EiABC Protolab
Drawings, plans, elevations
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Architecture involves within itself the art and technology of production and construction. Model making /prototyping is a very fundamental component which parallels the complexity of construction at the inception stage. Two important facets are always evident on the subject of prototyping in architecture. The first and most obvious is the use of prototyping as a tool for visualization. The second and probably less practiced, but in many senses the most important one, is the use of prototyping as a tool for design. Within the protoLAB studio a model/prototype is defined as a physical simulation of an object/ space in scale or non-scale. The specific topic about architectural prototyping is dependent on the conceptual understanding of scale in the context of model making. It questions and probes the essence of architectural models and their relevance in the modern day architectural production. Form, massing, space, context and construction are the complex concepts within architecture (architectural theory / architectural practice), which are very much revealed through the art of prototyping. ProtoLAB conceptually and practically argues that model making has a language with its own vocabulary/ ‘grammar’. ‘Scale’, ‘technique’ and ‘material’ are used as the ‘vocabulary’ within the ‘grammar’ to present a certain prototype for its desired purpose. It is imperative to understand the intention of any prototype before designing a ‘language’ for it. This ‘language’, since it is designed, is always specific to a prototype. And the more designed it is, the more specific it becomes. This ‘design of language’ within prototyping is the aspect that relates it to the realm of art. Model making boldly falls within the realms of art because it involves meaning, expression, representation and projection. It tries to express the content of the defined in its own way hence it is expressive. It tries to represent another reality or subject hence being representational. It again tries to always talk about the future or the non-existent by physically projecting the future. This dimension of art and expression is equally as important as the technical aspects within prototyping. It is also the one most associated in particular with architectural model making. It gives the architect a stronger media for projecting ideas and discussing concepts. Ideas both at the level of design, material, construction and structure can be discussed at a prototype level. ‘Making’ plays a very important role in formation and thinking within any culture. Hence, it was the didactic goal of the various academic courses and workshops that gave rise to this book to expound
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