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    SuperNatural Superglow 02 - Project 2

    TADS Feb 25 '07 10

    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.

    -DM


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    • 10 Comments

    • Becker
      Feb 25, 07 6:58 pm

      hahaha, i love how it takes so many words to describe some funky lights.

      maya mcdifference
      Feb 25, 07 10:47 pm

      yeah because no architect should actually have reasons for what they do

      aha
      Feb 26, 07 3:23 am

      the glow is suppose to drive the form but both groups have struggled to derive organization directly from the lighting effects. in conception the tendency is to see the glow as a resultant.

      on the other hand, based on these other two comments and the jury comments over the summer you see that once you display this thing lit up, it defines the object. so, the opposite happens with the final object, the glow always reads first.

      jsipprell
      Feb 27, 07 2:27 am

      man you m arch 2's write a lot. christ i need to print this out and save it for the next time i have to go to the bathroom.

      genus 67, man hearing that phrase might just send me there right now.

      work looks good boys, you've definitely advanced from the time i saw you clinging to the rocks in j-tree.

      ewendell
      Feb 28, 07 5:16 pm

      "work looks good boys," nice callous comment, Jeff. How about some recognition for the ladies working their asses off on this project? Oh you didn't know? Yeah we're here too.

      Also, why design something that you can't even talk about?

      ----------------------------------------------------------------
      In any case, this project is moving forward - leaps today. We uncovered the projected budget for this thing last night, and it gave us a reality check that has been largely beneficial.

      We're looking at moving from roughly $20,000 (F! a new car! sick-ass computers for everyone! 25 new houses for families in Nicaragua! etc.), to $4,500. Cutting sandblasting, for example, chops the budget in half.

      It might not be an insular academic discussion, but it has forced us to reevaluate the heirarchy of our pieces and to sharpen the driving design agenda.

      Here is the latest unfolded elevation, prior to value-engineering:
      <center>
      <img src="http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k73/zzillion/newagg.jpg" ><br><br>
      </center>

      After some discussion with David Erdman, we will be reconsidering how the piece thins out near the door. The idea is to pervert the normative geometry of the storefront and experientially charge the space that the piece captures. For that reason, all the edge conditions are constantly being tweaked to imitate or diverge from existing conditions.

      This thinning out seems to conveniently solve that other problem of reality. money? naaaaaaaaaah.

      ewendell
      Feb 28, 07 5:18 pm

      hmmm. I guess that embedded image didn't work.

      ...tumbleweed...
      Feb 28, 07 7:18 pm

      I would be really interested in listening in on your studio's mid-review (assuming it hasn't taken place already). Could you let me know the when/where-ish, and any time/day etc of any other interesting reviews at your school please?

      ewendell
      Feb 28, 07 10:45 pm

      Our midreview for this project has occurred. It's a strange schedule because the course is stretched over two quarters. There will, however, be a couple fundraising parties displaying the work in April and then the ultimate opening sometime in May. But finals at AUD will be coming up the week of March 19-23.

      troglodite
      Mar 1, 07 11:31 pm

      Hey guys, don't give up on the sandblasting just yet. Here's a secret: the facilities people maintain a sandblaster (I don't know why) down in the basement only steps from the shop. Rumor is that if you're real nice they'll let you use it at no charge. Ask the guy you see around the basement all the time with the red hair, don't know his name.

      drizzler
      Mar 9, 07 12:02 am

      kristin kai - any relationship to kheng kai?

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