This paper illustrates the design work from an integrated third year Architecture Design Studio and Environmental Controls Systems (ECS) Studio. As the final project, all students developed a ‘Center for the Study of Light’, based on the quarter long experiments with light. The quarter began with spatial experiments with both day and electric lighting. In the ECS course students started with several physical model interpretations of James Turrell’s electric light installations and in the Design Studio several full-scaled working versions of Moholy Nagy’s Light Space Modular were constructed to explore the connection of movement, light, space and materials. Another instructor taught the ECS course, but exercises were collaboratively formulated, so the student work developed would inform the architecture projects in the design studio. Assignment activities in both the Design and ECS courses are a continuation of a methodology of this author for using digital and physical media in a tightly structured framework for integrating building system principles into design studio projects. The main learning objective for the integration of these two courses was to create a range of improvisations early on in the quarter to create an intense focus on a kit-of-parts understanding of the technical aspects of environmental systems that can be shaped and molded into design project vocabularies later in the quarter.

This paper will briefly describe the sequence of ECS and design studio exercises that were assigned. The assignments along with student design work are a sampling of the type of exercises and analog digital process that students went through at a particular stage of the project. The paper will conclude with the instructor’s reflections on this process.



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