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ARCH IS .

Arch is __________________.

Infrastructure and its relation to the superficial has long been a point of productive contention in architec-
ture. This history has been marked by two radically different sensibilities, one concerned exclusively
with the visible realm, stuffing structure and building services into the spaces between walls and behind
ceilings, and the other a modern rationalist desire to express or represent technology for its own sake.
It is a tired dance in which both partners, postmodernism and structural expressionism, have run their
course but continue to appear on our skylines. With Architecture of the Well-tempered Environment
(1969), Reyner Banham was one of the first to suggest that the history of building infrastructure in archi-
tecture is characterized by general neglect simultaneously manifested in the repression of environmen-
tal systems and an assumption of the primacy of structure in determining form. While problematic for its
humanist underpinnings, his argument that re-tooling the relation of form, structure, and lowly mechani-
cal services can be generative in terms of design is intriguing, and to a great extent, still unexplored
territory.

Going one step further, I would like to suggest that assuming separation between the realms of building
infrastructure and affect may be similarly unproductive. As interest in single-surface and topological
projects wanes in contemporary digital design, there arises the possibility to think about surfaces not as
abstract, endless, and of zero-thickness, but as spaces of variable thickness, embedded and laced with
structural, environmental, plumbing, and lighting systems. Once the sanctity of the surface as an
independent agent exclusively responsible for affect is challenged, other logics and systems can begin
to operate in a space that opens up between performance and sensation, infrastructure and ornament.

This is architecture of extreme integration, where vectors dip in and out of architectural surfaces, recon-
stituting them in a complex way. Imagine the potentials of surface-to-strand geometries, embedded
hollows, structural pleating, bundled micro-capillary systems, and deep relief, where the iconography of
technology and infrastructure dissolves as they are woven into architectural form.

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Wild Structures
2008

Design today must find ways to approximate … ecological forces and structures.
To tap, approximate, burrow, and transform morphogenetic processes from all
aspects of wild nature, to invent artificial means of creating living artificial environ-
ments.
-Sanford Kwinter

The history of architecture reveals a constantly shifting relation of structure to


space. Structure is sometimes latent, sometimes expressed, other times demate-
rialized at great effort. Whatever the case, considerations of efficiency alone are
never enough to explain the role of structure in architecture. In the contemporary
digital environment, vital, adaptive, formative potentials of structure have begun to
emerge. There is a growing acknowledgement that structure, when removed from
a state of equilibrium, can become as unpredictable and varied as natural
phenomena. When released from critical states of suppression and representa-
tion, structure can become fluid, color-variegated, cross-pollinated, and hybrid-
ized, in a jungle-like ecology. One way to frame a discussion of wildness is
through Mies van der Rohe and Pier Luigi Nervi, who offer two divergent
approaches to structuration. Mies’s canonical National Gallery in Berlin (1968)
appears to be about structure, with its exposed beams and fetishistic steel
detailing, but it doesn’t exhibit any intensive material or structural logic per se.

The project is about the universality of flat planes, and the purity of endless metric space. In this sense, it is a conceptual project. Columns are
removed from the interior and dissolved with his trademark cross-section; there is no response at the location of maximum shear where column
meets roof, and the roof structure is equally deep, independent of the variable bending forces at work within it. Nervi’s Giatti Wool Mill (1951),
in comparison, begins to exhibit a materialist flow of forces, a proto-wildness. In this project, the structural ceiling morphology begins to
organize in response to force flows along its surface. The vertical is not suppressed, but rather begins to effect transformation in the horizontal.
The variability and elegance of the relief can be experienced on a conceptual level, as intensive forces at work, but also on an immediate,
sensate level. Jeff Kipnis has referred to this kind of simultaneity as a “dual-ontology.”

Wild structures are not simply expressive structures. The drive toward legibility, in the sense of being able to trace a genealogy of forces back
to a source, is actually quite tame. Wild structures are instead a seething combination of behaviors that coalesce into an emergent whole with
effects that may exceed the structural. Butterfly wing structures are wild in that sense: their porosity is certainly related to structural lightness
and aerodynamics, but it is also unpredictably related to the production of visible color effects. It turns out that color-variegated wing patterns
are often not based on pigment, but on the micro-patternings of variable-depth pores modulating wavelengths of light. Structural Expression-
ism, as a movement in architecture, has been more about zero-sum, one-to-one legibility—no doubt a late permutation of the modernist instinct
toward transparency. But it also must be noted that its practitioners have often gone to great lengths to produce legible images of efficiency at
the expense of actual efficiency. This drive toward excess for the sake of producing affect in terms of structure is quite interesting, and
re-examined in the contemporary environment, opens up ways of thinking about legibility versus obfuscation in structural design. I would argue
that engineering efficiencies do not have to exclude excesses, that these territories can cross over, creating complex formations that might do
unexpected work, and might be felt as well as read.

