This semester, a contemporary topic is chosen in the scope of Arch 470 Digital Design Studio course as the beginning of the semester coincided with the invasion of METU forests by municipality workers in the course of constructing the new road connecting Eskişehir Road and Konya Road. We are not to discuss the justness or legal aspects of the issue, but we want students to find their way to deal with the inevitable situation that they are facing with and to form their own ideas. Yet, when the process of invasion is inspected, one can immediately conclude that no one asked about the thoughts of residents of the area, which the METU students form almost the majority. So, we requested students to express their opinions on this topic and design a wall separating and/or connecting the new road and METU campus. In order words, we asked them to reflect their position to the road through the wall that they design. In the scope of Digital Design Studio, students are encouraged to expand their point of view via algorithmic thinking which leads projects to conform various parameters in the site, to be adaptable to any site with similar conditions, and to be constructed via computational and parametric design tools. Final models are asked to be produced with stereolithography (3D Printer) machine which makes designer free when dealing with various forms.
First phase was the conceptual brainstorming and students are requested to define what is a wall, is it a separator or connector of two spaces, a border, a gate, a bridge; does it have to be physical or can we provide these concepts by means of an abstract wall. Secondly, students inspected the site and extracted parameters to consider throughout their design process and with the guidance of these parameters they started to generate their designs. One of the most important byproducts of this project is the mutation matrices generated by students showing how their designs react to changing site parameters both individually and as the combination of two or more parameters. By this way, we had the opportunity to perceive the behavior of the algorithmic models towards different parameters which is difficult to trace from computational model itself as the scale of the site can be regarded as huge when compared to the modules produced in the course of design. At the end of the design process, students produced scale models from stereolithography machine. The project resulted in a variety of different perspectives and designs. Student posters are firstly exhibited at METU Faculty of Architecture and then the exhibition including posters and 3d models is moved to Mimarlar Derneği 1927 where it was exhibited as Parametric METU Wall Exhibition until 7th January.
For more information about Digital Design Studio works and learn about upcoming events, visit “Digital-Design-Studio-METU” page in Facebook.