“Chunk” introduced digital modeling techniques, digital fabrication methodologies and strategies for architectural representation to communicate the relationship between design concepts, modeling techniques and the tangibility of physical models. The course elaborated on contemporary methods of digital design and discussed the differences in techniques of form-making allowing the students to gain an advanced understand- ing of geometry and systematic implementation within an architectural design process. 
As part of the digital technology series for the undergraduate program at UCLA A.UD, this course provided the knowledge and skill-set for the students to develop proficiency in various modes of architectural communication through the introduction to a variety of digital model- ling techniques and discussion of the different methodologies to create 3D form. The seminar consisted of geometrical analysis and research as well as digital design processes. Discussions took place on the differences between spline and polygon modeling and introduced a rational understanding of geometric constraints. Further, students developed an understanding of the differences between Euclidian, spherical, and hyperbolic geometries. The course involved the utilization of digital fabrication techniques to transform digital models into physical models, with fabrication and material constraints. The material-based techniques were understood as abstract architectural construction and challenged students to think about materials and tolerances in physical space as well as assembly strategies. Techniques of laser cutting, CNC mill- ing and 3D printing were tested and students developed an understanding of the differences between working with sheet material and additive or subtractive manufacturing processes. Contemporary digital fabrication techniques were introduced in the form of lectures and re- search components. The students worked across various scales and architectural components such as ground, orientation, gravity, structure, mass and envelope as part of their three dimensional investigations. Students elaborated on 2D drawing techniques and architectural communication of their developed geometries. 
The course operated in the form of a research laboratory for digital modeling and fabrication processes. The research started with an investigation into a selection of three dimensional sculptures in the Franklin D. Murphy Sculptural Garden at UCLA. The students choose from a list of sculptures and photographed, 3D scanned and digitally analyzed and documented the three dimensional curvature and particularity in form. Rather then modeling and fabricating a complete replica of the art objects students focused on a specific cut out area, “a chunk”, to develop into a high fidelity. 


Julia Koerner