Hampton University’s second year architecture students are learning about gravitational forces and lateral loads by designing post and beam structures using a simple kit of parts (and adhering to a lot of fairly complicated rules).
The intention of the assignment is for students to learn about cantilevering, stacking, and hinging. They also have to respond to environmental factors and work together in groups to enhance the site design concept developed by another student in the studio. You can see one of the site design models in the photos below. The cardboard frames you see represent the structural systems of small cabins that nestle into the site design.
I’ve asked them to build the structures at such a large scale (1″=1′) so they can really get the feel of what the various structural components are capable of doing. Once they achieve suitable concepts, they will model their frames in wood.
Fingers cross that that will happen by Wednesday! Thanksgiving is just around the corner… only three weeks of classes left to go this semester… so much to learn, so little time. They still have to have the interior space, design building skins, and illustrate their designs with diagrams and measured drawings. All that, in addition to completing their Physics, Architectural Representation, Architecture History, and Architectural Ecology course work. Whew!