Ioan Raicu

Illinois Institute of Technology

Argonne National Laboratory

Nature, Architecture, Mathematics and the Digital

Robert J. Krawczyk
College of Architecture
Illinois Institute of Technology
Stuart Building 201
Friday, April 29th, 2011
12:00PM - 1:00PM

Abstract: The structures in nature are great lessons for human study. Having been in development for several billion years, only the most successful structural forms have survived. The resourcefulness of material use, the underlying structural systems and the profound capacity to respond to a variety of climatic and environmental forces make natural form tremendous exemplars to human architectures. The wholeness of natural form indicates that the form and forces are always in some sense of equilibrium. In most of natural forms, the quality of equilibrium may be difficult to recognize. However, seashells are one of the natural forms whose functions are simple enough to be approximated by a simple mathematical relationship. The focus of this study was to understand the seashell form as applicable to human architectures. Digital methods are the language to analyze, create, and simulate seashell forms, as well as, suggest a variety of possible architectural forms.

Slides (PDF)

Bio: Robert J. Krawczyk, is an Associate Professor in the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago focusing on digital craftsmanship. During his twenty-nine years at IIT, he has developed and taught a series of CAD and digital design courses covering 2D and 3D CAD, image composition, animation, and form generation methods. In addition to teaching, he is an adviser in the PhD and Master’s programs on form generation and other related digital design methods. His research into digital methods and artwork covering science, mathematics, architecture, and technology continues to be published and presented internationally in the form of prints, web pieces, sculptural, and architectural studies. In 2009, Princeton Architectural Press published a textbook based on his form generation course as "The Codewriting Workbook: Creating Computational Architecture in AutoLISP"; and ACADIA, the Association of Computer-Aided Design in Architecture, awarded Robert the 2010 ACADIA Award for Teaching Excellence.