Design Build Architecture & Furniture

Design Build Architecture & Furniture

Illinois Institute of Technology
3360 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60616

College of Architecture
John DeSalvo

Team Members

Design Build Architecture & Furniture

(614 KB),  23-Oct-2016 03:21 PM

The IIT/ DESIGN PROPOSAL FOR SOFA/CONNECT 2016 the Sculpture Objects Functional Art exhibition at Navy Pier 2016 will be a collaborative work effort produced within the IIT Design Build culture. The collective emphasis will be on “making” and that intervention within the built environment, specifically typological elements that make up gathering and seating. The sculptural objects will use both digital and hand fabrication methods. Elements that embody space activation. SOFA- Sculptural Objects/ Functional Art Exhibition, the four-day exhibition at Navy Pier will be the culmination of the semester design process

Urban reality
The contemporary architect must be aware of the myriad forces shaping the environment. Through professional performance, intellect, and research, one navigates and works with these complex forces to direct the shape of the built environment. The time for universal urban models—totalizing utopian visions—may be over, but the need for new strategies for the city is no less important. In this globalized era characterized by rapid transformations of the built environment, it is critical for architects to develop their consciousness of the complexities of the contemporary world. In order to equip a new generation of architects to develop new strategies, architectural education must strive to produce new and in-depth knowledge of the forces that drive development.

Place in the ongoing Architectural Debate
The architect is no carpenter as compared to the greatest exponents of other disciplines; instead the carpenter is but an instrument in the hands of the architect. 

“…Knowledge will only come by individual experience. At the start, basic design and shop practice combined should introduce to the students the elements of design, surface, volume, space, color, and simultaneously the ideas of construction, of building, by developing three-dimensional exercises to be carried out with materials and tools. In succeeding years of training, the design and construction studio, supplemented by field experience during summer vacations, will coordinate further experience with the broadening of knowledge. Construction should be taught as part of design, for they are directly interdependent…” 
 Walter Gropius, Proceedings (ACSA Press, July 1959), p 59.

The work is a selection of observations, research and projects designed and made by the students as evidence to support their thesis that physically making an idea from concept to functional object is a unique and critical experience in the education of an architecture student. Full scale offers students the opportunity to experience development from schematic design, design development, presentation drawings, fabrication drawings, construction, use and analysis in a single assignment.

Project Overview
The project brief for the students included the design and construction of a pavilion structure that can be occupied and enjoyed by one or more persons. The project was to be designed simultaneously as a unique structure and as part of a collection of pavilion structures. Each of these
Pavilions was to be designed for a specific site and solar orientation. These were fabricated and displayed in various locations on the IIT campus. The design & fabrication for each of these was based on specific sites and for specific “clients”, which represent the various departments, academic positions and activities that make up the day to day lives of IIT students, faculty and staff. 

Pavilion is simultaneously an abstract formal/spatial study, a functional object and an exploration of material relationships. It investigates the relationship between material, form, the human body and the surrounding environment. The project begun with concept and material investigations and ended with a full-scale construction/ demonstration. The exhibit will present a selection of these full scale pavilions.

This project provided students with a platform to employ skills learned throughout the semester/year to communicate their ideas and to test and develop their projects from conceptualization to construction. They developed concepts through research, sketching, written descriptions and three-dimensional models (physical study models & Rhino/digital models). Later the larger scale study models and detail mock-ups tested the issues of scale, construction and material performance prior to final construction. Multiple iterations at each stage of the process allowed them to evaluate a variety of approaches. They were provided with standard dimensions of 48” x 40” x 96” per unit or collection of units
capable of supporting a seated person or persons or supporting objects placed on one or more of its surfaces. The materials used included - 2x & 4x Cedar (kit of parts). (2) 4’ x 8’ x 3/16” polypropylene sheets, weather & material compatible mechanical fasteners.

Arrangement of Exhibits
The arrangement of the pavilions uses the 24’x24’ exhibition space to provide an initial organizing strategy. The space is organized into nine 8’x8’ sections, creating nine “rooms,” each to be experienced differently. The intrinsic differences between each of the pavilions, the different
positions of each of these in relation to one another, its surroundings and variations in the method of display for each of the pavilions creates a dynamic experience of the space which can be changed with little effort. This creates fundamentally different experiences of the space while not altering the basic content of the exhibit.

This organizational principle finds its genesis in Hilbert’s Paradox, where nine hotel rooms can be arranged in such a way as to accommodate ten guests. Essentially, the aggregate of the nine provides space for ten, creating a sum of the whole which is greater than its individual parts.
This principle was explored by modernist architects during the 20th century, and given Illinois Institute of Technology’s Miesian legacy, we acknowledge the work of 20th century modernists and through the organization of the exhibits we have taken the principles of Hilbert’s Paradox to create an exhibition which becomes more than the sum of its parts.

Language: Semantics
orientation |ôrēənˈtāSHən|
the determination of the relative position of something or someone

proportion |prəˈpôrSHən|
1. a part, share, or number considered in comparative relation to a whole
2. the relationship of one thing to another in terms of quantity, size, or number
3. (proportions) the comparative measurements or size of different parts of a whole
4. the correct, attractive, or ideal relationship in size or shape between one thing and another or
between the parts of a whole: perceptions of color, form, harmony, and proportion.
verb [ with obj.] formal
adjust or regulate (something) so that it has a particular or suitable relationship to something else

screen |skrēn|
1 a fixed or movable upright partition used to divide a room, to give shelter from drafts, heat, or
light, or to provide
concealment or privacy

solar |ˈsōlər|
of, relating to, or determined by the sun

trellis |ˈtrelis|
a framework of light wooden or metal bars


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