University of Texas Arlington, SOA
The process of building is primarily defined by assembly methods, how different elements in an overall composition come together to form a cohesive, if delineated, whole. The contemporary connection it may be argued is more nuanced and critical as assemblies become more complex and varied throughout any one construction. Oftentimes they are required to be performative, thus not merely being fixed, but adaptable and in a sense malleable. It is our argument that the overall success of any assembly is the degree to which the connection forms a successful performative and aesthetic bond between elements. To that end we propose that all architecture at its core is a process of assembly, connections. Embrace is a project which encapsulates this idea. Made from 88 individual parts, laser cut and folded into 440 sides, attached so to form a screen, Embrace explores continuous differentiation through such a performative connection.
Metalab has designed the system and authored the parts for this innovative and mobile Photobooth. Our clients at BSP will transport and install this at weddings and other occasions for quick, high quality photos printed on the spot. The casters are integrated into the case with removable handles so the unit can be easily moved onto the thick ballast plate from the dolly. Rhino/Grasshopper was used to generate the perforations on the surface of the Photobooth. The perforation pattern becomes random and dissipates as they move away from the curved region of the surface. The holes relieve the material resistance to bending along the radius defined by the adjacent part. The front panel hinges open to access the printer, camera, CPU and lighting inside.
Currently there exists no standardized method for attaching shading elements, photovoltaic cells or anything else to a building’s curtain wall as a retrofit or renovation. Consequently all buildings seeking to add these to their façades must install a new curtain wall and incur the associated expenses (loss of tenant income and cost of a new replacement façade). Providing an alternative solution, the AAES system (Adaptive Attachment for Existing Structures) seeks to fill that gap. By reusing existing structural mullions already in place as the underlying support, AAES provides a more sustainable use of a building’s resources. In so doing the benefit is greater than the benefit of applying energy saving shading or power producing PV cells to a facade, it is in the conservation of existing resources. Providing an infinite number of placement options the sliding carriage is customizable to satisfy specific needs with ease. The impact of this approach is to consolidate into one system all current and future uses.
The goal of this project was to develop the digital and physical groundwork necessary to provide design guidelines for the production of a light screen used to modulate and regulate natural and artificial light. As a result of the conceptual investigation of repetitive systems, an evaluation of woven rope provided a wide variety of typologies for consideration. Issues of dynamic structural integration, oscillating surface geometry, and varying modular density were all present. The digital model generated in response to the woven rope illustrates weaving through the control of the undulating geometry of the pockets and oscillation of the pocket direction. Erwin Hauer’s work on minimal surface geometry provided an invaluable frame of reference for the design process. In particular, the light module is comprised of two identical, “handle-like” pieces, which made the casting process possible. The design of the module geometry functions as a space for distilling and reflecting light from an outside source. Specifically, the geometry of the module and the casting process are utilized to provide an effect of woven strands of light and dark – similar to the originally observed effects of the rope.
The ‘Ultimate Tree House’ was a temporary installation done for the Dallas Arboretum by brad bell studio and HNTB of Dallas. The design sought to provide both a camouflaged and dynamic space for children and adults to explore amongst the picturesque setting of the arboretum. The seven exterior pods and six interior pods are set up in polar arrays allowing for several layers of space to emerge. The inner ring of pods is further articulated by 300 leaf profiles that were decorated by children from Windsong Elementary School. The children were asked to paint there own stories onto the leaves while the laser cut leaf profiles themselves served as an educational tool for indigenous trees of Texas. The Pods were constructed from ¼” plate steel, strung by ½” pvc conduit, and covered by erosion control fabric. The installation was intended to become a beacon at night for seasonal events held on the premises.