Digital (r)evolution: Development of digital design tools and their impact on architectural design
By Tomáš Tholt, Robert Löffler
Materialization of an architectural object is accomplished on the basis of a certain form of description – the author’s notation. Architectural drawings or other types of notation act as a stencil. The process of architectural notation is at the same time a design tool. Development of knowledge, technologies, processes of notation, visualization, representation and fabrication thus significantly affect not only the way we design and build, but, more importantly, what we design, the form of the designed object itself. The expansion of digital technologies to all spheres of art and science brings about new possibilities. Digital means of notation, design and fabrication enable mass customized production, mass production of similarity and variability. By means of digital fabrication (production), generative processes (design) and others, these technologies have the potential to define a new paradigm of architectural design. One of the most significant tools redefining this paradigm may be tools of mixed reality, with their capacity to change the design process, means of representation and the actual character (nature) of architecture as well. There is an opportunity to enhance the physical form of architecture with digital information, which creates layers that influence both the appearance and the function of the physical object. These contemporary topics of architectural research were reflected in the student-research project of a pavilion. Students were able to go through all the stages of concept development – from research, preparation of the generative algorithm and optimization of the process, to work with material and go through the assembly of the structure. The physical form of the pavilion was then en- hanced by virtual layers.
Interpretations of the term “transparency in architecture”
By Eva Vojteková
This article deals with the term transparency in architecture, which is linked to the start of Modernism in architecture at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. From the beginning of the 20th century to present day transparency as a term has been subject of ambiguous interpretations. In the beginnings of Modernism, transparency was connected with the use of glass in architecture and with exploring its transparency, which enables transparent objects to overlap and to be perceived in various spatial positions simultaneously. In this period transparency was also related to the use of the first curtain walls on skeleton buildings and new concepts of space, spatial depth and the forming of continuous spaces with the use of architectural tools. In 1954 Colin Rowe and Robert Slutzky wrote their influential essay Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal. In the essay they proposed an explanation of literal and phenomenal transparency, which has later been connected with the division of Modernism into two directions. At the end of the 20th century the term transparency was connected with high performance glazed structures, where the proportion of structural elements is minimized. At the beginning of the 21st century the new term “Engineered transparency” means the application of glass with new advanced characteristics in intelligent building skins as result of using computer technology in design.
Duna – the birdwatching structure at the Danube river case study of a Slovak- Norwegian cooperation
By Veronika Kotradyová, Martin Uhrík, Tibor Varga, Cecilie Anderson
This paper presents the case study of the wooden birdwatching platform DUNA located in the natural park of the dam Hrušovská zdž on the river Danube – the processes of documentation, actual designing and its implementation, i.e. construction, as a joint EWCC student project (Experimental Wooden Climatic Chamber) between the Faculty of Ar-chitecture, STU Bratislava in Slovakia and the Bergen Architecture School in Norway. It shows this complex problem in an international and interdisciplinary context, focusing on the way students and teaching staff have managed to deal with it. In the designing phase students had to face many inputs that were often in conflict/contrast, e.g. the need of privacy and silence for the birds, semi-private character of the space for the birdwatchers and the public space for relax on the adjacent bike route. Additionally they had to work on a completely new and complex topic within an international group of students with dif- ferent backgrounds. During the building process students moved in the range between modern wood engineering and artistic craftsmanship – this gave them a lot of valuable experiences, knowledge and skills.
Aspects of informal forms of housing in Kabul
By Mirwais Fazli
The rapid growth of urbanization has become a challenge for research in most countries of the world. Despite of the fact that the theme of urbanization is new in Afghanistan and mainly in Kabul, this sector has lately attracted the attention of national and international entities in the country. Rapid urbanization is considered to be one of the biggest obstacles in the process of achieving a sustainable future development, and it also prevents the implementation of the city’s future master plan. In result, many social, physical and economic problems are encountered, of which the setting up of informal settlements is a prime example. The unplanned character of urban fabric is an issue common to all developing countries and it is argued broadly throughout academic and research articles. Such informal settlements are set up by the poor or by settlers in result of inappropriate planning systems and policies. Informal settlements have, in the current rapid growth of cities in developing countries throughout the world, become the home for large numbers of people. In the case of Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan, informal settlements make up 80% of the total city population. This paper analyzes the informal settlements in Kabul and proposes some specific recommendations related to the principles of development of infrastructure with emphasis on property rights.