Urban Formation

Related Staff : Tom Verebes

Studio Instructor: Tom Verebes
Digital Workshop: Andrew Haas
Structural Consultants: Kevin Ip, Ben Luk (Arup Hong Kong)
Transportation: Glenn Frommer (MTR)
Students: Chan Fong Tong Fred, Chan Po Yu Bowie, Ho Sheung Hay Terence, Ko Pak Kan Zeth, Kwok Wing Shan Mandy, Lai Ka Chung Lawrence, Lam Nathaniel Tiu, Lee Ka Chun James, Leung Sze Ling Pan, Ma Yue, Ng Ching Yee Katie, Zhu Tengfei

“We find that everything is in ceaseless flux. This is why our language makes such frequent use of the term ‘Bildung’ to designate what has been brought forth and likewise what is in the process of being brought forth.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Form and Transformation, 1806

Through the understanding of urban form as the outcome of the forces which continually shape it, this studio continued to pursue a Distinctive Urbanism, predicated on the design of unique and memorable spatial experiences. We aimed to harness urban complexity by riding its ebbs and flows, to grasp the city’s networked associations, which are most often generated and formed as much from the bottom up, as from the top down.

This studio experimented with a behaviour-based approach to the generation of architectural form, through meticulous attention given to the dynamics of how physical forces generate and articulate organisational properties. The tradition of experimental material practices, and design engineering approaches to architecture, assume matter has the potential to self-compute its state-space. The studio focused on precedents of tensile and compressive structures, transforming this knowledge into the possibility of discovering new arrangements, spaces, uses and institutions. As a method of generating structures, “form-finding “prototypes were constructed to calculate and resolve forces in analogue material models, and to recognise, record and analyse patterns and tendencies. We found spatial order (and meaning) through design intelligence generated from action and matter.

The form finding experiments were channeled towards a comprehensive design proposal for a unique identity for the a 7Ha infrastructural site in the Umekita Area in Osaka, Japan. The projects were informed by qualities and metrics, of the surrounding contextual urban morphologies, typologies, densities and programming, as well as the complexities of infrastructural flows on, above and below ground. The proposals negotiated the structural and infrastructural constrains of the site, modeling the three-dimensional and sectional qualities of the existing and future infrastructure and pedestrian spaces.

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