Jan '07 - Jun '07
So aside from our Madrid and European urban explorations in Thom Mayne's studio, Superficial Superglow 02, the winter quarter, has taken a step forward with portions of a full-scale mock-up for the LACE storefront installation (opens May 25). This project is a continuation of Prof. David Erdman's previous class (of the same name) taught over the summer and detailed in earlier postings on this blog. Quick recap: S. Superglow is an exploration of "glow" within architectural surface/form and about integrating lighting, dynamic display, and interactivity within a spatial matrix comprised of forms derived from minimal surfaces. The prescribed aim of the class is to teach vacuum-forming, milling, and laser cutting techniques within the context of architecture, and weekly pin-ups and constant modification/updates translate into an intense studio of research, design, and fabrication.
Anyway, beginning with the minimal surface Genus 67, our team, SuperNatural Superglow, developed a family of shapes based on the geometry of this surface. By creating a "digital machine" using MAYA software, we were able to scale, repeat, and warp various parameters of the minimal surface to form new shapes and conditions using precise geometric logic. These manipulations created a family of "forms" that when combined (in multiple permutations) led to an exploration of joints, the limits of the vacuum forming technology, and structural parameters. To work out these details, we switched back and forth from digital and analog modeling techniques including paper models, cardboard scaled figures, and actual lighting tests. One component of UCLA's program is the emphasis on both modes of architectural exploration; despite all advances in digital and computer technology, the physical model and line are still necessary and integrated into research and design.
So, using the physical and virtual studies we created two series of components. The first layer is the substrate layer which transforms over the length of the storefront, interacting with site conditions and creating a gradient of opacity and glow between the interior and exterior of the gallery. The second layer is a system of "spiders" which connect to the substrate panels but react more forcefully with the storefront facade, eventually “growing” into window mullions and attaching itself to walls and window sills. This integration of the superglow pieces with the storefront is an intentional blurring of existing and introduced components; is the alien attacking the storefront or is the storefront melting into the interior?
Our present goals are to finalize the actual form and joint connections while programming the behavioral lighting of both the “spiders” , which should display a highly active patterning across the piece, and the substrate which may “breathe” in slow, timed rhythms.