Greg Evans

Greg Evans

Brooklyn, NY, US


Goat Hide: New Fur Pillows

Winter 2011

Professor Jason Payne
Teaching Assistant Andrew Lantz

A project framed through the lens of Gottfried Semper’s short essay entitled “Furriery: A Recently Neglected Technique,” this project attempts to investigate the cosmetic qualities of surface and form, where surface (hide) comes first and form (body) comes second. This idea analogous to finding a flattened hide of an unfamiliar animal and trying to imagine how to reconstitute it’s original form. For these developments, a look at models of surface treatment outside of architectural discourse were required - ie, furriery, or the more contemporary version, taxidermy.

My specific project looked at the characteristics of a domestic goat hide, and the way in which, although a topographic surface, the hide could be reformed to create a total effect through specific geometric manipulations. My particular manipulation vocabulary was a series of “pillows” through various processes of pleating, pinching, and draping. Although figural, the various modes of pillow-making are outside the realm of semiotics. And instead, through cosmetic enhancement of the hide, the resulting form is not evaluated through a formal reading, but rather in terms of things like luster, posture, and character. These qualities result in an efficacy that situates itself somewhere between architecture and rogue taxidermy.

A difficult part of this investigation was the issue of representation through analytic drawing and image making. Though a project related to contemporary architectural discourse, it was important that the representations were both familiar but also foreign to typical architectural methods. The result, a combination of photographic work and analytic drawing techniques borrowed from origami diagramming techniques, became a way of showing the process and controls of each pillowing effect on the hide. Compared to a post-modern drawing technique of semiotic surface representation, these drawings conveyed an emphasis on surface character and body.

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Status: School Project
Location: Columbus, OH, US