Interscaless - AA Visiting School

‘Topos’ by Victoria Goldstein, Victor Orive, Arturo Revilla

InterScaless, University of Houston
Monday 6 – Monday 20 August 2012
Over the two weeks of the InterScaless workshop students develop parametric design strategies that enable them to generate design scenarios across scales while focusing on a given conceptual framework. The challenge this year is to rebuild the relationship between the emblematic structure of the Houston Astrodome and the urban structure of the city. To do this we will speculate via computational systems on the possible interaction between housing and local ecologies.
The site around the Astrodome, defined by a vast disused parking lot and its adjacency to the highway, presents a unique opportunity for our investigations. Through studying different ecological conditions within the domed sports stadium and its concrete surroundings we will set in motion a system of green agents that will grow into aggregations, inhabiting the Astrodome and redefining its limits. Parametric systems responding to different environmental studies will lead to a range of artificial/ responsive structures.

Students will work in teams to explore different scales and programmes for the generation of new urban relations. They will use parametric tools to renegotiate multiple scales in real time while incorporating complexity given by environmental conditions. Redefining the threshold between urban agents will give rise to a new syntax between architectural elements. Parametric techniques and tools will be introduced during the workshop. Students will also present and discuss selected readings relevant to the topic. The aim is to open up a critical debate about how this approach affects the work of the architect and redefines the language of the discipline.

Week 1
Material systems are interpreted through computer simulations in fast explorations to elaborate the proposals. Design tutors including Arturo Revilla and professionals from both the A A and other institutions will provide digital tutorials and lectures on their urban design research and projects.

Week 2

Digital fabrication phase. Full-scale sections will be constructed collectively by the students in a studio-based environment. Design tutors will be actively involved in the digital fabrication of physical models and material experiments.

AA School of Architecture