Professor: Leighton Beaman
University of Virginia | School of Architecture
Campbell Hall | Rm 108
Th: 3:30pm - 6:00pm
Pliant Bodies is a faculty research seminar focused on investigating, simulating, prototyping and fabricating dynamically stable surfaces that simultaneously generate structure, enclosure, form, and phenomenological effect. These types of lightweight, low mass, and highly articulated surfaces offer an alternative to energy intensive architectural production that has dominated the built environment, and are linked in process and performance to a number of non-western, sustainable building traditions.
This semester we will be examining techniques used in generating and assembling surfaces comprised of commingled materials, drawing from knowledge and precedents that span scales, cultures, and eras, of design thinking and fabrication. To achieve this goal, we will engage in a semester long research + design project that utilizes both manual and automated design and fabrication processes to gain greater understanding into how these dynamically stable assemblies manifest physical and phenomenological properties not present in their individual parts.
While we will use a number of historical examples to begin our research, our final output will be a single full-scale public installation funded by the University of Virginia. Work will done both individual and groups culminating in this final installation which will be designed, prototyped and fabricated collaboratively.
We will primarily be using Rhinoceros 6.0 and Grasshopper 1.0 along with a suite of plugins and custom scripts for simulation and modeling. Fabrication will be done using laser cutters and CNC routers. Some familiarity with this software and equipment is preferred and will allow us to move to an advanced level of modeling and fabrication. However, we will conduct weekly tutorials to expand your modeling, scripting and fabrication abilities, share insights and critiques, collaborate on design ideas, and troubleshoot problems.
All work and participation is graded using a points systems. Points are determined using three criteria, and distributed by the stated percentages and/or points. Points translate to grades from A - D in +/- increments.
Grading will be divided into the following areas:
A | Individual/Group Design, Testing & Fabrication: 75 %
B | Collective Documentation: 25%
Grading will be determined by how well each student performs in the following areas:
UNDERSTANDING + APPLICATION:
The understanding of the course/studio project at hand, combined with an appropriate process of inquiry & development of a consistent and rigorous analysis/design process with clearly articulated ideas.
CRAFT + EXECUTION:
The ability to accurately and precisely craft a digital and physical response to the analysis/design assignment. This includes the ability to clearly and concisely communicate ideas, and produce well-formed digital and physical: models, diagrams, drawings, and images the project.
EFFORT + PARTICIPATION:
The ability to engage in the assignment with fellow students and your instructor & the ability to receive criticism and incorporate this into your project’s development. Your ability to work in groups, meet deadlines, and contribute to studio culture.
A | Excellent: 90 - 100 points
Project / Course Work surpasses expectations in terms of inventiveness, appropriateness, verbal and visual presentation, conceptual rigor, craft, and personal development. Student pursues concepts and techniques above and beyond what is discussed in class. Project is complete on all levels.
B | Good: 80 - 90 points
Project / Course Work is thorough, well researched, diligently pursued, and successfully completed. Student pursues ideas and suggestions presented in class and puts in effort to resolve required projects. Project is complete on all levels and demonstrates potential for excellence.
C | Acceptable: 70 - 80 points
Project / Course Work meets the minimum requirements. Suggestions made in class are not pursued with dedication or rigor. Project is incomplete in one or more areas.
D | Poor: 60 - 70 points
Project / Course Work is incomplete. Basic skills, technological competence, verbal clarity, and/or logic of presentation are not level-appropriate. Student does not demonstrate the required design skill and knowledge base. Work is incomplete.
Software & Hardware
This course focuses on manual and digital design and manufacturing processes & practices. You will be required to use the assigned hardware and software.
Each student is required to have a laptop or desktop with the following software installed on the first day of class, unless otherwise noted.
