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Using the Catenary to Establish the Notion of Craftsmanship in Relation to Digital and Traditional Modelling

Part 2 Dissertation 2020
Indraj Bhachu
Birmingham City University | UK
Modelling as a part of the architectural design process has existed for many centuries and is one of the most fundamental mediums in commutating and presenting an idea. However, in the last 15 years there has been a radical shift in architectural schools and practices. A large influx of new technologies from BIM software’s to parametric design have changed how we design. While many believe that parametric design is the future, others believe that this process is detrimental to the idea of craftsmanship.

This paper investigates the notion of craftsmanship in relation to parametric design software and traditional modelling methods. A series of catenary experiments are used as a basis for this comparative study. The catenary, a form derived from a rope, chain or wire hanging between two points, was chosen as it is a complex geometric system that will challenge and test the limitations of each modelling technique. It examines the important aspects of the modelling process in intricate detail while referencing architects from Antoni Gaudí to Frank Gehry. Finally, it looks to the future, questioning the ideal modelling process based upon relevant literature and the outcomes of the catenary experiments.

Indraj Bhachu

Matthew Jones
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