What a way to start a weekend!
A workshop led by Peter Trummer with Kristy Balliet.
We began on a Saturday morning, and learned about aggregation of the city - or how to make a lovely pile.
We looked at cities and at buildings in relationship to cities. We used the Sears Tower as an example. We had to start somewhere, and given the structural nature of that skyscraper and the variety of ways this project has been analyzed previously, for example Greg Lynn’s Stranded Sears Tower project, Peter indicated that this seemed like a logical place to begin. (http://glform.com/buildings/stranded-sears-tower/).
In addition, we were given several figure ground relationship diagrams. A few of these were familiar after working with Jeff Kipnis, who Peter spoke of as influential in the development of his research. Peter added a few of his own, his favorite being Loos, mine Palladio. Palladio a building on a plinth of ground, and Loos with ground moving through the building. Le Corbusier seemed to be impossible to make – go ahead and give it a try.
We modeled with foam strips. The nature of this material although difficult to work with at first – I’d never worked with foam before – with the right tools, specifically a stapler, became easier. Using these foam strips, we dissembled the Sears Tower into mini towers and then reassembled using the logic of one of the figure ground diagrams. After a long first day, we were feeling pretty confident. We learned how to use a new material to its potential benefits, and began to understand some of these figure and ground diagrams.
Then we met for an in-house critique and found out what we had to do next…
WE HAD TO DIGITALLY and PHYSICALLY MODEL OUR FOAM STUDY MODELS OUT OF PAPER BY TOMORROW!
These little foam models were complicated and paper and foam have very different characteristics. It was a little overwhelming - the shapes were complex and very dense. I had never modeled something so intricate. There were so many curves and pinches in our model, I could barely imagine it out of paper. Thankfully we worked in teams so the complicated process could be solved by more than one mind.
The digital model was tricky and translation was necessary, but in making it we began to see how the idea could be represented without explicitly expressing the foam model. The digital model helped us to template and generate a paper model. In the computer we could work precisely and imprecisely at the same time. We could imitate the shapes but there was no way to exactly replicate, so it became a combination of replication and imitation of an idea.
Completing the digital model was the first major task, then we made a drawing that represented the potential figure ground relationships. There were so many curves and layers that finding the right balance of line work was an important, but hefty task, for clear communication of the project.
The paper model was also difficult. It was hard to see how it would clearly represent our initial foam diagram which included a differentiation of loops with a hierarchy of voids. In the end, it was successful because it showed a multiplicitous aggregation, where difference was integral to the module. Variability was helpful as opposed to a more consistent module.
The workshop ended in a review, with Jeff Kipnis, Stephen Turk, Lisa Tilder and Justin Diles. The workshop itself was critiqued and discussed, not only the individual efforts. The discussion prompted ideas that could develop into the next step for the research.
Working with Peter was a treat. He struck the right balance between developing our skills, communicating and promoting his research. He was very interested in finding ways to further the research and I think our work/contributions helped to make his project better. I learned new technical skills, worked with a new set of people, and pushed through some difficult tasks.
Thank you Peter and Kristy. It really was a great weekend.
This blog will be a feeder for recent news, events, and student work occurring at the Knowlton School at The Ohio State University. Posts will typically center around updates from the schools lecture series, exciting projects from recent student reviews, and updates from other school events.