SCI-Arc (Steve Fuchs)



Apr '04 - Aug '07

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    Steve Fuchs
    Nov 24, '04 4:23 PM EST

    I'm hungry. Thanksgiving Feast in the Main Space today. OH BOY! Thanks Bill for the years of dedication :)

    Funny thing is... my SoftTECH project looks like a Turkey. I've been exploring cosmetic surgery as it relates to architecture, specifically how the Folding Episode has a relationship with the current cultural aesthetic of "Tactical Beauty" (read: FX's Nip/Tuck, E!'s Doctor 90210, ABC's Extreme Makeover, and Fox's The Swan). Here's the initial basis for my exploration:

    An Emergent Architectural Aesthetic from Cosmetic Surgery

    Whatever your feelings are about body modification, Western culture is obsessed with the horrific and grotesque. Specifically, cosmetic surgery has become an answer to flaws in the idealized human aesthetic -- just as form continues to emerge as the dominant architectural aesthetic of our time. These two fields, cosmetic surgery and architecture, share a similar trajectory; they both seek a hands-on, tactical beauty.

    No longer can we just watch an extreme makeover -- the effects of which have desensitized our culture to invasive surgery and blurred the boundary of medical practitioner. Television shows like FX's "Nip/Tuck" and E's "Doctor 90210" transmit horrific images to a continuing, extremely visual audience with an appetite for an improved appearance where doctors are thought of as body architects. In addition, the doctors in these shows have an affective quality rooted in hybrid drama and cinematic effect which further engages the argument of discipline assimilation between doctor and architect.

    Along these lines, there is integration between topological territories of architectural and cosmetic aesthetics. The techniques of cosmetic surgery can be mapped to existing architectural techniques to produce a tactical beauty... an emergent architectural aesthetic from cosmetic surgery. Each discipline has specific words used to describe their form making techniques. In the case of architecture: blobs, blebs, asymmetrical symmetry, gills, striations, folds and perforations are part of the current aesthetic. In parallel to architecture, the language of cosmetic surgery techniques include: nip, nep, tuck, suck, inject, implant, transplant, augment, peel, abrade, resurface, remove, and pigment. When mapping these cosmetic techniques to architecture, explicitly direct correlations are found, such as: blob to peel, bleb to nip, and fold to tuck; the definitions of these cosmetic techniques offer support for an emergent architectural aesthetic--one in which architects affect beauty, not horror.

    In response to topological expertise, there is a clear emergence of aesthetic sensibility when using cosmetic techniques over current architectural techniques. Using a tactical approach by comparing and contrasting the differences between these techniques, specifically the three with direct correlation to each other, grotesque tendencies will be surgically augmented to affect a formal beauty. In representation, theory, simulation, and fabrication, the geometric development of a hybrid between these three emerging techniques will aid in furthering the trajectory of dynamic architecture by proposing a fourth generation which adapts to emergent behaviors and uses a design intelligence based in an active pursuit of non-specificity.

    By blurring discipline boundaries and seeking tactical beauty in emergent behavior, a shift in the perception of design authorship will occur. This shift is expressly important considering dynamic interior and static exterior authorship models. Exteriorly, architects of the past have strategically produced effects using text and images to convey theoretical abstracts. Interiorly, as the fourth generation of dynamic architects explore emergence, not only will we be affected by other disciplines, but we will affect each other and the patrons of our tactical explorations.

    "The exterior, 'God' model of authorship is dead...
    Welcome to our new model of interior, emergent authorship...
    the dog model."


    I wrote this at the beginning of the semester and have some issues with it, but I'm throwing it out there for all to beat up. God knows my model got beat up and dropped a few times during the gallery exhibition. Here's a few images from the exhibition + my latest images that explore surface effect (tubes) and the nip/tuck (red "heart" of the project).

    IMAGESSoftTECH Midterm | Gallery Exhibition

    SoftTECH Midterm | Object : torso

    Tactical Beauty | Heart of the Project : nip/tuck

    Tactical Beauty | Surface + Structure

    Tactical Beauty | Eye of the Beholder

    Tactical Beauty | Coke and a Smile :)

    RESEARCHFor clarity, I did some research on the words being thrown around in studio and SoftTECH. In combination, I've started to build a relationship between architectural and surgical techniques.

    DEFINITIONS | ArchitecturalAesthetic: a philosophical theory as to what is beautiful; concerning or characterized by an appreciation of beauty, good taste, or pleasing to the eye; having to do with sense-perception; refers to the visual quality of structural or architectural elements and settings; the pleasure derived from a work of art, as opposed to any practical or informative value it might have; appreciating the beauty of an author's ideas and styles of expression

    Affect: the conscious subjective aspect of feeling or emotion; emotions displayed through behavior and actions; pattern of observable behaviors which is the expression of a subjectively experienced feeling state (emotion) and is variable over time in response to changing emotional states; act physically on; have an effect upon

    Effect: an outcome that can be said to be at least partially the result of an intervention rather than caused by other intervening factors; the result of actions; an outward appearance; a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon; what you feel when you read a text; the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work; the trick that appears to the spectators

    Emergent: occurring as a consequence; coming into existence; to come out of; models of change emphasize that in uncertain conditions it is likely that the results of a project will be affected by unknown factors, and that planning has only a limited effect on the outcome

    Specificity: the quality of being specific rather than general; the quality of being specific to a particular discipline (e.g. Architecture); how precise or exact a term or indexing language is in its ability to describe

