Concept Modeling_SUPPLIES

Given the busy weekend ahead, we wanted to make an early request for concept modeling supplies.  Our workshop next week will have us building quick, but well crafted and thoughtful, concept models for the IDEAhaus.

More information on the workshop will be provided, but most importantly you need to have quality model building materials and supplies.  We would like to work on modeling languages with this workshop and represent ideas or agendas not only with intent, but with material consequence.  Instead of chunks of wood, think wood veneer.  Instead of chipboard, think high quality heavyweight paper.  Pink or blue foam is acceptable, but only if cut cleanly and consistently with sharp knives or wire cutters, so reserve those and bring those from the shop as well.   Unconventional materials can also make incredible conceptual and study models.  Fabric, felt, wire, wood sticks, etc.  Please don’t just bring what is laying around.  The criteria is simple.

Bring materials that are easy to build with AND that you would love to have art in your home made from.


Workshop 1_Concept Modeling – TOMORROW, Note things to bring!


before class

Each student is required to bring to class a minimum of 2 different media and the necessary tools to be used for conceptual model production and 1-2 large sheets of paper (18×24 – doesn’t have to be nice) and writing utensils.  Consult the list of recommended materials provided below.



“getting lit … erary”

+west studio

essential terminology will be defined and the nature of working conceptually discussed


exercise 1

“interrogating connections | a path to a medium”

+in studio

+ partnered

Beginning with a few “points of entry” into the context of your particular precedent hybrid, the objective of this exercise is to discover relevant connections through actions and to explore the conceptual relationships surrounding these actions through different methods of controlling stream of consciousness.

Working in precedent teams of two or more, begin to interrogate the connections between hybrid uses you are considering or concepts you have developed through concept mapping.  Discover new connections and define these connections as verbs or actions – operations that you could interract with.

keep in mind

If you start with 2 terms, you should strive to end with 100.

The connection (line) is more important than the term(point) as it qualifies the meaning of the relationship between nodes and it defines the action or operation that you will then use to build concept models.


+in studio

What do these mappings expose? Evaluate breadth vs. depth in understanding relationships? Identifying potency vs. pitfall? Can you determine or prioritize relevant physical media or processes to associate with the verbs or actions?


exercise 2

“Exploring a concept through a medium”

Using one of the verbs or actions identified in the first exercise, select a relevant media from the central media repository and generate a sequence of a minimum of 5 different products which embody the nature of the trope.

The sequence should find rigor by forcing the media to produce very distinct products for the the same trope (breadth), or to find the minimum and maximum articulations of the same process for the selected trope as an incremental study(depth).

Emphasis should be placed on developing operational and parametric thinking for how the medium is used to articulate the trope.



Studio critique. How well can we understand the concepts being explored without hearing any back story. Quickly tag or label the explorations with the terminology (verbs) they exhibit.

after class

“(re)state your assumptions”

“11:15, restate my assumptions: 1. Mathematics is the language of nature. 2. Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers. 3. If you graph these numbers, patterns emerge. Therefore: There are patterns everywhere in nature.” – Maximillian Cohen in the movie PI

In the movie PI, the character mathemetican Maximillian Cohen, regularly restates his assumptions, reminding himself of the driving agenda behind the project he is immersed in.

In a similar fashion, start a log of your thinking relative to the problems and solutions of the project at hand. Don’t assume that this document is binding or not subject to change, on the contrary it should change over the course of development. This document can be used to retain awareness or focus of your thinking at any particular time. In as clear and concise, yet sufficiently descriptive prose as possible develop a written statement of your project agenda.

  1. what are the most important objectives/goals?

  2. what are the relevant concepts you intend to explore?

  3. define your strategy(s)

  4. what are your tactics?

Do this as frequently as possible, weekly, daily, etc. over the course of the project. To stay articulate about your agenda.

“Verb List Compilation: Actions to Relate to Oneself” – Richard Serra [1967-1968]

to roll

to crease

to fold

to store

to bend

to shorten

to twist

to dapple

to crumple

to shave

to tear

to chip

to split

to cut

to sever

to drop

to remove

to simplify

to differ

to disarrange

to open

to mix

to splash

to knot

to spill

to droop

to flow

to curve

to lift

to inlay

to impress

to fire

to flood

to smear

to rotate

to swirl

to support

to hook

to suspend

to spread

to hang

to collect

of tension

of gravity

of entropy

of nature

of grouping

of layering

of felting

to grasp

to tighten

to bundle

to heap

to gather

to scatter

to arrange

to repair

to discard

to pair

to distribute

to surfeit

to compliment

to enclose

to surround

to encircle

to hole

to cover

to wrap

to dig

to tie

to bind

to weave

to join

to match

to laminate

to bond

to hinge

to mark

to expand

to dilute

to light

to modulate

to distill

of waves

of electromagnetic

of inertia

of ionization

of polarization

of refraction

of tides

of reflection

of equilibrium

of symmetry

of friction

to stretch

to bounce

to erase

to spray

to systematize

to refer

to force

of mapping

of location

of context

of time

of cabonization

to continue


Please have 2 sets of modeling materials (media) and the requisite tools with you at the beginning of class for use building multiple small scale models.  You are not required to select from the list.  If you have an idea for a great modeling media or a material you’ve always wanted to work with, bring it in. We do not have time to move back and forth between the shop, so no need to contemplate larger modeling making tools.  Think small, quick, easily controllable.