While the term “wild” is easily associated with the biological, it is important to remember that in architecture, we are talking about artificial,
inorganic constructions that don’t literally grow. Wild behavior can be synthesized through any number of opportunistic processes, however,
wherever material logics operate within shaping environments. In a military-industrial setting, exactly where we would expect not to observe
wildness, we find salient examples. The F-22A Raptor is a radically heterogeneous construction that reflects local, opportunistic thinking in
terms of materials, engineering, and manufacture. Instead of one continuous material system, this aircraft was designed using several interwo-
ven materials and structural morphologies. Boeing made the fuselage from a deep-celled aluminum and steel egg-crate system and the wing
spars from cast titanium, while Lockheed Martin made the wings, fins, and duct manifolds from formed thermoplastics and carbon-fiber
composites. The structural patterning that results is patchy but nonetheless coherent. This is not an ‘exquisite corpse’ or collage of parts, but a
radically responsive model for structuration that injects variable materiality into a system of variable patterning. The result is technically
intelligent, but also beautiful, articulated, exotic.

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Notes on Biomimicry and Technology
Branching Structures

Giant lily pads are characterized by their wide circumference allowing maximum pho-
tosynthesis. A pattern of deep, tapered veins on the underside of the lily pads have
evolved to increase stiffness and buoyancy. Vein patterns are driven by a branching
logic but also a cellular logic, both driven by a differential of vascular performance
versus structural capacity. The pattern, based on incremental subdivisions, has a
bio-mathematical similarity to dragonfly wings and alligator skin.

Beam/ Membrane Hybrids


Dragonfly wings are the complex result of multiple patterning systems which interweave in response to force flows
and material properties. They consist of both honeycomb patterns which are flexible and exhibit membrane behav-
ior, and ladder-type patterns which are stiff and exhibit beam-like behavior. These patterns are characterized by
their rule-based interaction in terms of cell density, cell shape, and cell depth, as well as other parameters affecting
overall wing performance, such as out-of-plane pleating behavior and material distribution. This complex mineral
skeleton is skinned with a translucent cuticle which eliminates shear failure in-plane. The composite morphology of
skeleton and skin is what ultimately generates wing performance. Researchers at the University of Tennessee
Space Institute are currently studying dragonfly wings for application in fighter jet design.

Co-Evolution
The bloodcomb jelly consists of two interlaced creatures. The jelly itself is transpar-
ent, but colonies of bioluminescent bacteria live on its ‘combs’ (racks of little
paddles), creating a kaleidoscopic color output. The jellies‘s predators live at lower
depths, and the interference pattern created by the bacteria and the motion of its
combs works as a stealthing mechanism. The bacteria gain increased mobility and
access to more food sources. Both species benefit, and have evolved into a single,
irreducible organism.

Performative Ornament
A survey of historical military armor and contemporary wetsuit design reveals the complex relationship of ornamen-
tal sensibilities and structural and ergonomic patterning. Pleating stiffens surfaces without increasing their overall
depth and seaming allows flexure within assemblies or between materials.

Mutation and Ornament

The hammerhead shark did not emerge slowly, step-by-step, from small to large
hammer as is commonly thought. In fact, the first hammerhead to appear was the
winghead shark, with a very wide hammer. This mutation offered no discernible
advantage- it was, at that point, “ornamental.” Through the process of optimization
(a.k.a. natural selection), other species have appeared with a range of hammer sizes
better adapted to hunting in various environments, and more or less ornamental.

Rain Harvesting
Some desert-dwelling species of lizard have the ability to harvest rain by channelling water along the fine crevices of
their skin towards their mouths. These variegated skin patterns also serve as camouflage against predators.

