Materials First: wood, then parametrics, then parametric wood.

On Wednesdays class I got a much better sense of where your skills are at and how better to proceed with the course.  In terms of Grasshopper, it appears we have two advanced users, but everyone else is basically beginning with it.  I too look forward to learning through this as well, and already learned something very important on Wednesday evening.  But in parallel with the power of parametric tools, we need to co-evolve a material sensibility about wood and its capacities and tendencies to bend (see my ref to DeLanda in my paper Gridshell Tectonics).   In my excitement to move forward with parametric wood, I did not emphasize enough taking a materials first approach which I typically focus on in my studios.  For this perspective, you can read my paper Parametric Sensibility.  Again I share my work not from point of expertise, but of sharing my experience.

As I will be in Portland with my 3d year studio this weekend through Wednesday, please do two things:

1. Play with WOOD!  Develop through physical models an understanding of what the material can and cannot due in relationship to your research focus.  Bring these models  – failures too, please! – to our next seminar on January 26.  Explore, experiment, and you can also be systematic.  Feel free to insert digital techniques into this, such as cutting jigs etc on the laser.

2.  Work on developing your GH experience through on-line tutorials AND Ben has offered to run through more GH tutorials in class next Wednesday from 6-8pm.  Please take advantage of this.

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