CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

PDF papers
authors Beesley, Philip and Seebohm, Thomas
year 2000
title Digital Tectonic Design
source Promise and Reality: State of the Art versus State of Practice in Computing for the Design and Planning Process [18th eCAADe Conference Proceedings / ISBN 0-9523687-6-5] Weimar (Germany) 22-24 June 2000, pp. 287-290
summary Digital tectonic design is a fresh approach to architectural design methodology. Tectonics means a focus on assemblies of construction elements. Digital tectonics is an evolving methodology that integrates use of design software with traditional construction methods. We see digital tectonic design as a systematic use of geometric and spatial ordinances, used in combination with details and components directly related to contemporary construction. The current approach will, we hope, lead to an architectural curriculum based on generative form making where the computer can be used to produce systems of forms algorithmically. Digital design has tended to remain abstract, emphasizing visual and spatial arrangements often at the expense of materials and construction. Our pursuit is translation of these methods into more fully realized physical qualities. This method offers a rigorous approach based on close study of geometry and building construction elements. Giving a context for this approach, historical examples employing systematic tectonic design are explored in this paper. The underlying geometric ordinance systems and the highly tuned relationships between the details in these examples offer design vocabularies for use within the studio curriculum. The paper concludes with a detailed example from a recent studio project demonstrating particular qualities developed within the method. The method involves a wide range of scales, relating large-scale gestural and schematic studies to detailed assembly systems. Designing in this way means developing geometric strategies and, in parallel, producing detailed symbols or objects to be inserted. These details are assembled into a variety of arrays and groups. The approach is analogous to computer-aided designÕs tradition of shape grammars in which systems of spatial relationships are used to control the insertion of shapes within a space. Using this approach, a three-dimensional representation of a building is iteratively refined until the final result is an integrated, systematically organized complex of symbols representing physical building components. The resulting complex offers substantial material qualities. Strategies of symbol insertions and hierarchical grouping of elements are familiar in digital design practice. However these strategies are usually used for automated production of preconceived designs. In contrast to thsse normal approaches this presentation focuses on emergent qualities produced directly by means of the complex arrays of symbol insertions. The rhyth
keywords 3D CAD Systems, Design Practice, 3D Design Strategies
series eCAADe
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100%; open Frampton, Kenneth (1996) Find in CUMINCAD Studies in Tectonic Culture , MIT Press, p. 117

100%; open Frampton, Kenneth (1996) Find in CUMINCAD Studies in Tectonic Culture , MIT Press, p. 192

100%; open Hanna, Paul R. (1981) Find in CUMINCAD Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hanna House , MIT Press

100%; open Sergeant, John (1976) Find in CUMINCAD Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian Houses , Whitney

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