Posts Tagged ‘Harvard GSD’

On The Bri(n)ck II @ the GSD: Architecture of the Envelope 

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Students at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University under the guidance of Professor Ingeborg M. Rocker of Rocker-Lange Architects , have built a wall structure out of chipboard bricks.

on the brink, Ingeborg Rocker, Harvard, GSD

The research seminar On the Bri(n)ck II: Architectural Envelope traces the historical development of a debate about the architectural envelope that began at the end of the 19th century. It was a critical period in the industrial revolution when new materials and technologies became available and started to inform architectural design and debate. Architects began to question the role that mass-production should play in architecture, and also questioned the influence that new notation and construction-techniques had on the architects’ work. Today these and similar questions are resurfacing as the digital medium literally informs the conceptualization and production of architecture.

on the brink, Ingeborg Rocker, Harvard, GSD

In the beginning of the 20th century brick became the dominant local material, embodying the socially and politically motivated expansions of rapidly growing European cities. Brick was particularly favored in the urban centers of the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. Today the role of brick has evolved, though solid and capable of bearing great loads, it is now mostly used as cladding. On the Bri(n)ck II focused consequently on the changing role and materiality of brick today.

on the brink, Ingeborg Rocker, Harvard, GSD

The project engaged several teams to develop architectural envelopes that were constituted from either mass-produced or mass-customized load bearing brick units, or alternatively mass-produced or mass-customized non-structural brick cladding. In addition to the research on different discretization techniques and structural properties of surfaces, the research-seminar also sought to identify alternative brick materials that were widely available, sustainable, light and inexpensive. On the Bri(n)ck II (1:1) project employed several hundred cardboard brick units to form the geometry of a Limaçon surface. This is a continuous geometry that inscribes an interior space with a single surface. The openings of the brick-units along with the units adapt in size, geometry and width to the surface’s geometry. At the same time the overall surface geometry is challenged through the discretization techniques generating the bricks. Using a 2-dimensional material to create a 3-dimensional brick unit was challenging. Research had to overcome obstacles such as the geometric construction of the unit, its ability to unfold and resourceful use of the material. Working with chipboard also required a very precise study of the units’ geometry in relation to their structural stability. Much attention was paid to the units, their seams and the ease in which one was able to assemble and disassemble them. A chipboard rib further stabilized the unit connections.

on the brink, Ingeborg Rocker, Harvard, GSD

The project was designed and built using the CAD/CAM facilities at the GSD. Overall the design and building process brought up questions regarding mass-production and mass-customization. The project explored the limits of a mass-customization process; examining how the same procedure can lead to an array of possible results.


Ingeborg M. Rocker, Ph.D.

Research Collaborator:
Hiroshi Jacobs (MDES)

Core Team: Mais Al Azab, William Choi, Hernan Garcia, Casey Hughes, John Jakubiec, Lesley McTague, Marta Nowak, and Mark Pomarico

Team: Harvard GSD Students

Drawings: Hiroshi Jacobs + Casey Hughes
Renderings: Will Choi

Funding:  Junior Faculty Grant from the Department of Architecture, Harvard University, GSD

The Harvard GSD Symposia on Architecture – The Eclipse of Beauty: Parametric Beauty

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

“The Eclipse of Beauty: Parametric Beauty” a Harvard GSD Symposia organized by Ingeborg M. Rocker and Pierre Belanger

What has happened to architectural beauty? It used to be the fundamental value of architectural theory and practice, the touchstone of every conceivable achievement for a discipline that considered itself primarily as an art. Today, the word is seldom pronounced by theorists and professionals, at least in public. Even critics and historians tend to avoid the loaded term.

Its eclipse is all the more surprising given that architectural aesthetics is everywhere. The architectural star-system is to a large extent based on signature forms that herald the originality of their authors. The so-called “Guggenheim effect” has fundamentally to do with the visual seduction exerted by Frank Gehry’s project on a large public, from connoisseurs to simple passers-by. It has paved the way for all sorts of prestigious architectural commissions, often linked to the cultural sector, museums, libraries, opera houses requiring visually striking answers that can be appreciated by a broad audience. Usually entrusted to a relatively small cohort of elite architects, these commissions nevertheless contribute to define the tone of contemporary architectural debate. Even if the term beauty is rarely invoked to characterize their power of seduction, the aesthetic dimension plays a determining role.


» 12:00 PM – 04:00 PM 03/28/2011

Rm 112 (Stubbins), Gund Hall

This event is free and open to the public.

The GSD Technology Platform is a transdisciplinary initiative that fosters discussions about the interface of digital technologies and design. The aim is to uncover and explore how the digital medium is transforming the agency of design through contemporary technological innovation, project experimentation, social media and interdisciplinary collaboration. The Technology Platform provides a forum for transdisciplinary discussions and will host colloquia on a regular basis. The first colloquium “Visualizations : Realizations” focuses on the role data management and data visualization play in our daily material and perceptual realizations.

With the further advancement of digital technologies during the past two decades, new methods of design and realization have begun to emerge involving the selection, management and visualization of data, in order to map, analyze, construct and reconstruct reality’s complexities and dynamics. Instrumental for this development are advanced forms of data imaging, open systems and information exchanges that transcend disciplinary boundaries and open new forms of collaboration and practice.

