Digital Interfaces: Multidimensionality

The School of Architecture of The Cooper Union

Arch 482B Master Program Technology Seminar
Undergraduate Arch 177 Computer Design Seminar Elective

Multidimensional Space:
From Virtual representation to Digital Fabrication

Professor Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa
This course researched cognitive problems specific to architecture. Architects incorporate geometry, mathematics and physics, among other disciplinary knowledge to explore novel ideas of space, while architecture did not provide yet any novel material to these disciplines that are investigating multidimensional space. Since the second half of the last century, a new tectonic for architecture related to the criticism of modern universality, which demanded a reconsideration of place. From this disciplinary expansion architecture incorporated the ground surface as part of its syntax. Continuing this expansion, the mathematical parameterization of the now canonical topological surface provoked a return to the architectural object, therefore informing the architectural envelope, inducing an apparently multidimensional space. Yet the autonomy of the topological surface promptly assumed a different type of space, a "topological" space based on bi-continuous deformation and non linear spatial relationships. Topology reacted by negating Cartesian order, substituting it but not displacing it. Topological space does not serve as a system of measurement and reference as non Euclidean geometry is contained within a range constructed, regulated, parameterized and measured against a Cartesian coordinate system. Topology deals with self intersecting form that cannot be projected bi-dimensionally, resisting representation, while topological surfaces can only be represented in a dynamic three dimensional plot. This advanced content-oriented workshop critically related formal autonomy to problems of representation, studying the constitution of space through multiple dimensions of spatial representation and reference, from 1D to 2D, to 3D to 4D to nD. Concepts of information, information transferring, information actualization, interfaces, surface scripting, parametric design, algorithms structures and processing will rely on digital strategies between different media and certain software interfaces but also critical relationships between analog techniques and digital fabrication. Time-based sequential diagrams indexing the constitution of the design will be studied with animated topological constructions and virtual navigations.
Students: Evan Burgess, Patrick Collingwood, Akash Godbole, Connor Holjes, Ian Houser, Jemuel Joseph, Jieun Hannah Him, Jisoo Kim, Binhan (Marcus) Li, Piao Liu, Joseph Parrella, Chi-Hsuan (Vita) Wang