This research focuses on reviving and experimenting with ethnic methods of making in the beginning design pedagogy towards building resilient futures. The current article is developed based on the literature and trajectories on the African and Indigenous weaving techniques to create building skins. Researching literature on African vernacular architecture is integral to this study. Contemporary architect David Adjaye ‘s work, inspires textile and patterns in the abstraction and creation of architectural spaces.1 Circular economy adds the value of materiality through life-cycle and local availability. In this studio, students are introduced to the circular economy concept, accompanied by weaving techniques such as twill weaving, randing, coiling, and twinning. Experimental and qualitative methodologies are used by introducing sophomore design students to building skin design. The project asks students to revive the wood weaving techniques in architecture to create patterns and adjust them as shading screens based on passive design strategies. The results are from a 3-week project with 20 students at an HBCU, celebrating indigenous architectural takeaways. Observation of the student’s progress serves as a technique to evaluate the success and shortcomings of the pedagogy. Materiality and local techniques of construction are the main focuses of this article.
Kyle Spence, a Visiting Assistant Professor at Florida A&M University School of Architecture, is the founding principal of The BAKLab, a New York-based, concept-driven architectural design practice. And his research focuses on woven textiles in their relation to cultural identity through digital fabrication techniques. He graduated from the Howard University Architecture School and completed his Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design at Columbia University. Kyle has taught at the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and served as a guest lecturer and visiting design critic at Columbia University, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, Howard University, and the School of Visual Arts (SVA).
Mahsan Mohsenin is an Associate Professor at Florida A&M University School of Architecture, and her work is focused on high-performance building skins. She completed her Ph.D at NC State University.