Professor: Robert Stuart-Smith, Weitzman School of Design   |  University of Pennsylvania
Engineering Guest Lecture:  Prof. Masoud Akbarzadeh
TAs: Yi Dazhong , Mariana Righi, Mostafa Akbari, Yuntao Xu

636 M.Arch Core Technology Course

Students: 2nd Yr M.Arch

Material Formations introduces principles of generative design into the discipline of architecture, providing opportunities for architects to synthesize multiple performance criteria within design that leverage organizational principles, in order to negotiate relations between architectural form, structure and material across a number of scales, with robotic production and material dynamics also explored as active agents in design rationalization and expression. Lectures covering technical and research/project case-studies will be supported by practical tutorials that focus on the incorporation of simulation, generative computation and robot fabrication concerns within design and in partnership with structural analysis. While production is traditionally viewed as an explicit and final act of execution, the course also explores the potential for aspects of building production to participate within the creative design process, potentially producing performance and affect. Students will develop skills and experience in computer programming, structural form-finding, physics-based simulation, and robot motion planning. A design research project for an additively manufactured shell-structure canopy will be undertaken through a number of discrete assignments that facilitate the development of a design synthesis between form and material considerations alongside robotic production constraints. The course will explore design as the outcome of materially formative processes of computation and production, and investigate methods of representation suitable for Industry 4.0 architectural production.