Digital tools are vital (I rely on them virtually everyday), but sometimes in order to really understand a phenomena we have to get a bit closer. That's where analog analysis tools come in handy. Something special happens when we connect our brains to our hands. In essence, hand-on is minds-on. Moreover, these analog analysis tools can help us readily engage with and record phenomena in our environment. We can adequately record and/or verify without complicated instruments.
When I took a research internship at Natural Energies Advanced Technologies (NEAT) Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2004, its Director, Alfredo Fernández-González (an eventual mentor of mine), introduced me to a number of instruments for analog analysis that he had experience with through the Agents of Change program at the University of Oregon.
Over a decade later, I am using many of the same instruments to educated students through the Boston Architectural College's online Master of Design Studies (MDS) in Sustainable Design program. We deployed many of the instruments this summer during a study abroad program in Malta. This Fall, we are working to establish an environmental systems lab through which students can borrow the analog analysis instruments.
Moreover, I have recently signed on as a Curator at Section Cut in order to more effectively disseminate knowledge of these tools through their online community of architects and various other types of design savvy leaders.
About Section Cut
In the discipline of architecture, a section cut is an essential type of drawing; a single slice of a building. Section Cut (SC) aims to be a web-parallel to this powerful drawing convention—in the same way that a drawing cuts through immense complexity to show a single moment, we aim to cut through the noise of the internet, straight to the good stuff.
Section Cut's resources range from hardcore architectural theory texts to beautifully designed products to everyday support for practicing designers. Section Cut is a community comprised of many designers and architects, but not exclusively. The only requirements for participation are a sensibility and an opinion!
A sample of the instruments curated through the online Analog Analysis exhibit at Section Cut.
Some of the environmental systems analog analysis instruments available at the Boston Architectural College through the Sustainable Design Institute (SDI). Image by Daniel Overbey.
Demonstration of an infrared thermal imaging camera during the Fall 2015 Intensive Week at the Boston Architectural College. Photograph by Daniel Overbey.