THE CUBE: AN INITIAL TOOL FOR TEACHING THE ARCHITECTURAL SPACE
The ability to imagine and express the resulting space architectural project has always been a key part of the architectural science. For the correct teaching of architectural design is necessary that students can have some ability to imagine and represent space. To imagine the space you need to have minimal control of the basic variables that define it, light, color, texture, rhythm, even time. Ideally, in a first course would be to focus on an individual basis in every aspect of teaching. To represent the space, it is necessary that the student has mastered the techniques of representation, drawing, 3D virtual representations, and other means of representation. Also, we can not use traditional methods of representation to teach time as one necessary element to build space. At the start of a first course in architectural projects it would be perfect that students dominate these techniques of representation and the use of these did not pose an obstacle due the lack of control over them.
Considering the lack of initial knowledge, necessary to imagine and represent space, we seek a physical tool, capable of filling these gaps so that we could perform a specific teaching of the constituent elements of spatial definition without having to use techniques representation outside the student's ability to first grade. This ensures that the student can focus their learning on those constituent elements of architectural design education without distraction.
We propose the use of a cube 3x3x3 m. as support of all teaching, something like a blank paper but in a three dimension space. Student performed during the course, each of them, a succession of scale models 1:20, with the removable floor, so that the geometric figure may be seen by both the exterior and interior. Even cutting off shapes in the surface and moving the illumination around the box can be simulated the pass of time. Each set of models was performed focusing on a specific topic, according to a fixed order. All student proposals incorporated themes already seen, and the final conclusion marked a break from the box itself and the opening and distortion of space.
Using this tool we observe that the time needed for students to be integrated into the exercise was reduced considerably, reaching full involvement in the exercise almost immediately. This tool focused on each of the constituent aspects of the teaching of the project caused a greater depth and extension to its attention by the students. There was an increase in student's confidence in their own exercises by having an easy way of representation available to everyone. The internal spatial vision of the solutions provided by the students formed an integral part of their arguments, which are not likely to happen when using only plans and drawings
The experience is overwhelmingly positive looking at teaching ability and results.