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Prototype I: Tracery Glass
Los Angeles, 2009

Type: Building system hybrids


Floor Area: N/A

These three prototypes are a family. They are combinatorial in


nature, fusions of diverse systems and services which
generate emergent architectural behaviors and features. They
are part of recent research in the office concerned with
unpacking the spatial and ornamental potentials of airflow,
fluid flow, and glow, often considered to be minor forces (in the
Deleuzian sense) in architecture. Based on chunk logic rather
than layer logic, these prototypes are intended to manufac-
tured and delivered as fully integrated three-dimensional
components embedded with all internal infrastructural
systems. They are to be constructed of formed fiber composite
and polycarbonate materials assembled with socket connec-
tions and structural adhesive, as well as more common
materials such as plate steel and acrylic pipe. They feature
embedded integrated thermal solar systems, PV systems,
algae photo-bioreactor coils, radiant cooling systems, and
grey water re-capture systems.

PROTOTYPE I: Tracery Glass


The Tracery Glass prototype reconsiders glass and transpar-
ency in architecture. In contrast to modern dreams of demate-
rializing glass and framing perfect views, this glass is not only
not glass (it’s polycarbonate), it is highly characterized by
embedded systems of technology and ornament. It allows
views, but through layers of light, cooling coils and fins, solar
surfaces, and gradient color patterns. Ultimately, it is intended
to explore the possible new relevancy of stained glass and
other types of figural transparency from centuries past, and
possible crossovers with contemporary energy technologies.

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Prototype II: Thermo-Strut
Los Angeles, 2009

Type: Building system hybrids


Floor Area: N/A

PROTOTYPE II: Thermo-Strut


This prototype is based on intertwining low-res steel plate
beams with a fiber composite shell embedded with solar
thermal technology. The solar thermal system is a continuous
loop which weaves around through the steel sections, forcing
structural adaptations at intersections. In armature conditions,
the solar thermal has sun exposure through transparent
apertures, while in surface conditions, it changes behavior and
spreads out as patterns of relief.

The result is a prototype which organizes structural forces,


fluid flows, and material properties into a tectonically coherent,
yet ornamental assembly. This prototype is intended to take
‘surface-to-strand’ geometries to the next level, where
disciplinary forces temper abstract formal sensibilities.

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Prototype III: Lizard Panel
Los Angeles, 2009

Type: Building system hybrids


Floor Area: N/A

PROTOTYPE III: Lizard Panel


This prototype is a unitized system with puzzle-piece panels
and socketed structural/ mechanical members for continuity
between units. It is characterized by a lacy, meandering
pattern of algae pipes for energy generation as well as deep
channels which re-claim grey water from rainfall for use inside
the building. This prototype is the most overtly biomimetic: it
capitalizes on characteristics of the Agamid Lizard, which
siphons moisture from its back to its mouth via deep channels
in its skin, as well as geometrical features of Lizard Panel.

The algae and grey water systems are not simply adjacent, but
rather interwoven in such a way that unexpected structural
behavior arises: the grey water channels become the bottom
‘flange’ to the upper ‘flange’ of the algae channels, while
interstitial webbing connects the two into a hybrid beam
morphology.

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Flower Street BioReactor
Los Angeles, 2009

Type: Public Art Installation (2010)


Floor Area: N/A
Client: Dept. of Culture and the Arts, LA (DCA)

Our point of departure for this project was to engage the


nascent cultural paradigm shift from thinking about energy as
something which comes magically from distant sources to
something which can be generated locally in a variety of ways.
Our goal was not, however, to undertake an engineering
experiment, or to simply express material processes, although
this is certainly one dimension of the project. Our primary goal
was to create a sense of delight and exotic beauty around new
technologies by decontextualizing them and amplifying their
potential atmospheric and spatial effects.

The project is an aquarium-like bioreactor inserted into the


facade of the building (our given site), which contains green
algae colonies that produce oil through photosynthesis. The
aquarium is made of thick transparent acrylic, molded to
create the intricate relief on the front. This relief tracks along
with and supports an internal lighting armature which is based
on the Bio-feedback Algae Controller, invented by OriginOil in
Los Angeles in July of 2009. This new type of bioreactor uses
tuned LED lights which vary in color and intensity to support
algae growth at different stages of development, maximizing
output. According to OriginOil, “this is a true bio-feedback
system… the algae lets the LED controller know what it needs
as it needs it, creating a self-adjusting growth system.” At
night, when this system intensifies, it generates a simultane-
ously urban and jungle affect: glittery reflections on acrylic
combine with an eerie élan vital of glowing algae.

A solar array, used to collect energy during the day, spirals and
winds up into the branches of an adjacent tree, jungle-style.
This energy will be stored in a battery and used during the
night to run the various systems.

