“Holism” in architecture, a balance, as Greg Lynn describes it, is the “relationship between massing, structure, envelope, apertures, and decoration. a In the 1960s and ‘70s, these aspects were explored with the new tectonic possibilities offered by pneumatic membranes and inflatable architectures. The numerous technical and spatial problems inherent to these experiments so branded them, that they are now viewed with a certain nostalgic optimism, offering no real architectural solutions.
Forty years later, advances in technology have made possible the aspirations of pneumatic architecture towards holism. Modem textiles offer an increasing range of strength and resistances that often surpass the performance of conventional building materials. When combined with state-changing pneumatic materials like resin, the promise of new tectonic, spatial, and programmatic possibilities emerge.
The natural segue of a material research thesis is to comment on the division in architecture between making and designing. Achim Menges states it best when he says, “Architecture as a material practice is predominantly based on an approach to design that is characterized by prioritizing the elaboration of form over its subsequent materialization.”
Form in Form therefore explores the fabrication process as an architectural catalyst by embedding the fabrication form-work into a continuous and connected part of the architectural form rather than limit it to a geometrical opposite to be discarded, despite enormous effort and expense.
The result is an inversion of the typical design process. The structural framework is first embedded into the envelope, which is then folded into the massing. Decoration and aperture become embedded parts of the the massing. The idea of aperture is challenged altogether as the surface is never penetrated but manipulated to filter the degree of porosity.
Status: School Project
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US