Designs on technology

  • YEAR
    Taggart, Brian
    2004 Conference Papers
    Architectural education


ABSTRACT: Designs on technology examines the deployment of materiality as mediator between the
abstract [conceptual design] and the representational [production documentation] in the context of a
new technology course, Construction + Structures 5 (C+S5) offered in 2004 at Auckland University
School of Architecture. The course construction reflects on works of eminent psychoanalyst and
psychiatrist D.W. Winnicott and in particular his paper ‘Transitional Objects and Transitional
Phenomena’ (1953) where he discusses an intermediate area between internal and external reality.
This potential space is where Winnicott perceived the creation of transitional objects, where creativity
first takes place. Offered in preparation for and in the semester preceding the final third year
technology integrated design paper, Design 6, the course opens with deliberations on ‘why’ particular
and appropriate technology is deployed in the realisation of thematic initiatives, with the content weight
later shifting to ‘how’ technology is deployed. Importantly, emphasis is placed on ‘when’ technology is
deployed and proposes a pre architecture engagement with technology through materiality. Case study
models explore diverse construction systems woven through similar threads of thematic concern. The
course discusses the need for personal engagement with technology by students at the earliest
possible moment in the design process. Key determinates of efficacy are assignment, examination and
final design paper outcomes of a two year group of 173 students in 2004 together with an historical
comparison; achieving an increase in C+S5 course pass grades of up to 22%.


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