Tighe Architecture

Tighe Architecture

Los Angeles, CA


OUT OF MEMORY SCI-Arc gallery Los Angeles, California Architecture, Exhibition Design, Interior Design

Memory Temple, for the SCI-Arch (Southern California Institute of Architecture) Gallery in downtown Los Angeles was an experiential piece created through a convergence of sound, material, light, form and technology. The installation was accompanied by a site-specific composition composed by world-renowned composer Ken Ueno. The sound-scape was integral to the experience and used to explore the specialization of sound within the physical boundaries of the gallery.
Memory was used as a vehicle to inform the work; the familiar was the impetus. Unlike most work that is buried in practical issues alligned with the realization of producing a building, the installation was an opportunity to construct an experience imbued with symbolism and meaning. The typical negotiations and constraints embodied in a building project were irrelevant. Memory Temple was unabashadly self-invented, in pursuit of an answer without a real question.
The installation proposed a new structural materiality through the use of renewable polyurethane foam used as a completel building assemply: structure, envelope and acoustical barrier. Fabric-lined framework was constructed on-site and removed once the sprayed-on liquid structure set. Layers of closed cell foam (used structurally) and open cell foam (used acoustically) were combined to create the wall assembly. The pure geometry of the parabola provided a natural self-structural form. The installation also doubled as a prototype for our “Spray On House.”
The musical composition provided an ever-changing mobile performed with custom software designed specifically for the installation. Resonance was exploited within the acoustically absorptive space. Each layer of sound related to an existing environmental sound present within the building and reenacted a memory of that sound. A low hum was derived from a recorded sample, a mechanical, granular sound, was also inspired by an existing condition, re-imagined. These two examples served as counterpoints that represented the the literal and poetic modes of memory, akin to the relationship between a photograph and a painting. Through experiencing the aestheticized memory of the environmental sounds one’s relationship with the sound was transformed.
The interior surface of the parabolic structure was a three- dimensional representation of the musical composition. Realized through on- site, six-axis robotic milling, the sonic contours were derived from the sound contained within. A spectrogram of the composition served as a source from which a mapping of frequency was translated into points and vectors. This provided a framework for the digitally modeled three-dimensional surface. The data was then used to robotically carve the interior surface of the volume.
Experientially, difference was investigated through a series of counterpoints found in the contrasting chambers . The spiraling geometry and acoustically absorptive material magnified the spatial and the aural. Notions of memory were confronted. Traces of the ambient combined with visions of the past, present and future as one’s awareness was heightened and perceptions altered.
In the end, the piece transcended the personal pursuit from which it originated. The conclusion was not the conclusion. Rather, The act of making was the conclusion and it was the memory of that act that was eclipsed by the residual. The remnant remained-in the gallery-as evidence of the pursuit.

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Status: Built