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    steel fabricators are cool

    By adrienne
    Apr 1, '05 4:30 PM EST

    we just got back from a steel fabrication plant field trip. it was pretty amazing to see the sheer size of some of the pieces and the processes of drilling, cutting and welding. it made me realize that architecture really comes down to a processing of material, which is something that can be overlooked at times in school (the infamous what is this made of question comes to mind). although i must say that for me this semester has been largely about the material world. from DeLanda's philosophy of materials to Jane Harrison's material effects, and i have really enjoyed it. we had a symposium of faculty members here last night discussing the roles of ecology and biology in design, which was also in keeping with a lot of what this semester has been about. thinking about the relationship of architecture to the economies of the material world puts things in a different perspective for me...

    ok enough philosophical stuff. studio has been really enjoyable lately as i think i finally have moved my project in a direction that i am more comfortable with. we had our 3/4 review yesterday which i thought went pretty well, but it has been an intense week of work. my project is developing as a series of relationships between intense environments, which i think is appropriate for the casino program. i am essentially taking all of the mechanical requirements for the building and developing them as bizarre biotechnical machines which exist in these caves that occur throughout the building. sounds kinda weird, but they basically look like bugs that are embedded throughout the building and they are beginning to produce some pretty strange effects.

    i have been meaning to post some images from material effects for a while and now that my ideas have solidified it seems like a good time to show you some of the stuff we have been working on. we have been putting together lots of diagrams tracing material flows, but they won't show up too well on the web. after a few weeks of developing patterns, these are some of my preliminary prototypes. i have been investigating the potentials of using braided tubes filled with rice to create an insulating textile. i am thinking about developing this as a tent system that might be combined air supported tubes like the military uses. it's sort of half military tech half crafty folk art. who knows, maybe it will just end up as a macramé toilet paper cover or something. either way my desk is now covered in rice and fabric!

    oh and the new architecture student archive has been launched”¦check it out at

    my braided pattern - got to spend some time in the math library which was a little depressing to research this

    rice is naturally a good insulator and the braid keeps the heat in the material longer

    the pattern extended


    • David Cuthbert


      Apr 1, 05 7:42 pm
      vado retro

      casino? shouldnt you be looking at themes related to card counting,gambling odds, medici slot machine? seem like obvious concepts

      Apr 2, 05 2:19 pm

      Whoa, just to clear up any confusion the rice braids and the casino are two separate projects. I guess we could look at more traditional themes, but most of us are trying to stay away from any sort of gambling related "themes" as the project is really about the relationship between the casino complex and the city. In addition, it is a huge multi-use program that goes beyond a slots parlor.

      Apr 5, 05 10:27 am

      thank you for staying away from typical themes, philadelphia needs and deserves more than the obvious concepts. philadelphia isnt las vegas! Inserting a casino into the urban fabric succesully is a daunting task, which requires more rigor than the investigation of card counting, gambling odds, medici slot machines! While biotechnical machines may not be the answer it is good to see people are exploring outside the box, thats what school should be for!

      Apr 5, 05 11:41 am

      hi adrienne...
      i viewed your blog and quiet impressed with your passion toward your work..! it is such a wonderful thing that someone can alwyas share his interesting experience ..
      acturally..i just got penn's post professional degree admission two days ago, i'm trying my best to imagine all the things happened in your blog..
      i like the atmosphere(learning,living) in penn a lot, it seems like there are bunch of things to look around. but one of the things i'm kind of confused is the way of presentation in penn, u said in the blog, "u are encourged to use digital stuff a lot"...and of course i looked up the on-line penn student' protfolio .....i'm not against of using computers all the time, but if the digital methods become a must, it will come out to be a kind of preasure. since computer is an assistant for design, it is not the design itself.....
      can u give me some advice..?....
      thanks a lot!!

      Apr 7, 05 4:20 am

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