This class will explore the design, curation and conceptualization of online communal spaces, taking remote formats as an opportunity to innovate and speculate on possible futures. Starting from the concept of the replica, students will create immersive exhibition environments and installations exploring the intersection between the physical and the digital.
When much of our lives moved online in 2020 there was an explosion of online events and exhibitions aiming to replace existing events. Some of these events fell short of their physical counterparts, acting as weak copies, while others uncovered new and engaging formats that might outlast the pandemic. In this class we will analyze these new phenomena and explore how to make engaging, visceral online experiences. In the process of creating these virtual spaces we will flip today’s typical workflow on its head - many architects work with digital tools and various software packages as their main design tool in order to create physical spaces. Instead we will observe and design the physical in order to create visceral virtual experiences, exploring the twinning of objects, bodies and spaces as a creative process in itself.
Currently, 3D scanning is used for purposes of site documentation and data collection, with a growing industry invested in recreating the real, from historic preservation to AI startups. This course is interested in 3D scanning as a process and its potential to drive and change design methods. It gives an introduction to practical scanning methods that can be applied in everyday situations, while speculating on the possibilities of 3D replicas for the discipline at large. The next generation of architects will enter a wildly different field transformed through the ramifications of a global pandemic. In this class we will discuss and develop remote tools, workflows and spaces informed by uncertain times with an outlook towards a post pandemic future.
The class format is hybrid between rigorous technical coursework and a theoretical investigation into questions of online spaces. Weekly readings accompanying practical assignments, guest lectures will accompany technical demos and workshops. Ultimately, the goal is to work with emerging tools in a critical and open ended way. Rather than formulating a prescribed path of working with a certain software, the goal is to develop a curiosity and methodology of working with an ever changing set of emerging tools and techniques. The course will employ methods of the flipped classroom with an emphasis on discussion and problem solving during class, with technical content and readings assigned outside of class time.
Key skills and takeaways
- Critically examining online events as a cultural medium
- Discussing Authenticity, Originality, Copying
- 3d scanning with Reality Capture
- Building immersive environments in Web VR with Mozilla hubs
- Building simple websites with website builders like Cargo
- Questioning existing design workflows and rethinking how we work with the digital
- Working with and optimizing meshes and textures
Week 1 - Intro - how can we reinvent our analog/digital workflows and find productive intersections?
Week 2 - Visit to The World Around with tour by curator Beatrice Galilee
Week 3 - 3d scanning or what is in a replica? What is authenticity?
Week 4 - Guest speaker
Week 5 - Curatorial intensive or what are ways to display art online?
Week 6 - First exhibition opening to be designed by students
Week 7 - Building in interaction or how do we design our online lives?
Week 8 - Community building or how do we build relationships online?
Week 9 - Guest speaker
Week 10 - Advanced 3D scanning
Week 11 - Crits
Week 12 - Final Exhibition opening
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