    Strategic: the "big picture" level of war, the highest level of military operations; strategic decisions are those made by the heads of nations or army commanders; plans that apply to the entire organization overall objectives; forming part of a long-term plan; relating to the use of knowledge of personal resources to meet the demands of a task in a way that gets the task done in the most effective and efficient manner; focusing on key or essential issues/areas that have the potential to effect positive change; an operation in which we plan procedures or rules for the commitment of resources on a scale highly material to the organization for which the planning is done

    Tactical: the lowest level of military operations, the view from the trenches--tactical decisions are those made on the spot, on the front lines; tactical concerns are around how to achieve an objective (as developed in the strategy) and providing a framework for the operational delivery; the opposite of tactical is strategic; tactical weapons and operations may decided the outcome of a battle, but normally do not determine the outcome of a war; pertaining to the science of maneuvering, methods and techniques to achieve an end, projects and activities designed to implement strategy, the plays that drive the game to success

    Topological: the study of anatomy based on regions or divisions of the body and emphasizing the relations between various structures (muscles and nerves and arteries etc.) in that region; the branch of pure mathematics that deals only with the properties of a figure X that hold for every figure into which X can be transformed with a one-to-one correspondence that is continuous in both directions; the study of how geometric objects are intrinsically connected to themselves; the physical or logical layout of links and nodes in a network

    TECHNIQUES | ArchitecturalBlob: envelop; an indistinct shapeless form

    Bleb: self-intersecting

    Asymmetrical Symmetry: effected symmetry

    Gill: detached surface (fish gill)

    Striation: moment of interruption, generally parallel

    Fold: moment of interruption with order

    Perforation: holes, openings and/or slits

    DEFINITIONS | SurgicalSurgery: a procedure to remove or repair a part of the body or to find out if disease is present; branch of medicine that treats disease or injury by operative procedures

    Plastic Surgery: surgery to restore function or improve appearance (functional & cosmetic); repair, restoration, or improvement of lost, injured, defective, or misshapen body parts; surgical treatment for restoration of form and function of the skin and its underlying musculoskeletal system

    Cosmetic Surgery: surgery that is performed primarily to improve appearance and self-esteem, which may include reshaping normal structures of the body; medically unnecessary surgical procedures, usually, but not limited to, plastic surgery directed toward preserving beauty; any surgery done primarily to improve or change the way one appears, cosmetic surgery does not primarily improve the way the body works or correct deformities resulting from disease, trauma or birth defect

    TECHNIQUES | SurgicalNip: sever or remove by pinching or snipping; the nip is the place of intersection where one roll touches another; line of contact between two rolls

    Nep: a small knot of tangled fibers, usually consisting of short, dead or immature fiber, commonly regarded as a fault but sometimes introduced as an effect; non-English-proficient

    Tuck: draw fabric together and sew it tightly; a narrow flattened pleat or fold that is stitched in place; the end portions of the top or bottom flaps of a folding paper box (carton) which are inserted inside the container to hold the end (top or bottom) flaps in place; various types of cuts and shapes of tuck ends have been developed to hold the flaps, the most common being a pair of notches at the fold which engage the side flaps and hold the end flaps in place

    Suck: draw something in by or as if by a vacuum; attract by using an inexorable force, inducement, etc.

    Inject: force or drive (a fluid or gas) into by piercing; to insert between other elements; to introduce (a new aspect or element); feed intravenously

    Implant: A silicone gel-filled or saline-filled sac inserted under the chest muscle to restore breast shape; an enforced command or series of commands installed in an individual's reactive mind below his awareness level to cause him to react or behave in a prearranged way without his "knowing it"; drug put under the skin for slow release; fix or set securely or deeply; put firmly in the mind

    Transplant: transferring a healthy tissue or organ to replace a damaged tissue or organ; tissue or organ transplanted from a donor to a recipient, in some cases the patient can be both donor and recipient; transfer from one place or period to another; the act of uprooting and moving a plant to a new location

    Augment: enlarge or increase; grow or intensify; to make greater, more numerous, larger, or more intense; adding of additional microorganisms to expedite microbial activity

    Peel: strip the skin off; take off outer covering; get undressed; the tissue forming the hard outer layer (e.g. skin or fruit)

    Abrade: rub hard or scrub; wear away; to roughen a mesh surface, yielding what is termed “tooth”

    Resurface: reappear on the surface; cover with a new surface

    Remove: dispose of; shift the position or location of; get rid of something abstract; eliminate all traces, returning the infected item to its original, uninfected state; take off or away to another place

    Pigment: a compound that gives color to body tissues; Substance that absorbs light, often selectively; become colored or imbued; finely ground, natural or synthetic, inorganic or organic, insoluble particles which, when dispersed in a liquid vehicle to make paint, may provide, in addition to color, many of the essential properties of a paint: opacity, hardness, durability, and corrosion resistance


    • Francisco David Boira

      Nice flipmill Steve! Congrats.

      Nov 24, 04 9:41 pm  · 

      Thanks FDB... this semester has been so great. Working for Jeff and Dan in the CNC Shop has been fantastic; I truly enjoy helping, too.

      Nov 24, 04 9:49 pm  · 
      Francisco David Boira

      Steve I need additional info in regards to the summer program. Do you know if they offer SOFTtech courses in the summer?

      Nov 25, 04 8:01 pm  · 

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