Sheet goods: Corrugated cardboard, foam core, chip board, plywood, wood veneer, acrylic, paper(s), metal(s), fabric, rubber, canvas, other, etc.

Linear goods: Bass wood, polymer extrusions, rope, wire, other, etc.

Sculptable materials: Plastelina, clay, wax, polymer shapes, florist foam, pink/blue insulation (please check out a wire cutter), other, etc

Paintable materials: Paint, silicone, inks, dyes, rapid setting adhesives, other, etc.

Found objects: Bottle caps, DVD’s, old cd covers/cases, newspaper, magazines, books, natural materials (plants, landscape), food, clothing(s), recyclable bottles/plastic, other, etc.

NECESSARY TOOLS: Please bring all tools necessary for small scale and FAST (!) model building including but not limited to:

Glue, knives, blades, hot glue, straight edge, scissors, markers, hot wire cutter, drills, ruler, wire cutter, pliers, other, etc.

Workshop 2: Program Strategy_Modeling Program

Workshop 2: Program Strategy_Modeling Program


Understand that a program is not a set of requirements as much as it is generator of ideas and space.  It is not a set of rules as it is a set of opportunities.

Materials and Tools:

1. Larger format paper and writing/drawing instruments.

2.  1/2″ thick minimum foam, glue or pins and cutting apparatus for construction of massing models.

3. Site plan of building at roughly 1″=20′-0″ laminated to foam core, cardboard, wood, etc.


 TIME                    ACTIVITY                                

2:00pm                 Introduction (West Studio)

30 min                  Part 1

15 min                  Group Discussion

45 min                  Part 2

15 min                  Group Presentation

45 min                  Part 3

15 min                  Group Presentation

Workshop Description:


This program strategy workshop will be divided into three parts.  Analysis of hypothetical program, analysis of HYBRID program, and modeling of hybrid program.

 Part 1:

You are to analyze the program below using one of the 6 criteria or lenses listed below.  Working in teams of two, you will be assigned one of the lenses, and you will have 30 minutes to complete the analysis for the given program.  These are specific, purposeful and clear analytical tasks.  Thought and creativity are encouraged, but do not use them to ignore the assignment.  While you will be asked to perform only one of the 7 forms of analysis, you should familiarize yourself with endeavor to absorb each of these into your future design purposes.


– a space to enter

– a space to live

– a space to work

– a space to sleep

– a space to eat

– a space to cook

– a space to study

– a space for hygiene

– a space for play

– a space for a vehicle

Programming Lenses (see diagrams below in Production Considerations)

– Program Relationship/Permutation Matrix:  Explore the potential relationships each space has to every other space in the form of a matrix.

– Movement Patterns:  Diagram all movement patterns through the program with regards to function, time or something else.  Diagrams could be sketches, graphs, assemblies, etc.

– Scenarios by Occupant:  Develop scenarios and narratives for individual users or user groups.  Develop written narratives and hypothesis for each occupant regarding their relationship to the space.

– Physical Data, Object Volumes and Circulation Shapes:  What are the physical sizes and volumes of the elements that will occupy the space and what are the physical requirements of their movements? (i.e. walking a boat from storage bay to water)  Produce measured (to scale) drawings of the objects within the space and their constraints.

– Material and Environmental Considerations:  Note material or environmental considerations for each element or space of program.  (i.e. hard, soft, warm, cold)  Describe impressions of each space as they relate to material and the environment.

– Enclosure/View:  Determine rules/opportunities for enclosure for each space and/or the proximity to such enclosure.  Consider views, etc.  A narrative or matrix could be used to analyze these conditions.

Part 2:

Working alone or in pairs, choose two or three of the programmatic uses from  your proposed HYBRID building, and perform the same programming analysis using a minimum of two of the above lenses.

Part 3:  4D (formal) Programming

Now working alone and using the same uses (and more) from Part 2, establish volumetric assumptions and relationships for the programmatic elements.  Evaluate volumes of activities based on use, square footage, height, hierarchy, significance,  time, frequency, orientation in the form of measured and scaled massing models.  Create volumes for each of the uses of your proposed HYBRID buildings and build a minimum of 3 massing/study models that explore the consequence of various spatial relationships between the uses.

NOTE: Generate the forms and relationships based on the rules and criteria established through thoughtful and honest analysis.