Page T1.1 . 19 April 2006                     
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    Digital Physical Mashup

    by Katsunori Shigemi

    In my third-year architectural design studio at the California Polytechnic State University, assignments are crafted to encourage students to refine skills in both digital and analog media physical modeling and traditional drawings to allow them to see the advantages and disadvantages of both, to develop a critical attitude toward media, and to develop a design project using these tools. Early design exercises are exploratory, and students are encouraged to use form-Z for its iterative ability and its facility in generating rich graphic vocabularies that suggest spatial character and experience. This is balanced with physical-model building and traditional drawings to sort out issues of scale and siting. Later exercises require students to translate early vocabularies into functional building elements. Associate Professor Thomas Fowler, IV

    "Amusement Park Voyage" is the concept for my project, an art and culture center on the south point of Roosevelt Island in New York. This center would redefine the historic island with an amusement park-like structure, intended to give people of all ages physical and visual contact with art, culture, and history through their experience with the architecture.

    During program development, I took two different approaches. One was programming by placing colored 3D volumes in form-Z; this is analogous to traditional bubble diagramming. However, 3D programming made it easier to understand the relationships between the spaces. Using 3D modeling software for program development is particularly helpful when the structure has several stories because you can study the vertical relationships too. Digital programming also saved time because it was easy to move and relocate the volumes.   >>>

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    "Amusement Park Voyage" designed by student Katsunori Shigemi using both digital and traditional design tools.
    Image: Katsunori Shigemi

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    "Poetic site-reading" diagram helps the student designer identify significant elements from the context.
    Image: Katsunori Shigemi


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