Izmir University of Economics Undergraduate Graduation Studio

Digital Tectonics

The students will formulate a theoretical / experimental stance and demonstrate this through an architectural project with an urban
strategy based in Izmir. They are required to develop a tectonic
strategy which informs structure from experience and vice versa both with digital and analogue models while exploring the application of different features of architectural atmospheres.

The unit is a design exploration of space experience. The notion of atmosphere is being used to argue that architecture and space is designed and built for people to use and experience. For instance, Peter Zumthor in his book Atmospheres constitutes architectural atmospheres as “this singular density and mood, this feeling of presence, well-being, harmony, beauty…under whose spell I experience what I otherwise would not experience in precisely this way”. Spaces of atmosphere are shaped through a bodily interaction with architecture. It is the human body that emanates the structural qualities of architecture. By inhabiting space individuals can sense the character that surrounds them. Inhabitants sense its atmosphere. Photography, written articles and the interpretation of other viewers of a space cannot compare to individual experience and interaction in interior spaces. Spaces begin as voids, tangible and undefined structures, its atmospheres are articulated through cognitive subjects (memory, perception, judgement, emotion) and physical presence.

Digital Tectonics and Materiality
Tectonics consists of a materiality that informs the organization of things as much as their physical structure.
Frei Otto’s use of analogical models, which reiterate form-finding processes found in nature, includes hanging chains, wetting wool threads or making soap bubbles and later stretching fabrics or weaving lattices at the scale of buildings.
For Spuybroek, structures should emerge through bottom-up processes rather than ones in which the results are determined in advance and then engineered for construction. He also mentions that we did not separate the material from the so-called immaterial, there was only substance and action.

Urban Strategy
Students will make use of algorithms in devising a set of rules of design that can be applied to a single space up to an urban proposal. The design process will be approached from the bottom up, starting with atmospherics, materials, assemblies and spaces, moving up towards an urban proposal. Students will explore the application of different features of architectural atmospheres through new digital architecture, merging the cybernetic with the ecological.
The aim is to investigate how natural and artificial atmospheric systems can serve as models for the design, analysis and interpretation of the architecture from the urban environment. They will also explore the materiality of light, air, sound, fog and heat and materialize them in order to form structure, infrastructure, enclosure ie.

with Gudjon Erlendsson, Burcu Bicer