2011F_Italy Program_Combs Studio

ARCH4240/50/60 | Lonn Combs, Assistant Professor

Vertical Arch Design Studio, Italy

Selected Student Work:

Susan Bivone
Parker Bunce

Julia Grabazs
Emily Mastropiero

‘The idea that architecture belongs in one place and technology belongs in another is comparatively new in history, and its effect on architecture, which should be the most complete of the arts of mankind, has been crippling.’ -Reyner Banham, ‘The Architecture of the Well-tempered Environment’

Arguably, the contemporary culture of architecture has resisted the notion that technological, environmental, social and aesthetic performance converge as architecture. As Banham’s critique points out, understanding building as a series of independent qualities does not generate a ‘complete’ architecture.

The RPI – Polito ‘BUILDSMART’ workshop is a platform for the development of an inter-dependent approach to the relationship between technology, ecology, the social and aesthetic in architectural innovation. The design research develops architectural envelopes based on intelligent interactive components able to index environmental conditions in real time and dynamically adjust and reconfigure to optimize environmental and programatic performances. The research seeks to incorporate current open source technologies such as Audruino, Firefly and Grasshopper, as the nervous system of dynamic material assemblies which index and modulate ambient environments as an extension of programatic performances.


Susan Bivone

Parker Bunce

Julia Grabazs

Emily Mastropiero

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Evan Douglis, Professor


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