Integration Studio: Environment, Form and Feedback
Dana Cupkova, Coordinator
Environment, Form and Feedback is a core design studio with emphasis on systemic design thinking linked to the development of architectural forms and organizations in an extreme urban environment. This studio is founded on a premise that architecture is fundamentally a part of a larger planetary ecosystem. The core design agenda is focused on developing tactics and workflows for the formation of architectural objects informed by their socio-ecological environments contingent upon natural and infrastructural water patterns.
This studio negotiates building forms and their organization within its urban and ecological landscape. Ecology posits that all entities have thermodynamic relationships to one another and are bound together in complex systems of energy and information exchange. By engaging environmental patterns and identifying micro-climatic behaviors such as airflow, daylighting and water flow in early design stages, we move towards the design of discrete city forms and architectural interventions that translate across scales to give new shape to the contemporary city edge. Through a semester-long design project, students are introduced to both analog and computationally-based design techniques that integrate form-making with environmental simulation, in search of individualized architectural language.
An initial focus of studio is on understanding the larger ecology of the site, followed by a careful development of architectural objects, and their aggregation at the urban scale. We negotiate spatial relationships among the site, water infrastructure, local ecologies and a proposed tectonic logic, that would accommodate specific environmental and programmatic agenda for designing a housing system at the water’s edge. The interdisciplinary goal for the project is the consideration of global socio-ecological issues, such as: improvement of water quality through measures that could benefit construction of natural habitats, support of public recreation, engaging in local food production and enhancement of waterfront and upland communities.
3rd Year Fall
Each core studio is coordinated by a full-time faculty member, who develops the studio's pedagogy, content, methodology, projects, and faculty teams within the framework of the overall curriculum. The coordinator, Dana Cupkova, offers lectures, workshops and critiques to support the studio's learning objectives and make connections with associated coursework. Within each studio, sections of 9 to 12 students are led by the prominent practitioners who comprise our adjunct and teahing faculty.