Relief Constructions: Fragmenting, De-fragmenting, and Balancing Architectonics

By Román Montoto.

Published by The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

After fundamental principles, skills, and tools are introduced, how might the beginning design student determine where, when, and how to balance them within the design process in a manner that brings investigatory observation and design growth into focus? This is a pertinence question to ask when developing pedagogy for a second beginning architectural design studio where the root discipline consistently reveals tangents, overlaps, and connections to a wealth of others. As early studio sequences continue and fundamentals become somewhat understood, the beginning design student must creatively and logically fold complex situations and circumstances into their developing process for design. Many times, this becomes a difficult process as fundamentals for form and space often hold autonomous validation far removed from the social, cultural, and visionary issues related to architecture. Having students develop an early sense of awareness for disciplinary relationships and dynamics allows for the fluid emergence of architectonics; taking root for emerging possibilities in spatial composition. How can the processing of changing contextual and programmatic conditions induce flexibility and potentiality in design fundamentals with a reciprocating relationship to disciplinary variation in beginning architectural design? Moholy-Nagy’s preliminary course of the 1920’s Bauhaus for discovering “tactile sensory competence” in addition to structure, texture, and facture of mixed materials constitute a pedagogical foundation for confronting these issues. Referencing Maholy-Nagy’s approach, how might this reciprocation emerge as an integrated syntax to the design process while allowing for equilibrium and translation of ideas to architectonic, spatial composition, and unique outcome? In a beginning design studio, how can architectonic preconditions, dynamics, effects, and affects contribute to the development of this syntax and serve as mechanisms to fragment, balance, and de-fragment for envisioning possibilities in architectural design? This article discusses these topics with two beginning architectural design studios, design I & II, as its frame of reference, in this case, one that has students seeking equilibrium in reasoning, form, and design.

Keywords: Architecture, Architectonics, Beginning Design, Bauhaus

The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.69-80. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.188MB).

Román Montoto

Associate Professor of Architecture, College of Art & Architecture, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, USA

Associate professor Román Montoto studied art history and criticism in preparation for pursuing the study of architecture at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee obtaining a Bachelor of Art in art history & criticism, a Bachelor of Science in architectural studies, and a Master of Architecture in addition to beginning architectural practice at local Milwaukee firms. Upon completion of studies, he transitioned to the city of Chicago, Illinois to further his experience in architectural practice and worked on a broad scope of projects ranging from small chapels to high rise office, mixed-use, and residential buildings in addition to corporate office campuses. During this time, an invitation to instruct architectural design studios at UW-Milwaukee brought Montoto back into an academic setting. After this exposure, the potential for creative and pedagogical exploration for design, as part of academia, catalyzed a shift of his career from the professional into the academic, resulting in his current position as an associate professor of architecture at the University of Idaho.