture, as well as they questioned the influence of new notation and construction-techniques available to develop and conceive of the architects' work. Today these and similar questions gain a new relevance as the digital medium literally in-forms the conceptualization and production of architecture.
A directed reading sequence of primary texts were used to encircle a spectrum of possible answers. Assigned student presentations focused on the critical analysis of case studies of performative brick units through drawing, and writing. These studies will prepare the development of each team's unit and envelope proposal. Hands-on workshops on digital fabrication supplemented the analytic inquiry with the aim to produce first speculative performative brick-units and than an envelope-model leading to a 1:1 built version using the latest CAD/CAM facilities of the school. The workshops will teach Grasshopper, Digital Project and MasterCam basics.
Equally emphasizing reading, writing, graphic analysis and numerically controlled fabrication, the seminar-workshop suggested a method of research that bridged between the different practices of architecture and their significance to the modernist history of brick and the ways in which a modular unit can be adapted and transformed for diverse criteria contingent on digital design and fabrication tools. Prerequisites: Grasshopper, Digital Project (basic skills a plus not a must), MasterCam.
Student Work Examples