The Handbooks Legacy. The Paradigm of Distribution in Architectural Design

Tipo di pubblicazione: Tesi di dottorato
Tipologia MIUR: Tesi di dottorato > Tesi di dottorato - Polito
Titolo: The Handbooks Legacy. The Paradigm of Distribution in Architectural Design
Autori: Dutto, Andrea Alberto
Autori di ateneo:
Tutor: Palma R., Stapenhorst C., Motta G., Pizzigoni A.
Dottorato di ricerca: XXVIII Ciclo > ARCHITETTURA E PROGETTAZIONE EDILIZIA
Istituzione: Politecnico di Torino - RWTH Aachen University
Numero di pagine: 250
Abstract: The research conducted in "The Handbooks Legacy. The Paradigm of Distribution in Architectural Design" concerns the domain of the techniques of representation in architectural design, namely the graphic tools through which design problems are translated into figures. In architectural design these techniques varies in concurrence with the insurgence of new problems and lines of inquiry within the architectural discipline, as well as through the constant confrontation with other disciplines involved in building construction processes. Specific choices of drawing techniques allow designers to focus on discrete problems, which can directly impact scientific research development at large. In particular, the possibility of addressing construction as a shared problem finds evidence in the handbooks, starting from the mid 18th Century. Precisely through the development of the handbooks, the design practice achieves a peculiar leading role coordinating different kind of manufactures and construction processes. In synthesis, unlike the Renaissance treatise, based on metaphysical principles, the handbooks confer architectural design a scientific technical value that mediates acquired conventions and new paradigms. The research hypothesis of this work is that handbooks do not assume the techniques of representation from science, but rather proceed via the figuration conventions established in the discourses on architectural design over time. Such discourses are adapted in relation to the paradigms shifts; thus, they are never really replaced. In particular, the paradigm of distribution characterizes the latest season of the handbooks' development in the 20th Century. Handbooks that address the distribution of building construction utilize the conventional system of notation developed by several disciplinary discourses such as the compositional, functional, or structural, among the many. Therefore, although the paradigm of distribution implies a repetition of technical features consolidated over a period of time, it also introduces new different features. In particular, these handbooks simplify the system of notation in adaptation to emerging contingent requirements. A remarkable degree of simplification undertaken in several instances has sometimes been interpreted as the ‘incursion' of scientific techniques of representation in design processes. However, the thesis of this paper counters this theoretical position, dismissing the suggestion of graphic analogies, and sustaining instead the necessity of a confrontation with the architectural discourses that provide an effective support to the analytical choices undertaken by these handbooks. Hence, handbooks do not tackle the paradigm of distribution as the possibility of a new and autonomous discourse; on the contrary, they manifest the attempt of re-enacting techniques and concepts previously accrued and structured in the theoretical discourses on architectural design. Moreover, the thesis of this research affirms the possibility of a specific handbook's reason, namely the possibility to conceive the handbook as a device for the production of figures related to paradigms to which architectural design is involved over time. In this sense, the handbook could be considered to address the practice of architectural design still nowadays, and could be recognized in media that differ from the original format of the printed book. The thesis is structured in two parts. The first part concerns the theoretical overview on the handbooks and their paradigmatic shift from construction to distribution. The second part is devoted to the analysis of five Italian handbooks that constitute research corpus, where the operative features of distributional representation are exemplified. Furthermore, every chapter present a specific bibliographical focus through which the main line of inquiry is analyzed. First Part. The first chapter deals with the paradigm of building construction as the embryo of the future handbooks, also interpreting them as the expression of a transition between analysis and practice. This chapter introduces the historical overview of handbooks' development in order to unveil how the purpose of such endeavor is in fact remarkably non historical, non-oriented towards a specific context, rather striving for an encyclopedic attitude towards portraying the overall development of scientific (building construction) knowledge. This chapter will additionally present how several techniques of representation, such as the section, the cross-section, and the exploded axonometric view are assumed as fundamental tools the handbooks employ in order to represent the construction procedures as well as providing an innovative conceptual graphic support to the designers. Finally this section speaks about the handbook on traditional building techniques conceived by Mario Ridolfi as an exemplification of the transition between praxis and analysis as two complementary phases of a singular commitment to architectural design. The second chapter focuses on the paradigm of distribution appeared in the last season of handbooks' development. This paradigm highlights three key points: the disintegration of building typologies, the relationship between humans and machine, and the multiplicity embedded in the figural space. These three issues assume a fundamental role in defining the new paradigm of distribution, and its representation requires the unprecedented use of diagrams. Instead of providing solutions in terms of repetitive models, the diagram approaches design problems through conventional systems of notations. Emerging issues of functional complexity, as well as new ideologies surrounding the control of human bodies, take a figurative expression through diagrams. The latter ultimately also establish a strict relationship between architectural design and managerial practices. Second Part. The thesis analysis five handbooks devoted to the subject of building's distribution. Each of these handbooks highlights a particular technique of representation due to the adoption of perspectives pertaining different discourses. In this part, the structure of each chapter consists of four subjects of inquiry. The first one illustrates the relationship between the handbook under examination and the conventional system of notation embedded into various discrete architectural discourses drawn from all historical periods. The second inquiry concerns the technical mechanisms behind a diagram configuration, identifying the simplest element, namely the ‘technical individual' at work for the examined handbook. The third inquiry is devoted to the classification of the various diagrammatic configurations. Here, a set of design precedents from all historical periods is provided as a mean of comparison with the diagrams. Finally, the fourth inquiry shows a series of diagrams produced by students over the course of two seminars held at the RWTH in the domain of Tool-Culture's Juniorprofessorship, in which the research corpus was concerned as a repository of diagram-making possibilities.
Data: 2017
Status: Pubblicato
Lingua della pubblicazione: Inglese
Parole chiave: diagrams, distribution, architectural design, handbooks
Dipartimenti (originale): DAD - Dipartimento di Architettura e Design
Dipartimenti: DAD - Dipartimento di Architettura e Design
URL correlate:
    Area disciplinare: Area 08 - Ingegneria civile e Architettura > COMPOSIZIONE ARCHITETTONICA E URBANA
    Data di deposito: 14 Lug 2017 21:37
    Data ultima modifica (IRIS): 14 Lug 2017 22:40:16
    Data inserimento (PORTO): 16 Lug 2017 02:02
    Permalink: http://porto.polito.it/id/eprint/2676561

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