Reimagining Architecture and Design

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    That Random Thing in Your House Could Be Your Inspiration

    Jessica Gomez
    Mar 13, '21 3:53 PM EST

    If there’s one thing we’ve all experienced, it's designers block. Sitting in front of your laptop on Rhino or whichever program you’re using can be the most dreadful thing if there aren’t any ideas flowing through your brain. But what if you took a random object around your house and experimented the different types of spaces you could make. We usually rely on white museum board or even chip board to begin and create “massing models” so yes, we tend to overlook the regular items around us for inspiration. But maybe those objects around us can be a gateway to begin experimenting more with spaces.

    Cotton Balls as a Building?

    Left Image: Experimental Model by Jessica Gomez | Right Image: The Blur Building by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

    The Blur Building by Diller Scofidio + Renfro was a pavilion built for the 2002 Swiss Expo with intense fog/mist. The temporary pavilion aimed to create an atmospherical experience by interfering with the eyesight of visitors with a big overwhelming cloud of fog. In this case, cotton balls could be used to explain the concept of the project. Here, the cotton balls represent a big cloud. From a cloud we take away the characteristics, light, intangible, etc. From here we can imagine the structure must appear light as well, which in the Blur Building is solved with the use of triangles in the structure, inspired by Bucky’s geodesic dome. The visitors are then able to experience a very close version of a cloud, perhaps more intensely. A simple object like cotton balls with the idea of a cloud could start to raise questions like how would someone experience this? What would the structure be?

    Stacked Wine Glasses as a Building?

    Left Image: Radio Tower Conceptual Model | Right Image: The Radio Tower by Smiljan Radic, Gabriela Medrano and Ricardo Serpell

    The Radio Tower by Smiljan Radic, Gabriela Medrano and Ricardo Serpell was designed to be an antenna tower for Santiago, Chile. The form was derived from stacked wine glasses. In the concept model we are able to see how the aggregation of other objects such as disks begin to provoke the questions of how everything could work together and be stable. These aggregations were also influenced by the thoughts of how circulation would begin to work in a stacked wine glass inspired tower. In both the Radio Tower and the Blur Building, day to day objects provoke architectural thoughts of circulation, structure, etc.

    Let Go and Design!

    We shouldn’t pressure ourselves and expect to come up with a well thought out idea of spaces with a digital model. Rather, we should have fun with the items around us and begin to experiment and imagine how a conceptual idea from a simple object could grow into a thoughtful experience for users. Experimenting with objects to think of new ways of design is healthy and essential as architecture continues to be ever-changing.

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