Prof. Preston Scott Cohen
Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Montag, 23.01.2006, 10.00 h
Aula, Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, Schillerplatz 3, 1010 Wien
Historically, the reciprocity between geometry and architecture has been used to bring about rational causes and practical means of formal innovation. Today, the digital medium is having unanticipated effects on this process. The results are profound innovations not only in the realm of form as such, but also in the process of translating abstract geometric concepts into construction.
Between the excesses of curved geometries and the economic constraints of building construction lies a seemingly incommensurable disparity. On the one hand, the digital medium affords the architect a means to three dimensionally model forms that are entirely free of planarity while on the other hand, it aids the ongoing industrial production of materials according to the geometric extrusion of linear and flat components and surfaces. To operate in this breach, it is necessary to acquire a geometric vocabulary that operates between oblique and curved forms and the economically determined mechanical constraints of building assembly. This vocabulary, derived from projective and topological geometry, constitutes an auxiliary system of order, one which can ultimately serve to discretize curved surfaces into flat units, and thus translate complex surfaces into forms constructible at an architectural scale. Such an application of geometry produces a continually expanding repertoire of three-dimensional architectural form. Among the most far reaching effects is the recalibration of the long standing relationship between the part and the whole in architecture.
Preston Scott Cohen is a practicing architect in Boston and an associate professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He has won the Herta and Paul Amir Competition for a new building at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
Architect Preston Scott Cohen combines the use of the most advanced digital modeling technologies with a fascination for 17th-century descriptive geometry. He uses familiar forms distorted by oblique projections and similar devices to create complex designs that challenge our preconceptions about the nature of order in architecture. His recent book Contested Symmetries and Other Predicaments in Architecture" features Cohen's intricate abstract geometries and lucidly describes both the mechanics and the theory behind their application. A wealth of projects, including the widely acclaimed Torus House, are represented through drawings, models, and computer-generated images.
Im Rahmen der Vortragsreihe "Rethinking Geometries"
Veranstalter: Institut für Kunst und Architektur
The winter term lecture series aims to focus on recent developments in advanced geometry and to speculate on its impact on the discipline of Architecture.
While geometry has always constituted one of the architect's most basic tools, a renewed interest in advanced geometry in Architecture has emerged in recent years.
This renaissance is largely due to the advancement of two fields: the development of digital technologies in both modelling and representation on the one hand and the development of new materials, fabrication techniques and assembly on the other.
Computer technologies have expanded possibilities to generate and describe complex geometries (be it non-euclidean, anexact or computational geometries). Surface topologies and double-curvature, tiling and subdividing algorithms have grown to be more than mere theoretical or analogue models, but viable and conceivable models within the architectural practice. Due to this tendency, disciplines that genuinely deal with complex geometries, like mathematics and physics, gain increasing attention in the field of architecture.
Furthermore, new digital tools and methods have recently triggered advancements and innovations in fabrication techniques and new material technology. Complex geometries are simultaneously being investigated on a microscopic scale in order to enhance specific material performances. Advanced geometries have thus entered the realm of actual and materialized architecture.
Weitere Vorträge der Reihe:
17.01.2006, 19:00 h, Aula