Nov 21 – Madhu Thangavelu


Thursday, November 21st, 7:00 – 9:30pm

Concept Creation

In The Duncan Anderson Design Department Gallery at California State University, Long Beach

Though both Architecture and Engineering professions converge in the design and production of physical objects, the typical engineering education delves more in analytical methods while the student of architecture approaches the problem from a synthetic mindset. Since both faculties are essential for successful project execution, it is important that professionals be aware of this dichotomy and find ways to fuse the skillsets as we solve complex problems that need skillful resolution in the built environment.

Space Architecture, the art and science of creating and servicing infrastructure in the space and extraterrestrial environment employs analytical and synthetic tools from both professions to create alternative concepts for further investigation, development and design optimization.

This talk will look at the critical formative period in design synthesis: Concept Formulation and Concept Creation. How does the designer come up with alternative visions of space habitats and supporting systems amid the extreme conflicts that exist during the programming phase? We will look at examples of concepts created by the speaker as well as those generated in the Space Concepts Studio at USC.

It is the view of the author that Complex Concept Creation as practiced by architects and creative professionals is an art form more than a science, and that practice is the best way the acquire and refine this mostly nonlinear synthetic skill.

Prof. Madhu Thangavelu conducts the graduate Space Concepts Synthesis Studio in the Dept. of Astronautical Engg. within the Viterbi School of Engg. at USC and occasionally teaches the Design for Extreme Environment Seminar and Graduate Topic Studio in the USC School of Architecture. He holds degrees in both disciplines and consults for NASA and the space and entertainment industry.

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