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Garak Fish Market
Seoul, Korea, 2009

Building Type: Wholesale fish and vegetable market


Floor Area: 54 hectars (540,000 sq. m.)
Client: Mr. Oh Se Hoon, Mayor of Seoul

The Garak Fish Market is the largest wholesale market in


Korea. It covers 54 hectares or 540,000 square meters of land
and is one kilometer long. This project, undertaken with
Chang-jo Architects, was an invited competition intended to
explore the future of the development of the market and in
particular, how it could become more integrated with the city
and the surrounding neighborhoods. Of particular concern
was the visual chaos and smell associated with the market,
and whether or not some type of enclosure was warranted.

Our point of departure was to split the site into two zones, one
‘natural’ and one ‘urban’. The West area, adjacent to the Tan
Stream, is to be developed into wetland preserve and leisure
area. The displaced market program is stacked onto the
Eastern side of the market creating a hyper-dense, two-level
organization. The intention is to urbanize the market by
stemming its organic sprawl and creating sectional properties.

The design is characterized by a large roof which operates as


a semi-enclosure, and interior space, and a community
garden landscape on top. The structure of the roof begins as
a regimented grid-like pattern to the East due to the strict
column pattern required by the market functions, and it
dissolves into a series of loose spiraling patterns as it nears
the wetlands. The roof features double-pleats which are both
structural and programmatic, forming embedded figural
hollows. These hollows house restaurants and commercial
activities, and feature views over the buzzing market below.

The roof gardens are a gift back to the local community of


55,000 residents around the site. They are broken down into
a network of variously-sized plots driven by the structural
patterning of the roof. Exotic color gradients of flower and
vegetable fields will be planted, over time forming a kind of
organic/synthetic jungle architecture.

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Batwing
Matters of Sensation Exhibition, Artist Space, 2008

Size: 250cm x 150cm


Materials: Acrylic or Fibercomposite, Electroluminescent
filament, LEDs

Batwing is part of a larger body of work concerned with


creating coherent relationships between building systems
through geometric and atmospheric means. The aim is to
move toward a higher-order emergent wholeness in architec-
ture while still maintaining a performative discreetness of
systems.

The project can be understood as an articulated manifold


which incorporates structural, mechanical, envelope, and
lighting system behaviors. This is not to say that any one of
these systems is ‘optimized’ in terms of any functional
category-- the formal and ambient spatial effects of fluidity,
translucency, glow, and silhouette are all as important for the
overall effect of the piece. The intent is to establish a link
between the sensate realm and infrastructural flows in
architecture.

The design sensibility of Batwing is driven by two types of


surface transformation: the pleat and the becoming-armature.
Pleats operate in terms of providing structural rigidity and
directed airflow across the surface while also creating a
seductive ornamental patterning. The armature transforms the
envelope system into a duct system which provides supply air
as well as structural continuity between envelope
components. Deep pleats become ‘air diffusers’, featuring an
embedded cooling meshwork of micro-capillaries used for
cooling or heating of passing air. Based on the principle of
water-to-air heat exchange, this cooling system heats or cools
through local radiative transfer rather than relying on ‘central
air’.

The language of the piece consciously looks to automotive


and aerospace design in terms of fluidity and integration of
systems as well as processes of construction. These
disciplines have flourished through the feedback of design
sensibility and extreme shaping environments, a process
which is of profound interest to our office.

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Huaxi Urban Centre Tower
Guiyang, China, 2008

Building Type: 110 M. Office Tower


Floor Area: 20,000 sq. m.
Client: Hualong Investment Group Ltd.

This project revisits the problem of architecturalizing tower


infrastructural systems. Rather than expressing the literal
image of technology, the goal is to create technological
ambience. This ambience is defined by translucency,
shrouding, and exotic lighting and color effects. But it is also
the result of hybridizing mechanical systems with other
building systems in a way that cross-wires traditional
hierarchies and produces synergetic forms.

The point of departure for the design was to allow ductwork to


migrate out of the central core toward the exterior. The glass
envelope begins to take on duct behavior by delaminating to
create pleats where air can flow. These pleats branch and run
across the building facades, linking to floor plenums on each
level at several locations along the perimeter. Through the
stack effect, hot air rises in the pleats thereby passively
cooling the building.

A second layer of loose-fitting skin wraps the glass duct-skin,


registering the pleats and shrouding the building. This shroud
is made of perforated sheet metal. It acts as a sunscreen
during the daytime, while nonetheless allowing views
through.

