The only constant in the relationship between design and technology is change. As designers we are inundated with new methods for the design, analysis, and fabrication of objects, buildings, and cities. In order to negotiate this dynamic relationship, we need ways to critically retool our design process. FORMATIONS, an annual event at the California College of the Arts, provides a platform for students and professionals in the design disciplines to explore, evaluate, and critique new technologies in an intensely productive atmosphere. FORMATIONS is a collaboration of the three research labs at CCA: MEDIAlabURBANlab, and eLAB. Each year the focus of the event evolves to reflect emerging research topics in the fields of architecture, landscape, and urban design in relationship to new media.

FORMATIONS 2010 will explore how emerging digital technologies can be used to engage the complex relationship between form, information and performance. Designers of buildings, landscapes and cities are increasingly searching for new analytic, synthetic, and generative tools that facilitate an integrative design process. FORMATIONS 2010 will investigate both established and experimental approaches to integrating parametric and performative modeling, information technologies, and interactive media. FORMATIONS 2010 will consist of a series of intensive two-day workshops that combine software tutorials with design charettes. The event will conclude with a public presentation and symposium.

Date/Time: February 13-14, 2010; 10am – 5pm
Location: California College of the Arts, Graduate Center, San Francisco Campus
Registration: Starts at 9:30am @ 1111 8th St – Main Building Entrance (Map)
Note: Workshops will be held in the Graduate Center – 184 Hooper  (Detailed Map) 
Cost: $100 students, $200 Professionals
Register Now!

FORMATIONS 2010 Workshops
Mapping Urban Information with ESRI ArcGIS, Mona El-Khafif (CCA California College of the Arts/ CCA URBANlab) and Richard Kos(CCSF GIS Education Center/ San Jose State University)
During this workshop session participants will be introduced to the general applications of ESRI ArcGIS as a software tool for the collection of digital geospatial data and the analysis of complex urban environments. Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-compatible shapefiles, geodatabases and raster imagery are accessible in diverse online data archives. The workshop will teach methods for collecting and organizing a variety of geospatial data sets in order to build a GIS archive. Participants will learn to activate and use the embedded data sets for urban network analysis and Census data analysis. In the second part of the workshop, we will explore the most commonly-used tools in ArcGIS toolbox in order to identify the tools of interest to architects and urban designers for understanding and exploring the urban environment.

Neocartography: An Introduction to Interactive Mapping in Flash, Sha Hwang (Stamen Design)
This workshop will introduce the basic tools and techniques required to make custom interactive maps in Flash. We will focus on Stamen’s opensource ModestMaps Actionscript library, the core of our many mapping projects. Together, we will move from making simple interactive maps towards using custom cartography and overlaying geographic data.

Parametric Urbanism with Grasshopper, Andy Payne (Lift Architects) and Andrew Kudless (Matsys/CCA MEDIAlab)
This workshop will focus on the generative modeling of urban design logics using the Grasshopper plugin for Rhino 4.0. From the early work of firms such as MVRDV to the more recent investigations by Zaha Hadid, a parametric approach to urban design has allowed designers to condense complex hierarchies of design data into solutions that exhibit highly differentiated patterns of urban form. The workshop will cover several techniques that attempt to integrate common urban design parameters dealing with massing, program, and density into one associative model allowing the designer to quickly and accurately test multiple design scenarios. The first day of the workshop will introduce many of the central topics and techniques of parametric urbanism while the second day will focus on the implementation of these techniques in a large, complex urban masterplan.

Sensing the City with Arduino + Processing, Jason Kelly Johnson (Future Cities Lab/CCA MEDIAlab) and Wendy Ju, PhD (Stanford / CCA Interactive), with Elizabeth Goodman (UC Berkeley / Confectious) and more.
The Sensing the City workshop will cover the basics of experimental sensing technologies and their deployment in urban environments for both practical and creative purposes. Participants will learn entry-level electronics and programming using the open-source programs Arduino and Processing, and variety of sensors, actuators and LEDS. During the workshop students will work hands-on with the instructors on a series of exercises designed to give them both technical knowledge and a broad understanding of emerging interactive technologies in architecture, art, interactive media, and beyond. The workshop will be led by an architect and an engineer with years of experience working with creative designers. .

Parametric Design Modeling with Revit, David Fano (Case, GSAPP) and Mario Guttman (WhitefeetSOLD OUT!
This session will focus on concepts of parametric modeling and integrating them into the design process through the use of BIM tools. Using software that forces rigor, we will learn from the constraints and leverage Revit to explore design systems. Attendees will use Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010, to create a parametric architectural system with embedded variability. Once the systems has been designed, Revit will be used to create models which will translate into drawings for fabrication.

ECOlogics with Ecotect, Nataly Gattegno (Future Cities Lab / CCA eLAB) and Olivier Pennetier (SymphysisSOLD OUT!
This workshop section will develop techniques of evaluating and representing environmental forces and ecological systems on built form. We will investigate the relationship between form and its environment, geometry and its surrounding ecological systems. The workshop will focus on the use of Ecotect as an environmental simulation program. This will include external and internal performance criteria, including climate analysis, site analysis, shadow casting, solar envelopes and right to light studies, solar stress and radiation analyses, dayligting and thermal behavior. We will further review outputting from Ecotect and connecting to 3D modeling environments such as Rhino.