Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Predock Frane Architects

Venice Bienale 2004

The working title “Acqua Alta” refers to the high tide water that floods the 1,000 yr. old sinking city of Venice up to 100 times a year. This tidal invasion of brackish water, affected by forces that range from the moon to local winds, is part of everyday life for the average Venetian. The city is routinely stained/invaded by these surges that at times reach as high as 2 meters above mean sea level. (flood of 1966) Venice is an improbable city - one that places human civilization directly in contact with natural and evolutionary forces. 

Preliminary project description:
In plan our project is based on a “pixelated” field that evokes water patterns, marsh patterns and the complex patterns of piers that underpin the city. Approximately 5,000-6,000 points demarcating these patterns would be extruded in the form of filament line from floor to ceiling with discrete connections to floor and ceiling. Each strand of nearly invisible filament would be stained to a height around average adult eye level - referring to the highest tidal levels in Venice and to evoke a sense of sinking into a medium. Paths cut between denser islands of filament would allow for a rich spatial experience, placing the viewer in many different positions relative to the strings. Within an all white space natural light would be diffuse, flowing across the filament - at times highlighting them and at times reinforcing their invisibility.

2005 Yale University

Originally commissioned as part of a group exhibition for the 2004 Venice Biennale this scaled-down version built for the "Transcending Type" group show at the Yale School of Architecture, recycles and re-adapts the material and spatial ideas of the original piece, while exploring new possibilities for a larger architectural scale.

2006 Copper Hewitt National Museum

The model that we produced is intended to hover between the rich conceptual ground of the central valley and the actuality of the museum proposal. It is considered a re-visitation of an on-going investigation into an analogous project in which the Central Valley is the source material for deploying a process of "generative repetition".  This methodology focuses on mapping specific existing morphologies, "actions", systems, and material conditions; then generating and forecasting new architectural results.  These studies include: ground (manipulated ground vs. natural topologies), surface actions (cuts, transformations, etc.), hydrology (complex systems of water - from snow pack/rivers, rain and artesian wells), filigree (crops/agricultural landscape layer that hovers over the ground), and sky (algorithmic patterns, reflectivity).

Project Components:

Earth/ground plane - Intersections of natural conditions meeting regularized/gridded conditions, intersection of formalized architectural space and landscape.

Action plane - The conceptual surface where human and natural forces affect continuous transformation.

Filligree/hydrology - This component literally stitches together the ground plane to the series of upper layers.

Graft - This horizon layer acts as an implied dividing line between the lower grounded gravitational elements (ground plane) and lighter, hovering pieces (sky plane).

Sky/ceiling - Algorithmic patterns that suggests the ephemeral fleeting nature of the sky.

2008 Pomona College

Our installation for the Pomona College Project Series maps and curates the body of land roughly contained within portions of Southern California's Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties known as the Inland Empire. Looking through the lens of Google Earth, as though from a spaceship observing the intimate processes below, we have focused our observation of this de-centered suburban landscape upon a generic set of building types that are situated within the complex interdependency of dwelling and commodity distribution. Our project emerges as a version of a "supply and demand" diagram that is extracted from the locality of the Empire's terrain.On one end of the IE's found building spectrum is a vast aggregate of bedroom communities, and on the other, a select and limited set of massive regional depot centers which are pushing new boundaries in terms of scale and distribution potential. In between, a hidden web of relations and flows (transport, storage, exchange) defines the most current and aggressive form of 21st C. global capital distribution and consumption.
Our working methodology of "generative repetition" curates a set of existing local circumstances into new projects that are not only representational and indexical but projective. Like DJ's sampling from an array of sound, our interest as designers lies in strategies that deal with the vast territory of the pre-existing; viewing this mass of dynamic material as a way of making new worlds. Not only an indicator of scalar and quantitative relationships, Inland Empire intentionally isolates a chain of relations that is normally unseen and physically distinct. Through this reformation, new questions, understandings and spatial configurations emerge: Where does the space of architecture end and city/landscape begin? Can the volume of buildings reach a tipping point where a new type of space emerges? Which building type is enabling which? Is the image content of architecture relational and proportional to scale and use? Are there underlying logics and geometries that structure and define these relations? Can these be made visible?
The installation itself consists of six building types caught in a typical chain of commodity distribution set in a 1:1 scalar relationship. These abstracted "boxes" are suspended by 376 lines of nylon filament which are analogous to the flows of freeways, boulevards and streets. Accompanying the suspended models, a graphic pattern on the side walls conveys a 1/10th proportional quantitative relationship of houses to mega distribution centers (75,000 houses: 1 mega distribution center). From the top of the gallery space, a model of the 1.7 million square foot regional depot building (the largest in the Inland Empire), hovers like a threatening spaceship over the other building types: local depot, big box retail, mini mall, apartment and single family house. While each building type is abstracted to convey its basic architectural language (skylights, etc), there is a movement from imageability (house) to genericism (depot) - a further conveyance of that which is visible and laden with projected appearance vs. that which is pure machine.


Do Ho Suh

Do Ho Suh was born in Seoul, Korea in 1962. Interested in the malleability of space in both its physical and metaphorical manifestations, Do Ho Suh constructs site-specific installations that question the boundaries of identity.  His work explores the relation between individuality, collectivity, and anonymity.

