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Life Cycle Thinking

Course Description

How can we account for entire cycles through methods that include and externalize data on emissions, health, and costs? How do these methods influence our understanding of the social, ecological, and financial dimensions of built environments amidst shifting policies, changing practices, and the indelible impacts of climate change? How should designers converge such building analyses while thinking about the “how” in addition to “what” is being built? And lastly, how might designers more cogently conceptualize and visualize design processes and acts of construction through a materialized and actualized outcome?

This class asks students to navigate the dissection of a single case study building through material geographies, environmental and social life cycles, cost analyses, construction sequences, project management, and interrelationships between them. Students will study, document, and compare competing metrics of these different lenses and propose how they impact design and construction in contemporary architecture. Furthermore, students will study and materialize the connections between analysis and documentation through full scale construction. As a final deliverable, students will produce a large-scale technical mock-up of a selected detail, while making sensitive choices on the materials, and fabrication for assembly/disassembly, informed by their analysis.