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Tom Di Santo ARCH 481 Fall/Winter/Spring
Oakland, Alameda, California, United States
Form without feeling is sterile and feeling without form is unlikely to be socially effective.” John Blacking, Movement and Meaning: Dance in Social Anthropological Perspective “Seek after architecture as a specific mode of knowledge; to perform presently a specific activity for the purpose of prolonging or continuing the practice historically authorized as architecture, but which cannot be done in the same way; to select from among other possible practices ( dancing, writing, filming, designing, ect.) this particular course of action; to set in next to other systems [disciplines]; to intend architecture; to desire architecture.” K. Michael Hays, Architecture by Numbers. Architecture should be “set” next to other creative disciplines; this will push the profession forward to new creative territories. Dance and architecture for example share unquestionable parallels. Not just in terms of form and expression, but also in that both, dance and architecture begin with conceptual ideas that are abstractly translated into form, space, movement and meaning. These two disciplines also share the ability to provoke emotional responses within their spectators and occupants through non-verbal communications. Architecture however, is more than form and function. Just as dancers put equal emphasis on emotion and technique, so too should designers equally consider form, function, structure and I would add sustainability. Software plugins are coming out every day that allow designers to create complex networks of interrelated programs that allow them to grasp the multiplicity of forces that are related to the architectural design. A process that uses these networks to equally consider the formal performance, functional performance, structural performance and sustainable performance of a build form is what I consider to be the “Performance Process.” This thesis project will set dance [break dancing] next to architecture as source of inspiration and explore the idea of “Performance Process” by using current parametric design tools in order to simultaneously consider esthetic (form), function, structure and sustainability. These ideas will be explored through a “lid project” over Highway 980 and will serve to mitigate some of the negative social and environmental impacts of the highway infrastructure on the city of Oakland California. It will serve as a promising addition to the downtown environment that will employ a speculative commercial development to subsidize a complex for street dance and art, as well as an innovative performing art center.
Our methodology promotes the concept of discovery. The studio is not run as an office where you are told exactly what to do and then dutifully do it. There are no pre-conceived solutions. The projects are left purposefully custom and individualized to encourage exploration and discovery, to bolster your intuition, enhance creativity, and influence you to ideate. We will endeavor to expose you to beneficial influences and ideas; however, success ultimately rests in your own exploration and perspiration as well as your ability to support your solutions with action and reason. In addition to the evaluation of the each final submission, an evaluation of "process" may also be factored into the grade of each individual project. Final grade for the quarter is determined by multiplying the project grades by the project weights and dividing the total amount of accumulated points by ten. Individual project grades will be given after the project due date, but all projects may be improved and re-submitted at any time during the quarter in the interest of receiving a higher evaluation. Final project evaluations will be locked in on the last day of the quarter (Friday of dead week) Sketchbooks will be evaluated at this time as well. Note: in order for a project to be re-submitted later in the quarter, it must be submitted on the project due date. Any project not submitted on the due date will receive a grade of zero. Additional consideration will be given to attendance and participation in class. Final grade may be adjusted up or down one-third of a grade depending on participation, attendance, strong work ethic, assistance to classmates, and improvement over the course of the quarter.
College of Architecture and Environmental Design
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