Design Studio: Detail & Architectonics  - "Virtual House: Development of Generative Spatial Systems" 

ARCH 571 | Spring 2019
Adjunct Lecturer Bhujon Kang


In 1997, ANY magazine released “The Virtual House” containing seven prominent architects’ design proposals that explore the idea of the virtual through the unbounded program of a house. It challenged the invited seven architects to develop the newest connections generated through its plan, space, construction, and intelligence. Investigating their great achievements, this studio aims at designing a small scaled house developed by a generative spatial system. The spatial system, which originates from idiosyncratic and imaginative ideas and eventually systemizes quantitative and/or parametric organism, demonstrates the architectural contemporariness that implies technological, socio-economic, and environmental issues as a compressive form of architecture. In the studio, students will research and practice diverse design methodologies with advanced digital technology.


The studio underscores a series of fabulous contemporary architecture by the visionary architects such as Renzo Piano, Frank Gehry, Toyo Ito, Rem Koolhaas, Herzog and de Meuron, Zaha Hadid, UN Studio, and the other young remarkable like Christian Kerez, Sou Fujimoto, Junya Ishigami, and ALA architects. Our spatial systems—inspired by all of the above, eschew the conventional grid systems. The spatial systems are closely related to geometrical developments that can be utilized by advanced digital design tools and techniques including parametric design methodology and digital fabrication. The forms of the spatial systems are morphologically operable by the set parameters. Students conceive reactive frameworks that accommodate the required performance of the units, rooms or cells. Eventually, the spatial systems display the parametrized organism that provides the formal and functional adaptation and constructs the entire building shape that is controlled by the systemized parameters. The studio also introduces the digital fabrication tools to enhance the productivity of students’ physical models throughout the entire process.


For the first half of the semester, the studio conducts research of the precedent projects, analyzes the design principles, and creates the simplified digital/physical models using the most familiar digital techniques including Rhino/Grasshopper and digital fabrication tools (Laser cutting, 3D printing, and CNC routing). Based on the research and techniques from the previous practice, students start to explore their own spatial systems that can adapt the residential programs concretized by the students’ analysis. The spatial systems are verified in diverse ways of arranged architectural spaces. In the mid-term review, the studio focuses on the completeness and versatility of the explored systems with a series of concept images, physical models and diagrams. During the last half of the semester, the students develop the architectural design with the systems while continuing the revision of the spatial systems. For the final review, the studio pursues the high-quality rendering images and a full set of drawings under functional completeness of the students’ design. Also, the studio expects an interim exhibition of the process models before the final review.