Deployable Structures Workshop – SMiA – Nottingham Trent University

This workshop presents methods and findings resulting from a Deployable Structures Project developed at Nottingham Trent University School of Architecture and in collaboration with the research group: Structural Morphology in Architecture (SMiA), Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña. The project aimed to foster students’ critical and creative thinking by ‘doing’ through the development of models which in turn assisted the understanding of theoretical concepts, drawings and further computer modelling. The project’s brief was informed by constructive alignment model. Moreover, students’ research skills were advanced through explorative and iterative modelling as well as design of bespoke components to develop further modular systems -the latter was assisted by modern technology such as CNC machines and 3D printers. Furthermore, students also built a 1:1 scale prototype which empowered them with knowledge on materials’ properties and allowances, fabrication and structural technologies as well as further research and understanding of more complex structural systems. This workshop analyse and discuss the projects effectiveness as an academic exercise to foster creativity in architectural education. The findings of this research-led teaching project have been very valuable to further inform the teaching methods, assessment and content in the Architectural Technology & Construction Methods Module of the MArch Programme at Nottingham Trent University.

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