Framework – Sem 6

We just ended a challenging online sixth semester at WCFA. Below image is our final reflection of the semester. Documenting on the learning outcomes both for the student and faculty. When Aabid Raheem had a come for a review at WCFA two years back, he did a very interesting thing. He gathered all the students before the review and discussed the ‘learning outcomes’ from that semester. Later the discussions were calibrated with the domain of this ‘learning outcome’. Since then i have attempted to consolidate the learning outcomes for myself and the students. Whats on the left is common ground for the four different groups for the semester. Each group made the enquiry particular. Below is the particular approach my group took. This consolidation allows to reflect on pedagogical framework. 

WCFA, Batch 2018, Co Faculty – Surendran Aalone

Sequential Diagramming

Sequential diagramming (not sure where I came across this term or if I cooked it up) is a way of showing process with continuity. It makes the rigour visible and the journey of the thought with all its deviations and convergences. Here are some of the origins of the idea and its possibilities.

In days of still camera, Eadweard Muybridge’s photographic series ‘Horses in Motion’ (1870’s) is believed to have helped the invention of the movies or the moving images. Muybridge’s work was commissioned by Leland Stanford. This experiment was to find evidence for a huge bet to prove that when a horse gallops, does any of the feet touch the ground. Muybridge set a series of cameras in a sequence triggered at planned intervals. He was able to prove that all the legs of the horse are in air at a particular movement. A wonderful example on the important of capturing the ‘sequence’


Eisenman always used this method of tracing the process from the starting point – the cube in this case. For him this ‘sequence’ was inevitable. Pronouncing these spatial operations became the evidence of his thinking process.


This is a drawing from John Habraken’s must read book for academics : ‘ Conversations with Form’ where the process of design is recorded in a this analytical method. This is the original trigger for this piece.


Vaishnavi’s (WCFA, Batch 2018, Sem 5) diagrams here happened almost at end of the semester for a public building design. Here rather than diagrams generating ideas, it helped her consolidate and give a comprehensive weave to all the fragmented enquires from the earlier process.


Atul’s (WCFA, Batch 2018, Sem 2) here crisply captures the different options on how a wall negotiates the threshold of moving from a street to a residential neighbourhood. This design exercise was an extension from Habraken’s methodology


Nagashree’s (WCFA, Batch 2018, Sem 2) design is a different outcome of the same brief as above.


Tony’s (WCFA, Batch 2017, Sem 5) explores here the possibility of ‘three dimensional verandah’ and conditions of movement in a public building.

Surface Development

First year exploration in drawing. Development of complex surface from simple 2D patterns. This diagram below is the starting point, followed by different outcomes

Credits : Ruchi S Bharadwaj, WCFA, Batch 2020
Credits : A Deepak, WCFA, Batch 2020
Credits : Shivani S Bagewadi, WCFA, Batch 2020

Precedent Diagrams

For semester 6 design studio, we are attempting precedent studies to get a grasp at the institutional typology. Instead of studying only the history of this particular type, we looked at a larger landscape of projects to study various conditions – form, tall buildings, program, grid. Suneha’s diagrams here very sharply record each example and elegantly uses the design brief as a lens to look at these eclectic examples. The specificity of this study comes from its focus which is revealed in these crisp diagrams and the questions posed to the project.

Credits : Suneha Jain, WCFA, Batch 2018

Complete Study – Click on the below images to view larger

Christopher Alexander’s 15 principles : 02

Student’s assignment from my theory class to illustrate Christopher Alexanders 15 principles in a more elaborate way. I have discussed this earlier too here. I feel it is a brilliant and useful structure with a potential to interpret in many ways. In this case the assignment was to relate each principle with 3 illustrations : a natural/scientific phenomena, a place/project visited, a palace/project studied. Krithika reinterpreted Christopher Alexander’s principles in a very comprehensive way. She uses this theory assignment as an ‘organising tool’ to structure her own experiences and ideas. She brings back her experiences from various study trips and measure drawing trips and weaves them to make her specific set of ideas which she can revisit. The tool of collage format (sticking photos + hand drawings) also enhances the value to this exercise of organising ideas.

Malcom Gladwell in an interview the phrase ‘theory as organising tool’, which completely aligns with this ordering of ideas in this assignment here.
“Interviewer : That’s why reviewers say you bring “intellectual sparkle to everyday subjects”. Is this a deliberate approach?
Gladwell : Yeah, it’s deliberate. I’ve often ob­served that people are experience­-rich and theory­-poor. All of us have an enormous wealth of stories and experiences. But what we lack is the means to make sense of all that, to organise it, to understand it and to comprehend it. My books are ad­dressing that. I’m not telling you facts you didn’t know before. You’ve all been in situations I’m describing. What I’m doing is saying, here’s a way of organising your thoughts.” (emphasis mine)
(Interview with Jinoy Jose P, The Hindu, Magazine, Dated Feb 23, 2020)

Credits : Krithika A Jain, Batch 2018, WCFA
Click on the images to enlarge.