Graphic: Jens Klitgaard
On September 19-21, the 2006 Digital Architecture & Construction Conference took place in Seoul, Korea. Research students from A&D contributed with two papers on digital tectonics. The first “A Discussion of the Term Digital Tectonics” was presented by PhD student Ida K. Andersson, and the second “On The Integration Of Digital Design And Analysis Tools” was presented by PhD student Jens Klitgaard.
A discussion of the term digital tectonics
by Ida Kristina Andersson & Poul Henning Kirkegaard
For almost twenty years, digital architecture of different themes and characters has been produced. Through this time it has become possible to develop new and geometrically free forms, as well as calculate and simulate different technical matters of future constructions using digital tools. The wildest and most complex building concepts can through three dimensional modelling and drawing programmes be realized and built, and this have naturally fascinated architects.
Many digitally conceived projects are thus characterized by this fascination of the free-form geometry. In the contemporary discussions of digital architecture, digital tectonics is a commonly occurring term, and in this article the focus will be on this particular term. The term of tectonics has been used by architectural theorists for several centuries, but through time there have been many different opinions on what the term contains.
In this article the term tectonics will first be defined through analysing of different architectural theories, and thereafter the term will be discussed in relation to digital architecture. Through this discussion a comprehension of the terms of tectonics and digital architecture is reached, and subsequently it is suggested how they together can form a new kind of tectonics – digital tectonics.
On the Integration of Digital Design and Analysis Tools
by J. Klitgaard, P. H. Kirkegaard, M. Mullins
The digital design tools used by architects and engineers today are very useful with respect to their specific fields of aesthetical or technical evaluation. It is not yet possible to fully use the potential of the computer in the design process, as there is no well functioning interplay between the two types of tools. The paper therefore looks at integration of the two types in a prototype for a tool which allows aesthetics evaluation, and at the same time gives the architect instant technical feedback on ideas already in the initial sketching phase.
The aim of the research is to look into integrated digital design and analysis tools in order to find out if it is suited for use by architects and designers or only by specialists and technicians – and if not, then to look at what can be done to make them more available to architects and designers.
The paper contains a case study of three possible approaches for working with digital tectonics by means of acoustics: The architects, the architect-engineer or hybrid practitioner and finally a prototype for a possible digital tectonic tool. For the third approach in the case study a prototype digital tectonic tool is tested on the design proposal for the auditorium in the planned Utzon Centre in Aalborg, Denmark.