Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Los Angeles, CA


Heather Flood "Punk'd" Exhibition Opens June 20 at SCI-Arc Gallery

By sciarcnews
May 16, '14 7:44 PM EST

Friday, June 20, 7pm: Discussion with Heather Flood and SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss, followed by an opening reception

Heather Flood's Punk’d installation opening June 20 at SCI-Arc Gallery explores the visual effects that can be produced when two-dimensional graphic patterns are translated into three-dimensional constructions. At the intersection of architectural and graphic form, Punk’d slips between two and three dimensions into a space of 2.5D, where color, pattern, and luminosity are precisely calibrated in an effort to augment the effects of three-dimensional form. Rejecting applique as a method for integrating graphics with architecture, Punk’d seeks to explore the visual effects that occur when the graphic field emerges out of the logic of construction.

Flood uses textile design as a foundation for translating graphic patterns into three-dimensional form, creating an installation of twisting and interlocking strips of colored aluminum. The color palette for Punk’d is lifted from the Balmoral tartan, the official tartan of the British Royal Family, which is illegal to wear without the express written consent of the Queen.

Tartan, often mislabeled as plaid, is a method for constructing fabric that yields a specific graphic effect. Tartan fabric is produced by weaving strips of colored thread into a grid of rectangular shapes. When threads of different colors overlap, new colors emerge. While tartan serves as a model for developing a graphic tectonic, it also serves as a foundation for conceptual development. Tartan is an overtly political textile. The color and bandwidth pattern of a particular piece of fabric is culturally associated with a specific family or “clan.” The potential for tartan to denote pedigree has given it symbolic meaning that, in some instances, is used to subvert convention of hierarchy. It was the fabric of choice for Vivienne Westwood in the early ‘70s when she was defining the image of punk. It’s the only fabric that, when constructed into a skirt, allows the garment to be worn by men without undermining their masculinity. In Flood's translation of tartan fabric into architectural form, an effort is made to transgress associations of pedigree. The material details recall iconic punk forms.

About Heather Flood

Heather Flood is a designer whose work integrates the disciplines and techniques of cultural research, graphic art, and architectural design to create experientially dense environments. In 2008 she formed F-lab, a research based design practice committed to the production of architectural form and its relationship to contemporary culture, both pop and sub. Flood’s work has been exhibited internationally and published in multiple online and print publications. In 2012, Flood received the prestigious C.O.L.A. Individual Artist Grant from the City of Los Angeles. In addition to her professional practice, Flood teaches design studios and visual studies seminars at SCI-Arc. She holds a Master of Architecture degree from SCI-Arc and a Bachelor of Art degree from Michigan State University.