At night, the glass ducts glow from behind the shroud,


creating elegant color and depth effects, reflections, and
silhouettes. Their freeform morphology and variegation begin
to create associations with the lush natural terrain of the site.

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Taipei Performing Arts Center
Taipei, Taiwan R.O.C., 2008

Building Type: 3 Theater Cultural Complex


Floor Area: 39,500 sq. m.
Client: City of Taipei

The aim for this design for the Taipei Performing Arts Center is
to create a world-class urban experience defined by hybrid
urban environments not traditionally associated with perform-
ing arts theaters. The three theaters are woven together by
way of an elevated Concourse, creating a unified whole which
has significant presence in the city. The Concourse is a
bridging element which acts as circulation for the theaters but
also as a commercial zone which includes lively urban
activities such as shopping, restaurants, bars, and other public
amenities. It will be a 24 hour space which will support the
theater functions but also operate independently. Below the
Concourse is both the orientation space for the theaters, but
also a place for urban events, meeting people, or simply
passing through.

The morphology of the project is based on patterns of


armatures and pleats which form an intricate ornamental
network. Armatures are woven together to create the
circulation and structure of the Concourse, forming deep
spaces and views from the plaza into the building as well as
from the building down into the Plaza and out into the city.
Micro-pleats track along the armatures but also spread out
along surfaces, spatially drawing visitors inside the Plaza. The
sensations produced by this fluid geometry are heightened by
a gradient of color which is most intense on the interior but
fades out to the exterior of the building. Formal and color
intensities are at their peak in the Concourse, and begin to
atrophe toward the theater blocks at the perimeter of the site.

The Grand Theater is located on the south end of the site,


rotated toward Wen Lin Road. It is designed according to the
brief as a proscenium type with 1500 seats and two balconies.
This theater will be flexibly designed so that it can take the
form of a thrust stage, theater-in-the-round, or proscenium
arrangement. It will have a flat floor to allow for ease of
transformation and build-out. Theater interiors are designed
based on optimal sightlines as well as acoustics.

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Sundsvall Performing Arts Theater
Sundsvall, Sweden, 2008

Building Type: Performing Arts Theater


Floor Area: 50,000 sq. m.
Client: Sundsvall Municipal Government

This proposal for the Sundsvall Performing Arts Theater is


based on the creation of a radically contemporary urban space
to revitalize the Sundsvall waterfront. Our scheme consciously
orients the plaza to the oceanfront. This plaza is characterized
by trees, landscaped topography, and water features which
create a microclimate and protect the space from the noise
produced by the E4 roadway.

The new building is connected to the existing Kultur Maganiset


via its glass atrium, which becomes the main entry for the new
building. The two buildings become one complex, although
they have radically different architectural sensibilities.

The shell of the building is based on topological torus


geometry. It was generated by stretching a soft volume in
response to environmental conditions. An architectural
‘desiring’ of the oceanfront and riverfront generated two
smooth protrusions in the volume to the north and east. These
cantilever out of the building allowing unobstructed views out
over the E4 roadway to the Baltic Sea.

Other areas of the shell are pushed inward, spatially drawing


the outside into the interior. These involutions interconnect on
the interior of the building, creating structural ‘columns’ in the
space. They also operate as building circulation, connecting
the performing arts theaters to the foyer on main and balcony
levels.

The structure of the building is based on a hybrid of shell


behavior, which is surface-based, and spaceframe behavior,
which is vector-based. Where bending occurs, member depth
is increased on a smooth gradient up to the maximum
economical depth for a plate girder, at which point the
structure delaminates to become a three dimensional
vector-based spaceframe. It produces highly intricate and
ornamental spatial conditions which can be understood
qualitatively as well as quantitatively.

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Novosibirsk Summer Pavilion
Novosibirsk, Russia, 2007

Building Type: Summer Art and Design Pavilion


Floor Area: 400 sq. m.
Client: Novosibirsk Municipal Government

This Pavilion design is the result of research into


grid-stiffened shells. Grid-stiffened shells (a.k.a. gridshells),
prevalent in 1950s-60s engineering masterworks by Nervi,
Otto, Fuller and Candela, were part of a lineage of
experimentation into material intelligence and analogue
shape computation leading all the way back to the Gothic
era. The elegance of these structures is a function of their
controlled curvature which is generated using form-finding
techniques as well as their patterned relief which reduces
weight and while increasing stiffness. These solutions, while
efficient and elegant, were often limited by the modern
paradigm and its tendencies toward formal purism on the one
hand and structural expressionism on the other.

