Learning From Logs: Introductory Analog And Digital Pedagogy Addressing Material Irregularity

Kyle Schumann University of Virginia / After Architecture

Advanced computational visioning, modeling and fabrication technologies are becoming increasingly accessible to non-expert users, allowing designers to engage complex forms and materials with increasing control and precision. Nonetheless, beginning designers often struggle to maintain authorship when mastering new software, resulting in designs shaped by the biases of the digital tools at hand. The act of translation between physical and digital poses particular difficulty. This paper presents a sequential pedagogy in which students are introduced to both manual and digital analytical and fabrication processes with the goal of understanding, analyzing, and addressing material irregularity. Techniques and tools employed include digital modeling in Rhinoceros, 3D scanning, computational analysis in Grasshopper, traditional woodshop tools, 3D printing, laser cutting, and CNC routing. The outcomes and criteria for evaluating student projects are discussed: in particular, the learning opportunities afforded by using irregularly sized and shaped material that allowed students to develop creative ways of working with standard woodworking and digital fabrication tools. Additional challenges due to virtual teaching and financial considerations are addressed through salvaged materials and democratized technologies.

Keywords: Digital Pedagogy, Democratized Technology, Digital Fabrication, Computation, Material Irregularity, Sdg 4, Sdg 13, Sdg 12

View Full Paper