In talk: Peter Koorstra
Head of Modeling Studies at Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft
TU Delft has always been on the top 10 best architecture school in the world, on par with legendary names such as AA - Architecture Association, and ETH.
A while ago, I got to visit the architecture building and discover that TU Delft BK Building is such an architecture wonderland for students. They have the giant orange stairs for lecture, MVRDV's Why Factory, the studios from the Berlage School that they integrated couple years back, and this giant hall where all the physical creation process happens, the architecture gigafactory.
It is really exciting to see a bunch of students doodling, crumpling paper, manufacturing parts with various tools and techniques, assembling -- crystallizing their idea in multiple ways. The best part is; you can see all those happens in one sight of a glance. The hall is enormous, it is the first thing you encounter beyond the lobby. It clearly is a celebrated space.
After my initial visit to the school, I got a chance to meet Peter Koorstra, Professor of Modelling Studies in TU Delft, one of the men behind the architecture gigafactory. Through our short conversation, we discover what are some of the approach that the school believes in...
And this is one of the aspect on why TU Delft is a big deal among architecture schools.
On Model Making as Design Process
Peter Koorstra (PK):
We start with your orientation in models that doesn't have any scale. So you allow yourself to find the proper expression that you want to achieve from material itself.
We start with scale less model and then shift to 1:500, or large scale as a conceptual process, some students combine it with section model and they develop it further on the structure etc. Quite often we shift scale to 1:50 and 1:20 scale and jump constantly between the scale because certain problem will come up at certain scale and you are forced to solve it as you are making it.
On Modeling Techniques
Peter Koorstra (PK):
2 - 3 years ago there was a student who did a comparison of different model making techniques as a subject for a research in which phase of the design process to use a proper technique to discover what you want to discover in that stage . What she did is she took this urban plot somewhere in Oakland as part of her research. She did this one by hand as a sketch phase, and she needs to do some assumption to detail certain things based on the material. Of course some elements are out of scale because the material in use cant go any smaller than that. So she needs to make selection on what need to be shown and what does not need to be shown.
And this model takes 3 hours to make.
This is another one but with laser cutting, As you can see there are several assumption needs to be made based on material thickness and all that. But it took me 4 days to a week to make, because you have to enter data, make the 3d drawing, laser cut, and assemble the parts.
And you make this again using 3D printing, I can do more detail, i need quite a lot more data input, it takes me quite much more time, and in the end, I have a white model without any expression.
On Hand Versus Computer
So what we discover by this research is, you need to be really careful of 3d printing of complete models. if you want to bring in the kind of expression, experience, or atmosphere in what you want to show us as well. because then it get lost. if you need quick sketch model, just to give in priorities, take the knife, take a little bit of paint, and in 2 hours, you have the result. I can make assumption and then I know what to do because i don't need the rest of the information at that point. The exactness in phase of design process is completely irrelevant.