Spring 2021

ARC 327R (00820) ARC 386M (01175)
Composition and Architecture

Departing from the Bauhaus compositional principles and its bottom-up strategies, we ask what composition can do for architecture today. This course will reflect on advances in computation, ecological thinking, shared technologies, and the opportunities they compositionally open to us for architecture. Architecture is here researched by design, not by words, not by numbers but by composition only.


Rapid digitalization embedded computation in everyday objects that project, predict, and control today's spatial use and means in real-time. By real-time design, we refer to design strategies that respond circular as compositional ecologies to the desires, demands, and purposes of the built environment. Rather than drawing architecture as a compositional product, as an outcome of industrial thinking processes and mechanics, we will use simulation principles to compose ever-changing and adapting architectural figurations. 


The seminar will introduce real-time design within the simulation platform and game engine Unity3D. Within a team, participants will compose architectural figurations using real-time design strategies. During the course, participants will learn compositional design principles specific to architecture design. Outlined as learning-by-research and research-by-design, the course consists of a series of design experiments, from simple to complex, from research to design. The course starts with an introduction of basic modeling skills specific to interactive design. Within compositional studies, participants will learn to link architectural scales and precedents with simulation techniques. Embracing multiple scales, the experiments will integrate spatial computation strategies that index, mark, and stimulate architectural characteristics articulated as synthetical landscapes. Preliminary skills in Unity3D or any other CAD software are not required.