Studio Air - a Bachelor of Environments 3rd-year studio at the University of Melbourne - focuses on digital architectural design as one of the most vibrant and influential areas in contemporary architectural discourse and practice. Computational capabilities introduce associative and performance-based processes that were not available in the pre-digital era. As a result, these new methods change conventional relationships between such fundamental categories as ideation and making or form and material.
The implications of these new technologies and new attitudes towards architectural design are far from clear. As always, new approaches generate new problems along with new benefits. However, the influence of digital technology on architectural creativity, professional practices or construction is immense and growing. In these conditions, students have to engage with computation or risk to receive education that is conceptually and practically obsolete.
Learning digital architectural design is a difficult but hugely exciting challenge. This studio introduces some of the core principles and techniques of architectural computing as a flexibly extensible platform for further self-directed education and design exploration.