Each student must complete any required training associated with the use of laser-cutters, CNC milling, and 3D printing at UVa. You will be expected to use this software and hardware throughout this course. Training in VR software and hardware will be provided during the course
Rhino 6 + Grasshopper
Auto CAD v.2018
Adobe CS Suite
Vray (Rhino Plug-In)
Catalyst (available in Architecture School Computer Labs)
MasterCam (available in Architecture School Computer Labs)
HARDWARE & TRAINING REQUIREMENTS:
Subtractive Manufacturing Techniques
CNC Milling/Routing (in class tutorial, if needed)
Additive Manufacturing Techniques
3D printer training
The following adhere to the University of Virginia polices and may impact your grade. Please read carefully.
Students are required to participate in all class activities. Participation includes completing assignments and group presentations, contributing to class discussions, and presenting work. Each student is expected to come to class prepared with questions and comments about assigned reading(s), and completed assignments.
LATE ARRIVALS & ABSENTEES:
Students who are 15 minutes late to class will be marked late. 3 late days = 1 unexcused absence. For Lecture courses and seminars 2 unexcused absences = the lowering of one +/- grade. For studios, 3 unexcused absences will result in a lowering of one +/-grade. An additional +/- grade will be deducted for each unexcused absence thereafter. Regardless of tardy of absence, students are responsible to complete all assignments on time, unless alternative arrangements have been made with the instructor.
Students seeking an excused absence must inquire with the instructor prior to the absence, except in cases of medical emergencies.
ACADEMIC HONESTY :
The University of Virginia is committed to the principles of intellectual honesty and integrity. Members of the UVa community are expected to maintain complete honesty in all academic work, presenting only that which is their own work in tests and assignments. This includes recognition and adherence to the UVa honor code.
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES :
Any student who feels s/he may require accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately at the beginning of the semester to discuss specific needs. In addition, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at the University of Virginia's Department of Student Health directly to coordinate reasonable accommodations prior to the start of any UVa course if you need to discuss or implement solutions to specific needs.
This Section Under Construction
DOCUMENTING YOUR WORK :
Students are required to submit documentation of their work to A: the course instructor & B: the University of Virginia School of Architecture. Incomplete and/or failing grades will be given to any student who fails to submit both sets of work documentation. Late submissions will be graded accordingly. Documenting your work for each part is as follows:
A | The first is documentation for UVA's Archives, Publication (Web + Print) and Accreditation purposes.
B | The second is my documentation of your work for grading and future courses. The first is dictated by the School of architecture and will be sent to you during the semester. The second is outlined below.
DIGITAL DOCUMENTATION SUBMISSION :
Students are required to submit documentation of their work. Late submissions will be graded accordingly. Incomplete and/or failing grades will be given to any student who fails to submit both sets of work documentation
Documentation of all assignments and final project must be submitted to the instructor via Google Drive folder (link will be provided). This submission must include the following:
1. Packaged InDesign file + PDF of final project board
2. Photos of your final models, installations, prototypes, etc
3. All files and requirements from previous assignments
File naming convention for Individuals:
For example: 2018_ARCH3020_Smith_A01_CirculationDiagram
File naming convention for Teams or Groups:
For example: 2018_ARCH3020_GroupA_A01_CirculationDiagram
CITATIONS & Credits
Citing and crediting the work of others used in your own work is an important part of being both an academic and professional. It is also considered plagiarism when non-trivial portions of another's work is not credited or cited.
Failure to cite work used will effect your grade and may lead to an honor-code violation and/or university discipline. To avoid this, be rigorous in documenting what and where you get information and include proper credits and citations when you disseminate your work: Portfolios, Presentations, Websites, etc.
The School of Architecture Library has created a citation guide to assit you in determining how to cite work. For this course both Chicago Style and MLA are acceptable protocols. You may use either, but no both.
This Section Under Construction
01. 16. 2019
Syllabus Review | Q & A
Tutorial 01 : Grasshopper Plugins & Grasshopper Basics
01. 23. 2018
01. 31. 2018
02. 07. 2018
02. 14. 2018
02. 21. 2018
02. 28. 2018
03. 07. 2018
03. 14. 2018
03. 21. 2018
03. 28. 2018
04. 04. 2018
04. 11. 2018
04. 18. 2018
04. 25. 2018
05. 01. 2018