2014 Taylor Seminar Lecturer at the University of Calgary Environmental Design

In 2014 I was invited to the University of Calgary for one week as the Taylor Seminar Lecturer. The Taylor Seminar brings emerging designers in the fields of digital fabrication, design and computation in architecture to Calgary to explore design research proposals and prototypes with a group of graduate students. Over the course of 4-5 days students develop design responses to an agenda described and facilitated by the Taylor Lecturer, typically through a digitally informed process of making. The Seminar includes a public lecture and exhibit of the work of the lecturer and the students.


Agenda: Simple Parts, Complex Effects

Self-organizing and self-assembling systems are trending topics in design, notable for their capacity to use simple parts and interactions to generate complex organizations. This work from the seminar allowed us to experiment with creating such systems in order to create forms and effects that are responsive and adaptable. We embarked on our experiments with the following framework:

Creating fabrication and material studies to define basic components,

Investigating relational interactions and systemic disturbances while prototyping with simple electrical and magnetic components.

Generating organization from disorder through repetition.

Examining scalar relationships between parts and aggregations, and between local and global behaviors.

This was an opportunity to conduct bottom-up, generative design experiments based on a hands-on ethic of tinkering or hacking. The students were tasked with prototyping a system by focusing on the repetition and accumulation of the parts which culminated with the production of exhibited installations in the Kasian Gallery.

2014 Taylor Seminar Lecturer: Joshua Vermillion
Coordinator and host of the Taylor Seminar: Jason S Johnson, Assistant Professor, University of Calgary
Student Team: Mehrdad Amjadi, Michael Chu, Nic Dykstra, Meysam Ehsanian, Daniel Farid, Alyssa Haas, Kendra Kusick, Joanna Long-Tieu, Matt Marrotto, Jamie Lynne McFadyen, MacKenzie Nixon, Obinna Martins, Shane Oleksiuk, Sadaf Rabbani, Matt Stewart, Sabrina Vastag
Prototyping in advance of seminar performed in collaboration with Ludwing Vaca, Graduate Assistant and MArch Candidate at UNLV’s School of Architecture.