Catalyzing Ecological Design : FOOD-HUB BUILD STUDIO

NR 185 FALL 2014

Faculty: Tyler Kobick, Design/builder;
Keith Morris, Perma-culturist
Time: Friday September 5
-Tuesday Sept 23
During range above, Fridays 2-5, Sat. 9-5,
Tues. 5-8pm
Place: University Heights South, #9
Credit: 3 Max. 18
NR 185 Catalyzing Ecological Design: FOOD HUB-Build Studio is the conclusion of a design
competition class, Catalyzing Ecological Design from fall 2013, (it does not have pre-requisites
though). The class culminated in a worldwide design competition and award ceremony in Feb
2014 . This class will ―cherry pick‖ the design competition for good ideas and compose them into a
unique work that the class will follow through to execution. The class will be a ‗design-build
intensive‘ and will include work over the time-period weekends. A ribbon cutting ceremony and
party are planned for the unveiling of the final work, Tuesday Sept 23rd.
Courtyard design/Gate Build. An ‗ice-breaker d/B project will be our first foray on day 2 in the
courtyard. Further design and experimentation for the creation of a ‗FOOD HUB‘ in the
Greenhouse Courtyard will begin immediately. Current ideas envision a pavilion that can produce
food, and process foods from outside (such as apples or maple sap), and act as collection space
for food system/design applied thinking.
Students will have the opportunity to focus almost the entirety of their classwork on a single project.
Students will learn and develop critical thinking in the following areas: the field of ecological design,
design-build architecture, the relationship between form and function, poetics of place-making, and
building systems functions.
It will enable students to understand the
cumulative efforts and knowledge areas
inherent to any large built work. The design-
build project will be a permanent or semi-
permanent installation surrounding/adjacent to
The Greenhouse Residency Hall. A strong emphasis will also be made on readings from a wide
range of designers, inventors, and architects to help inform the analysis, design, and building
process throughout the intensive course.
Collaborations with the Art and Engineering Department may develop to diversify and enhance the
design-build projects in The Greenhouse Courtyard.
Greening of Aiken Sequence Courses to date:
Catalyzing Ecological Design: Special Topics Course 2013
Greening Aiken Design Build Spring 2012
Greening Aiken Design Build Spring 2011
Ecological Design Studio: Spring 2009 – NR 285/385;
Place Based Environmental Art: Summer 2008 – ENVS 195; Greening Aiken: Art & Architecture ENVS 195/NR 285;
Ecological Design Studio: Spring 2008 – NR 289


Course concepts and background
 Spring Ecological Design Studio projects
 Aiken Building status (Architecture and Engineering)
 Theories and applications of Design-Build
Course Methods
 Journal/sketchbook expectations
 Case Studies
 Video and In-class lectures/seminars
 Field Trips/studies
 Readings; written and oral responses
 Project Assignments: individual, small team- drawn and built
 Final ―Pinup‖ and Ribbon Cutting

In-Class Sample Outline

SEMINAR: Designing Use and Beauty: and Tyler Kobick
Project 1: Materiality: Form and Function
What makes a material beautiful? How do you define beautiful? A form useful? What
happens to the relationship between material and application? Examples from Jean
Nouvel; Javier Senosiain (Shell House, Mexico);Carlos Scarpa, Frank Lloyd Wright,
Capadocia, Turkey; Beijing, Berlin, Aiken Center, etc.
What is the ―ecointegration‖ of building systems with natural functions (air, water, diurnal
temperatures, waste, energy…)? How do we engage these functions into the building
form—how do they reflect, determine, enhance, or diminish a building‘s form(s) and
Form and Function drawing study of Aiken
Form and Function 3-D model; in-class; individual project

Homework due:
Project Assignment:
Finish Form and Function 3-D model
Finish 5 Form and Function Diagrams of Aiken

Purchase text:
CED BUILD: Design Build Packet:
Reading 1 Malcolm Wells and John Connell : “Ecological Thinking Meets


Project 1: Materiality: Form and Function DUE SEPT 6th
3-D model +Visual Assignment: Courtyard Gate Re-design: Greenhouse

Project 2: Building System Study: Light and Power
Research + Case Study (ppt) DUE SEPT 9th
Visual Assignment (drawing) + Project (built) DUE SEPT 12th 15%

Project 3: Integrated Building Systems: Water, Waste, and Regeneration
Visual and Built Assignment (drawing, diagrams etc.) SEPT. 23rd
+ Project (built) 65%

Attendance and class participation 10%

Reading/Exam Week
University Heights Green House Multipurpose Room
Invited TBA Guests may include:

Kieth Morris
David Horchenshau
Steve Libby, Greenhouse Coordinator
Dr. John Todd
Buzz Ferver

Purchased Text: From Vantage Press : Greening Aiken: Design-Build Course
Reader: 12 different daily readings : authors include but are not limited to
John Connell
Dave Sellers
Steve Badanes
Richard Sennett
William Macdounough


Building Design Manual John Connell

Homing Instinct John Connell

Methods and Materials of Construction Manual Edward Allen and Joseph Iano

Building Construction Illustrated Francis Ching

Experiencing Architecture Steen Eiler Rasmussen

Eyes of the Skin : Juhani Pallasmaa

From Eco-Cities to Living Machines John Todd and Nancy Jack Todd

Shopclass as Soulcraft Matthew Crawford

The Fall of Public Man, The Craftsman Richard Sennett

Design Outlaws on the Ecological Frontier : Ed. Zelov

Expanding Architecture: Design as Activisim Brian Bell

Additional Articles at B-H online Reserve Desk


Frank Llyod Wright : Falling Water, Mill Run, PA
Carlos Scarpa : Brion Cemetary
Samuel Mockbee : Butterfly House and other works of The Rural Studio
Faye Jones : Crown Thorn Cathedral
The Concrete House: Dave Sellers


1. Aiken and the UVM campus
2. Numerous ―maker spaces‖ in Burlington
3. Burlington Downtown

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