AA Design + Make Masters study at the Architectural Association Hooke Park

Design Studio 1: Induction Project

Term 1, Week 2-5

Studio Tutor: Kostas Grigoriadis

Credit weighting: 10 Credits (5.5%)

Submission: Individual design dossier

Introduction and aims:

The four-week Induction Studio provides an intensive introduction to the techniques of contemporary design production. Design software tools are learned through a series of taught workshops. These cover the fundamentals of 3d modelling, generative and parametric modelling techniques, and the principles of integration with digital fabrication. The intent is to provide the cohort with a shared foundation and confidence in these tools.

Project: Vernacular Re-applicator (2012 brief)

The Induction Studio is a series of eight taught classes and tutorial-workshops through which the foundation skill-base for an integrated digital-material design-make methodology is established. On an iterative cycle these techniques are learned and applied to the formation of an individual digitally-derived material-spatial speculation that is potentially relevant for the subsequent build projects.

This proposal is formulated through a sequence of 4 iterations of increasing sophistication. The final iteration is to be a fully articulated and documented proposition that exists as:

- a digital tool and representation,

- a physical piece manufactured at Hooke Park and

- a paper documentation of the process, the proposition, and its applicability (the individual Design Dossier).

The twice-weekly teaching days are divided into scripting/digital tool tuition and/or presentations/lectures about relevant design projects in the mornings and tutorials/design sessions in the afternoons. Code and parametric tool tuition is in Rhino Scripting and Grasshopper. Emphasis will be given on illustrating/teaching how the tools can be used to create ‘real-life’, built constructs in contrast to speculative parametric explorations.

Each student is to select an existing – possibly vernacular – construction technique, research and analyse its process, and develop a generative parametric digital model that allows that technique to be deployed in a non-conventional way. Then, at Hooke Park, each student will fabricate a ‘sampler’ produced through this digitally-controlled technique, using the equipment available in the Hooke Park workshop.

The technique must be selected carefully. It should be :

- an existing technique used in building construction (or another assembling-industry such as boat building) – traditional, vernacular, historical, indigenous, or contemporary techniques all ok (eg shingling, thatch, dry-stone walling, Japanese timber jointing, ship-lap, log-cabin, …),

- have an underlying component/geometric logic that can be extracted and codified within the Rhino/Grasshopper interface.

- have relevance and potential for re-applicability in the Hooke Park and English architectural context

- be of material that can be sourced and worked with at Hooke Park.

The ‘Sampler’ should be constructed at full component scale if possible. It should demonstrate the capabilities of your system and how, through digital control, the existing technique can be re-applied in a more sophisticated and flexible way (for example, re-applying a flat shingle cladding technique to work on a free-from surface).

The digital control may lead to direct digital fabrication (i.e. through a CNC workflow) or be used indirectly, for example by controlling the setting-out, formwork, or jigs for fabrication or assembly. Inventive application and acknowledgement of the interplay of digital, manual and machine processes is strongly encouraged.


The Design Dossier (12-20 pages) is to document through annotated illustrations the development and outcomes of the project, including: reference and research material; representations of the digital control process; documentation of the intermediate and final physical pieces; and speculative drawing/render of the system applied at an architectural scale.