Make Architecture



01- Term Project Proposal

The aim of this project is to manipulate the interaction between light and surface by redefining the simple surface of  ‘the box’. Three different materials are each subjected to a different operation to fulfill a predetermined purpose. While the perforated surface defines the limits of the poured contents, the stacked glass elements provide structure. The goal is to create a furniture piece, similar to a bedside table, capable of providing light, contain objects and provide a surface for placing objects. It will be the manipulation of the various materials, through the various processes in order to create this final objectwhich will provide a space for unexpected results to occur.

Depending on how the various experiment shape the process,  possible case studies can be:

The pelican night stand

And the nod light

The possibility of adding another material and process, not covered by the syllabus, ie. slumping of glass in order to create the structural components is something I would like to investigate.

Glass sheet slumped over steel mold and sandblasted:

Two glass sheet slumped over steel mold and fused together:

Two glass sheets (one clear, one yellow) slumped and fused after perforated by water jet:

Two glass sheet slumped over steel mold with copper leaves laminated inbetween:

Please feel free to comment on any aspect of this proposal.


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Instructor: Nick Gelpi TA: Skylar Tibbits TA: Varvara Toulkeridou
Class Times, Monday, 1-4pm - room 5-216
4.184 is an intensive introduction to methods of making explored through a wide range of brief but focused 1-week exercises. We'll engage the real and leave behind representation in the focused context of this class gaining skills for utilizing a range of fabrication machines and technologies from lasercutting, waterjet, 3D printing, welding, formworking-molding, casting, gears, joints and composites.
In this workshop we'll constrain ourselves to the territory of the 1:1. Students will represent architectural constructions at full scale and develop a more intimate relationship with technology by engaging the tools and techniques that empower us. We will gain access to the most cutting edge machines and technologies in the MARS lab at the Center for Bits and Atoms.
The second layer of information for this course will be to look at a series of case studies in which construction methods and technologies have played a dominant role in the design process .
Over the past 20 years, architects have focused on the technology of representation to create new ideas of what architecture could be. Looking back today, much of that research failed to substantially change the way we design buildings by focusing on apriori formal configurations. This class makes the contention that this failure comes from a lack of considerations of the potentials within fabrication knowledge. We look to the future of what building might become, given the expanded palette of personalize-able technologies available to us as architects. Students will participate in curious technological and material investigations, to discover the potentials, known and unknown, for these various technologies.
The sub-disciplines of what's drawn and what's built have been compartmentalized and disassociated as the representational tools of architecture have distanced themselves from the techniques of making. At the same time the technologies for “making” in architecture have provided us with new possibilities for reinventing how we translate into reality, the immaterial representations of architecture.


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