Tumbling Units

Tumbling Units
By bkauffm4

The class discussion, for the Tumbling Units reading on Wednesday, may have left me with more questions than definitive takeaways. As I think about it, perhaps that was the goal of the reading and discussion.
For the Tumbling Units project, Kentaro Tsubaki, took great effort to design using the statistical strengths of computer based design for the most optimum results. The production of the ceramic units were logical to follow, even though, each of us were probably unable to follow the statistical explanations. He used a logical progression of steps to arrive at the final design; scientific steps, if you will. What follows production of the units, is an installation which allows the units to join together in apparently random configurations. It is the unique structure and materiality of the units that results in the final product. Of course, it would be nearly impossible to reproduce the exact same installation more than once.
Professor MacRaild more than once asked the class if we were o.k. with the structure of the finished object always being different for each installation. I think the class consensus was divided. Some of us want to see initial design effort carried all the way through to a logical completion. Some of us are o.k. with the outcome being random and unrepeatable. I think I more likely fit into the first outlook. After class discussion I tried to make the connection of this exercise to architecture. What I noticed was the extreme care in designing the basic structural units. They were then manufactured as closely alike as possible. After being mass produced they have the ability to be joined together in infinite ways; each producing architecture with different “qualities of materiality, texture, light, shade, time, sequence, scale, proportion, and spatial structural order” (Ch. 10 pg .200). It is interesting to think that the variety of built environment around us may already follow many of the same rules of the Tsubaki installations!

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