Gravity, Space and Architecture | Ted W. Hall (University of Michigan)
In the frame of the Module Emerging Fields in Architecture (++), HB2, TU Wien
The history of architecture is, to a large extent, the history of a struggle with gravity. In the ziggurats and pyramids of Babylon, Egypt, and Mesoamerica; in the posts and beams of the Parthenon and Stonehenge; in Roman arches and Gothic flying buttresses; in Bedouin tents and tensile structures; in the domes of igloos and Olympic stadiums – architecture is shaped by gravity. The shape may or may not be intentional. An unintentional shape is often a symptom of structural failure.
What happens to architecture if gravity is increased, decreased, or removed altogether? What happens if natural gravity is replaced with an artificial substitute, such as centripetal acceleration (rotation)?
Science and fantasy have often sought to answer these questions, with varying degrees of success.
The module Emerging Fields in Architecture imparts current knowledge from new research fields in architectural and engineering disciplines, with the aim of dealing with current and future design challenges in a broader social context in an interdisciplinary and fundamental way. The lectures impart knowledge about different and interdisciplinary approaches to design, current developments and results of material and construction research, about planning and building under/in extreme conditions as well as about structures that change or develop due to changing parameters.
In this context, strategies for design (from the initial idea to implementation) are questioned in an interdisciplinary discourse, and the question of how the path from idea to realisation can be shaped and to what extent it is possible to be systematically creative is explored. In the practical part, an independent cross-thematic examination is to be carried out.