Dr. Nathalie Bredella

January 2010 - June 2011
Nathalie Bredella is an architect and has been a research fellow in the “Tools of Drafting“ program at the IKKM since January 2010. She studied architecture at the Technical University Berlin and at the Cooper Union, New York. She obtained a Ph.D. in Architectural Theory at Leibniz University in Hanover (“Architekturen des Zuschauens. Imaginäre und reale Räume im Backstage-Film”). Between 1999 and 2006 she worked as a research scholar at the TU Berlin, where she taught architectural design. Her architectural work revolves around the relationship between spatial strategies and media on an urban and architectural scale.

IKKM Research Project

Techniques of Design. Tools and Media in the Design Process of Frank O. Gehry Associates

Since the introduction of digital technology to architectural practice we have been faced with the question as to how the new tools influence design and building. In order to examine the ways computational methods change architectural practice, the project focuses on the design processes in the architectural office of Frank O. Gehry Associates, examining the effects of computational processes on other tools used in design. In order to identify how using the computer leads to new forms of design, the project will refer to the tools that were developed in the Italian Renaissance Workshops and have been valid in architecture ever since.
Research on the Italian workshop in the Renaissance has shown in detail how methods were developed in order to realize projects like St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The workshop was a place for experimenting with drawing, projection, and copying methods. Intentions of architects had to be coded, and drawings and models had to be produced before construction began. These conditions led to the circulation of the orthogonal plan, elevation and section as dominant methods of representation and communication – a modus operandi – in architecture.
The project will investigate which methods developed in the Italian Renaissance Workshop are still relevant in the office of Frank O. Gehry Associates and how they are changed in the context of digital tools. In addition, new methods of data processing make it possible to experiment with new materials and forms of design and to develop new forms of representation. Characteristic for the architectural design process is that it is a continuous flow of transformations, in which different techniques are used in order to capture various ideas and constraints. How do these transitions work? Can the digital model change these transitions and replace all of the other media in the design process? The project regards the techniques of design not only as tools for solving given problems, but also as parts in a dynamic network in which they are the cause for new developments.