Chapter 25

Chapter 25, Composite Tectonics: From Monolithic Wholes to Manifold Assemblies by Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich covers some interesting topics. The first that they cover is about composites and its place in construction. I do agree with them that composites can be used in conjunction with other materials to more efficiently achieve the goals of the project. They compare this method with the practice of building with composite as a monolithic whole. I would have liked an example of this method so I could more fully compare and contrast methods. Second they talk about their project Unibodies. This project does have interesting elements to it but over all I wasn’t impressed. The process and exploration yielded some great information but the final results visually were not successful. The Macro prototype looks sloppy to me. I understand it is an exploration of materiality but it looks like it belongs on the set of a Science Fiction B-Movie rather than as an architectural building material exploration. The Micro sections for do not fare much better than the Macro. It may be a trick of the camera but they do not look appealing nor does the one which is supposed to have an aluminum finish look like it has a aluminum finish.  The final part of the Unibodies case study is the Micro samples. These I feel are the most successful. These little studies of finish and pigmentation I think really yielded the best result. They may all look like plastic to me, but they still have some interesting characteristics. The final section talks about the Chengdu Fluid Core-Yard in Chengdu, China. I think this building successfully achieved the goal of combining composites seamlessly with the other building materials.     In particular the waffling was able to be constructed out of a light weight but strong material that allowed for the smooth and seamless look. It also plays well visually with the glass and aluminum which are the other two main building materials.


Hannah Morford

Detailing Articulation

Chapter 15 of Matter: Material Processes in Architectural Production is an article by Phillip Anzalone and Stephanie Bayard of Atelier Architecture 64. Their article is called Detailing Articulation. It is primarily concerned with utilizing current digital fabrication techniques in conjunction with traditional forms of fabrication in the implementation of modular elements. It also explores new mediums, such as Ductal’s new concert mixture. This mixture allows concrete to be cast in various forms yet retain its inherent strength. The example shown in the article, Amphorae, is thin, smooth, sinuous, and modular. This material I think would be an interesting thing to explore in regards to my project. In the areas of the structure where there is no need to have thickness of material to contain the mechanical aspects of the building, I think that having such a thin skin would be interesting and exciting.

I do think that Phillip Anzalone and Stephanie Bayard over wrote this article. They are dealing with very interesting projects and current thoughts and ideas. They present them in a wordy, over worked train of sentences. The ideas get lost in a forest of high-brow scholarly and philosophical phrases and words. There is not much to compel the reader other than the images. The text is just not well done.

Hilary Sample’s essay A Brise-Soleil without a Building covers some interesting topics. He brief history and definition was much appreciated. I do think the name of the essay is a bit misleading. The brise-soleil project she worked on did have a building, it was just not attached. Its building is the strip mall and parking lot. I also think Sample missed out on an opportunity to discuss the ability of a brise-soleil has to make such a immobile structure mobile. You can argue that the movement of doors, elevators, and the like can make a building mobile but its not quite the same as fins that run the vertical length of a building move with the sun. That creates a mobile facade which to me is really cool.

The project which Sample discusses is interesting but in my opinion not the best for the site. The location in Arizona is flat and desert like. Such a large projecting structure would look incongruous and monolithic. I think that they are very uninviting and formidable. And should it fall over it could take out all of the cars in the strip mall’s parking lot. It is an interesting study though of the possibilities of a large scale brise-soleil using modern techniques and materials.

Matter is but Captured Energy

After reading Matter is but Captured Energy by Keil Moe I had a few thoughts. The first is related to the sections about matter and materials. I liked his view about how all materials are just energy in its present location and how all of the preceding energy that shaped it is still there. In a way it is like a positive and view on entropy and the way it approaches past energy. The second section was interesting but Moe needed to include more cohesive sentences between the sections to tie them together. There was this same problem with the segue between the second section and the final section. I did like what Moe was talking about with the total energy consumption. The approach of build with the total energy consumption over construction, material production, and construction is very interesting and relevant. It is something that needs to be thought about more with modern construction.
This is where I see the connection between the reading and our current project. With our sites we need to be cognizant of the materials and how they are created and how they relate to our projects. For my project I am going to try and find materials that are produced locally and do not require much transport. These materials will hopefully be produced with limited waste or pollution. This idea is something I would like to incorporate into my future projects and work habits. It will be difficult but I know if I try hard I can do it.

Tumbling Units

Today’s (September 25 2013) discussion of Tumbling Units by Kentaro Tsubaki was in my opinion good. Many of my classmate contributed interesting thoughts to the discussion. I would have rather we had moved our seats into a circle like shape because I had difficulty hearing some of my classmates. It also would have made it easier to fix their names to their faces and associate their thoughts with them as well. I am afraid that I do not remember who said what. I also do not know everyones name yet. But as to the my main takeaway from the discussion is that we each have a threshold for what is an acceptable change. The essay is concerned with units that are allowed to fall naturally and the resultant is the final form. This final form was displayed in various galleries. The form would likely be disassembled from location to location. So this is where each of our thresholds come in. It is unlikely that each time the form is reassembled it will be assembled exactly as before. So what is the acceptable range for change? For me I’d want it as close as possible so as to be true to the original form. But at the same time the changes could be considered part of the piece. It is an interesting thought.