Monday, June 15, 2009

Fabrication. Gothic Atmosphere.
Tracery AEffect
Developed at Texas A&M University.
Gabriel Esquivel
Ryan Collier
Jeremy Harper
This project employs mathematical and architectural logic to bring forth an installation which strives to create a spatial construct and a fluid disintegration of a levitating, patterned surface. The complexity of the project is not (a notion first noted by Greg Lynn[i]) architecturally represented through the complexity vernacular of the post-modern. Because of emerging technologies, new theories can surface which can now be tested thousands of times and acted upon even before their realized in real space. However, this produces a weakness with the current stock of architectural representation: a digital representation which, beautiful though it is, may not be truthful in real space. In order to restore faith in the buildable aspect of these architectural investigations our team proposes a real approach to representation: the built environment. Through research into NURBS (non-uniform B-Spline) modeling environments, rendering methods, fabrication techniques, etc. we propose a construct with implications into spatial affect, form, porosity, pliancy, among others. Ultimately, by employing performative components like porosity, materiality, conductivity, etc we are able to produce an emotional encounter referred to here as, AFFECT, and therefore the production of atmospheres and moods leading us to discussion on the new aesthetic movement. The use of software allows us to look into complex geometries and their control as well as the rediscovery of “old” architectural effects like” Motion”.[ii] Technically speaking, the project aims to exploit formal and structural tendencies in the folding or bending conditions created in materials that are typically weak in compression, such as paper. Through the tessellation of many planar surfaces, and the use of multi-ply conditions, the project will be self-supporting, with no need for hanging wires or other hardware. This will give a desired levitation effect but will also allow the project to be structurally robust; that is exploiting the structural benefit of certain geometries. Looking for examples to work from, the form of the Panton Chair[1] comes to mind. The ability for the back to be supported (z-direction, non-moment forces) not only by material but also by a single geometry is quite elegant. By employing similar logic, the installation will seemingly "levitate" through the use of elegant geometries and not through clunky wire systems or such "impure Gropian" base-weighting systems.[iii]
[1] for a graphic example, see Accessed: February 24, 2009 [i] Folding in Architecture. Great Britain: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2004. p24 [ii]Esquivel, Gabriel. Affect and E-Motion. The Ohio State University. [iii] Gropius, Walter. The New Architecture and the Bauhaus. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1965. p23