This silk homes bring to mind the spider webb. Silk in this instance and so elaborated as to make the times of walls, windows and homely details almos falling to the ground as for its delicate materiality. The translucency as a homely quality challenges our notions of the form, that of housing, or stairs and floors. What holds us together seems as fragile as it really is yet by holding us long enough we like to think of them as everlasting. The fabrics made out of threads convey the individual and the collective, his shift and play with the one and many is constant through out his work. Yet if you pull one the whole thing may fall apart. 
The man made of many strings and many suits; as one arrives to this moment having worn many suits we are made of many us and we are held together by those memories and lived experiences, the people that have gone by are also here and we all hold a string tied to those gone. 
Really beautiful work.

1942, New York - Mile of String, Marcel Duchamp

In 1942, Andre Breton organised a retrospective exhibition of Surrealist art in New York: First Papers of Surrealism. For the vernissage Marcel Duchamp created this installation – a gigantic web – called the Mile of String. He and Breton furthermore arranged for a number of children to ball in the room thereby making it very difficult for the guests to see the paintings.

The gallery space, such a predetermined expectation. And Duchamp stays as the first to play on expecatations and challenge every inch of them. From then on what we see are replays of what his first attempt produced. More soon ...

Sophia Dixon Dillo

The Banff Center - Nadia Pacheco - HILANDO

Blurred boundaries as where the weave ends, begins or is constructed, a frozen moment of the construction of the weave; almost invisible, almost not there, dissappearing and appearing as one moves through out the room. What one finally grasps is retained as memory in the retina appearing outside the room as one leaves the installation room.
The room all white and through out the lines almost visible almost invisible. As you walk they appear and disappear. The lines come out as if the entire room was the loom. And the action that of weaving was in the process of, yet not here. Like frozen in time and vanishing.  To look at the piece was almost impossible, was the room weaving and caught in action. Or was it time vanishing, evaporating and just leaving behind a vanishing memory that we carry outside the room as an imprint that last just a few moments to carry the piece away with us.The invisibility of the piece is interesting and how memory can be carried farther only to dissappear once more, and how a trace can be traced in our bodies as a reaction of our own internal responses and how our bodies try to adapt to ever changing conditions. What was there to see makes a very interesting question if there was hardly anything to see. Maybe the attempt to see makes the piece and not the piece itself.

MOCA - Ball_Nogues Studio

Feathered Edge is an installation by Ball-Nogues Studio; a site-specific project that uses thread, over 21 miles of colored strings configured in catenary curves span the gallery space to form a dynamic environment.Digital technology was used as a tool to conceive this installation in the MOCA PAcific Design Center the strings are magenta, cyan, yellow and black dye.

Light passes through the skylight and reaches the floor. A trace that moves and dissappears through out the day. Light is made out of all the colors of the spectrum not only cyan, magenta, yellow and black. A reference perhaps to the light emitting device in which this piece was conceived and developed. 

It is a fun thought your computer screen has melted through the skylight, don´t you think?

Ball Nogues Studio also mentions how the software will give you the map on how to build or construct something but yes its the craft that produces the actual materiality. 

Hands on a light emitting screen or hands on the material; is how things get built. The software will do anything, sometimes the hardest thing is to figure out how to build it. The form with all its mathematical presumption is a natural one given that the strings and gravity react making catenary curves, not much formula but a planet spinning. 

On view at MOCA Pacific Design Center until November 15th. 


MiniArTextil is part of Art&Art annual exhibition held in Italy.
This year the exhibition will take place in the coming month of September. Each year a theme is explored curators and artists present the idea transformed or thought upside down. 
I have looked into their archives and found some interesting images which unfortunately cannot pin down to which artist the piece belongs to. I have not found much related to wool as information is a bit scarce in the site but here are some images related to out textile concern.

I assume that the length of each string is exactly the same and that it is the holding structure which defines how far down each string reaches. Very simple yet the thinking is very refined. Makes me think of cause and effect, interdependence; you pull here and it reacts there. Plan and elevation tighly held as a response to the other. A line or a point?

Monday, October 19, 2009


Felted balls of wool make wonderful wall installations, rugs and textile structures.

Wool in its many outcomes; as industrial wool felt makes for structure and the felted wool balls are sewn to it in various ways.

Both's company statement is following the images from which you can see the production challenges of their creative enterprise met fully.

‘Both Textiles’ is a creative design partnership between Ruth Waller & Lee Hewett; their principle aim is to develop work that explores the use of the textural and structural potential of interior textile surfaces, producing bespoke artworks, products and installations that encourage tactile interaction.

All their work uses a mixture of materials such as handmade felt, industrial felt, sprung steel and wood to produce complex, beautifully tactile and richly textured surface structures.

‘Both Textiles’ currently produce a diverse range of work including wall installations, constructed felt rugs, cushions. The majority of their work is produced for use by interior designers, architects as well as supplying retail outlets, galleries and private clients.

All their work is individually created in a studio in Nottinghamshire using range of traditional craft techniques together with computer controlled production processes that like most of our work bridges the gap between past traditions and new technological developments.