The Design Cabal is a Parametric workshops for the University of Costa Rica as part of their Tropical Architecture Lab.
It is imparted in collaboration with local cross-disciplinary professionals and local officials on subjects lateral to the Architectural practice. They’re intensive 5-week courses including theory, prototyping, ideation, programming and development and construction of a product.
Information & Architecture
Information, while ethereal in nature in turning each day into a more intrinsic part of architecture Until now, its relationship has come in the form of marquees, Posters, and signaling. This Project was born as a response to that, looking by adding an extra layer of information to the texture of the environment. By using sensors and custom programmed robotics a breathing wall was constructed that respirate depending on the temperature and humidity of the space.
Climate Design Thinking
Concerned with the integration of qualitative analysis within the discipline of architectural design, this module was focused on the creation of collaborative design process that used heuristic analysis to create robust user profiles and later leverage those insights into Design Methodologies tailor-made for each user, turning a collaborative design into a personalized experience.
A neglected balcony inside the Architecture School was given for a real-size design and construction exercise, the commission, to create an unintrusive, self-supporting piece, that vitalized the space and used the minimum um amount of materials. The final solution was a compounded single surface tensegrity. The structure was tested and optimized through finite element analysis techniques and constructed on-site by the students.
Through a local donation, the students received 60 plywood sheets. The commission. Use every single pound of material. Waste nothing. Construct a usable space. By creating generative algorithms, and exploring counter-shape theorems the students created a sitting room while turning Zero waste.
Responsive environments are a natural extension to the stasis of architecture. In this Module, the students were given a simple task. Build a tillable surface that responses to environmental shifts, in lighting, precipitation or privacy. The results varied in complexity and scalability but turned the conversation away from design platitudes into pragmatic questions of feasibility, scalability and cost efficiency.
The module tackles the idea of Wearables as a response to environmental conditions the design problem was defined as a fictitious scenario: In a near hypothetical future Climate Change has created a condition of permanent precipitation with non-stop rains at all time of day The students used ideation techniques to design portable solutions to the problem and using rapid prototyping techniques constructed their artifacts, for a runway.
The most recent incarnation of the Parametric Module dwells into Rituals looking towards ways to elevate the mundane through service design techniques. Each workshop group worked with a real user and conducted thorough ethnographic research, mapping their routines, doing interviews and creating a bespoke ritual that was novel and yet familiar. We employed fast prototyping tools and collaborative design protocols to iterate and test the results quickly.