The first colloquium will offer a forum to present current research on selected topics in 20-minute lectures, followed by a panel discussion with the invited guests and the audience. Questions regarding the selection, generation, evaluation, motivation, visualization of data and the repercussions thereof for the comprehension of nature and culture will be discussed.

The sessions will be moderated by Ingeborg M. Rocker and Pierre Belanger.

12:00 / Welcome Martin Bechthold
12:10 / Introduction 1: Ingeborg M. Rocker
12:20 – 12:40 / Hans-Peter Pfister & Mirah Meyer, “Visualizing Biology”
12:40 – 12:50 / Q|A
12:50 – 01:10 / R Gerard Pietrusko, “Ground-Truthing: Visualization as Narrative”
01:10 – 01:20 / Q|A
01:30 – 01:50 / Panagiotis Michalatos, “Intuition / Rigour: Architect as Users”
01:50 – 02:00 / Q|A
02:00 – 02:20 / Panel 1 discussion

2:30 – 2:40 / Introduction 2: Pierre Belanger
2:40 – 3:00 / Eduardo Rico & Enriqueta Llabres, “Territorialism: Relational Urban Strategies for the Design of Cities”
3:00 – 3:10 / Q|A
3:10 – 3:30 / David Mah & Leire Asensio Villoria, “BAKED GOODS”
3:30 – 3:40 / Q|A
3:40 – 4:00 / Panel 2 discussion with all participants

Y Inge Y on display at the Harvard Arts festival

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Y Inge Y is an independent student project that grew out of an investigation in modular form in the “On The Bri(n)ck” class with professor Ingeborg M. Rocker of Rocker-Lange Architects at the GSD in the fall of 2009. It was recently completed for the Harvard Arts First festival in April of 2010.

Hiroshi Jacobs, Jon Scelsa, Ben Lehrer, Doug Jack, Julian Wu, Ingeborg M. Rocker, Y Inge Y, “On The Bri(n)ck”, Harvard GSD

The project was produced with the help of Hiroshi Jacobs, Jon Scelsa, Ben Lehrer, Doug Jack, & Julian Wu. The material is baltic birch plywood with a polyurethane finish, there were no mechanical fasteners used.  There are over 3000 unique pieces in the sculpture which were cut using a laser-cutter and a CNC milling machine. All geometry was generated and numbered by Rhinoscript to organize the production and assembly of the pieces.

Jon Scelsa, Hiroshi Jacobs, Ben Lehrer, Doug Jack, Julian Wu, Ingeborg M. Rocker, Y Inge Y, “On The Bri(n)ck”, Harvard GSD

“On the Bri-n-k” Robotic built wall at the GSD

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

Professor Ingeborg M. Rocker, Rocker-Lange Architects – developed with students at the GSD, Harvard University a robotic built wall.

On the Brinck, Robotic built wall at the GSD, Harvard, Rocker Lange Architects, parametric brickwall, Critical Digital Conference

On the Brinck, Robotic built wall at the GSD,Harvard, Rocker Lange Architects, parametric brickwall, parametric architecture, Critical Digital Conference

On the Brinck, Robotic Fabrication, Harvard, Rocker Lange Architects, parametric brickwall, parametric architecture, Critical Digital Conference

On the Brinck, Robotic Architecture, Harvard, Rocker Lange Architects, Critical Digital Conference

Student quotes:
“This was the best experience so far at the GSD: generating a digital design, fabricating a model and then building it in a 1:1 scale.”  Jeff LaBoskey

“A whole set of new challenges occurred when we started to build the design – and a constant re-adjustments of design and building process had to happen – overall great fun and a fantastic learning experience for all of us. The most rewarding is to be in the space we have created and to watch people experiencing it.” Misato Odanaka

“This is the type of experience for which I came to the GSD! More of this!” Teresa McWalters

On the Bri-n-ck project, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design

Ingeborg M.Rocker

Leading Team:
Jeff LaBoskey
Misato Odanaka
Benjamin Franceschi
Teresa McWalters

Jessica Rosenkrantz, Nervous System
Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, Nervous System
Christian J. Lange, Rocker-Lange Architects

Core Team:
Natalya Egon
Ricardo Munoz
Matthew Swaidan
Tory Wolcott

Masana Amamiya, Sen Ando, Ben Brady, Julian Bushman-Copp, Lindsay Chandler-Alexander, Brad Crane, Theodore Diehl, Elizabeth Farley, Matthew Fiely, Chelsea Garunay, Jeremy Jih, Tessa Kelly, Jeongyon Kim, Jessica Knobloch, Carl Koepcke, Annie Kountz, Eva Leung, Cara Liberatore, Lesley McTague. Paul Merrill, Brian Militana, Yuhka Miura, Jason Phipps, Alicia Taylor, Jessica Vaughn, Ka Yip

Special Thanks:
Stephen Hickey
Martin Bechthold

Junior Faculty Grant and Preston Scott Cohen, Chair of the Architecture Department


Discussion with Jeff Kipnis

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Discussion with Jeff Kipnis, Rocker Lange, Architecture, Harvard GSD, Ordos 100, Ordos100

Buckminster Fuller in Effect

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Buckminster Fuller in Effect, Rocker Lange Architects, Architecture

Critical Digital Conference

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Critical Digital Conference, Rocker Lange Architects, Computation, Architecture