Education in Architectural Analysis through Hybrid Graphic Means: a Setup for Critical Thinking

Denis Derycke, David Lo Buglio (octobre 2014)
Communication publiée dans les actes du séminaire 2014 Design & Communication Association Conference - Design & Graphic Palimpsest [ Dialogue-Discourse-Disussion], Southern Polytechnic State University, Atlanta GA, Octobre 2014.

Accès à l'article dans les actes en pdf (pp.306-312)

Abstract: Created in 1994, AlICe – Computer Laboratory for Conception and Image in Architecture – is a teaching and research unit treating issues related to architectural analysis, architectural representation and graphic communication. Besides research projects, the laboratory aims since 20 years at educating students to a critical understanding of contemporary architectural representation, using both traditional and digital media within a framework deeply rooted in history and theory. The field of experimentation for this educational project is architectural analysis since the examination of an existing architectural object (built or not) constitutes an ideal starting point for a student to start challenging his understanding of architectural representation, pristine from design ideologies. Students proceed to examination of compositional grammars and formal vocabularies, and postulate analytical interpretations by understanding and exploring several media, conventions or projection techniques, regarding their specificities. They are likely to combine pencil sketching, 3d modeling, filming, 3D printing, photogrammetric data acquisition or even procedural scripting for well-documented experimentations of canons of architectural representation. By focusing on the meaningful relationship between architectural discourse and a set of adequate – sometimes customized – media, they set up an analytical critical thought linked to a graphic outcome.

Within this theoretical context, AlICe laboratory offers a three module studio program to master degree students. The first module focuses on the development of a graphical investigation linked to procedural scripting, the second one is dedicated to an analytical process expressed in a 10-20 minute short-movie, and the third one explores the realm of graphical analysis based on 3D photogrammetric data acquisition of existing buildings. Considering the production of the studio, this paper proposes to account for the successive decomposition/recomposition layers that constitute an analytical process, and to scrutinize the relationship that appears between the graphic technique at stake and the architectural discourse that a graphic representation is likely to convey. Illustrated by three cases study, this article will observe in what manner the deliberate choice of various graphic techniques shapes the perception of an architectural object. Then will be evaluated the manifold outcomes of such processes: graphic objects that often divert from the original referent, but develop purposely a critic, a rendition, or even a fictional understanding of the architectural object under study.

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