In the contemporary digital environment, the grid-stiffened


shell is newly relevant. Our re-examination of the
grid-stiffened shell accepts the material sensibility of this
earlier work while questioning its monotonous pattern
geometry and tendency toward universal forms. This
proposal for the Novosibirsk Pavilion is based on the simulta-
neous response of pattern to surface curvature and force
pathways, generating a highly varied and informed structura-
tion. Variability in pattern morphology, density, and depth
allow for a localized structural tuning which would be
impossible with an invariant pattern logic. Form-finding, no
longer a determinant of global geometry, becomes a
technique for optimizing regions of geometry in a larger
structural ecology.

A base subdivision of the surfaces was achieved based on


curvature where pinched or twisted regions of the surfaces
were broken down into smaller and smaller quadrilateral
cells. A routine for transforming this subdivision into a
branching logic was developed in order to generate a more
complex and robust network of structural pathways, one
which could be easily re-adjusted based on engineering
information. Long beam-like regions of stiffeners began to
emerge with less dense infill areas interconnecting them,
together creating what we now refer to as beam-branes.

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Dragonfly
SCI-Arc, Los Angeles, 2007

Building Type: Prototype


Floor Area: 1,500 sq. ft.
Client: SCI_Arc

In nature, the dragonfly wing is unmatched in its structural


performance and exquisite formal variation. Its morphology
can not be traced to any single biomathematical minima or
optimum, but is rather the complex result of multiple patterning
systems interweaving in response various force flows and
material properties.

In this installation, dragonfly morphology and syntax are


employed biomimetically rather than biomorphically, that is in
terms of formal and behavioral logics rather than pure aesthet-
ics. Seen in a larger context, this project contributes to the
recent contemporary discourse on cellularity in architecture as
a departure from pure cellularity toward a tectonic based on
emerging structural hierarchies within cellular aggregations.

Populations of random structural mutations were generated


and fitness-tested based on the given support and loading
conditions in a feedback loop involving multiple generations.
Using boundary conditions relating to overall structural shape,
individual cell morphology, vein distribution and pleating,
depth, and incremental material thickness, the geometry was
evolved simultaneously toward performance and wild
variation.

The fabrication procedures for Dragonfly reflect this adaptive


model. A CATIA fabrication model was generated which
parametrically linked hundreds of two-dimensional unfolded
bands to ‘live’ three-dimensional geometry. As the design
evolved and as engineering information was filtered into the
fabrication model, these bands, including scoring, bending,
drilling, and location information, were updated automatically.
Bands were automatically distributed onto 4’x8’ aluminum
sheet templates using a nesting algorithm which optimized
material usage. These sheets were then cut and inscribed
using CNC milling machines.

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MoMA/ P.S.1 Urban Beach
New York, 2003

Building Type: Summer Music Festival Pavillion


Floor Area: 10,000 sq. ft.
Client: The Museum of Modern Art

The P.S.1 Urban Beach, realized in 2003 in the PS1 Contem-


porary Art Center courtyard, was based on two distinct but
interrelated systems: the Cellular Roof and the Leisure
Landscape. The landscape integrates various programmatic
elements such as long lap pools, furniture for sitting and
lounging, and promenade catwalks at different heights. Also,
at key points, the landscape begins to adapt into structural
supports for the roof. All of these behaviors are integrated into
a coherent gradient of use, spilling out rhizomatically into the
courtyard, parsing the space into microclimates and passage-
ways.

The design for the Cellular Roof was based on creating a


long-span structure through the use of a non-hierarchical
structural patterning of distinct but interlaced units, or cells.
The location and geometry of each cell was determined by
local shading requirements, by its required shear and moment
reactions, and also by the behavior of neighbor cells. A
crenellated second skin wraps these elements into a singular
multiplicity, a unified shade structure. At night, however, this
provisional body transforms back into an atmospheric
light-emitting swarm characterized by its cellularity.

The expanded aluminum skin cladding was generated using


minimal surface geometry, primarily conoidal and parabolic
surfaces. These surfaces were generated by lofting straight
line segments with parabolas or rotated line segments,
creating a slight warpage to each panel. The warpage was
taken up in the meshwork of the material itself, and therefore
the panels could still be unfolded flat and water-jet cut for
economical manufacture.

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