T4T LAB 2018
Nate Hume. Distinguished Invited Professor.
Coordinated locally by Gabriel Esquivel working remotely with feedback from the designers’ technical challenges and intellectual charge.
Teaching Assistant: Paul Germaine McCoy.
Rough and Saturated
Between the recent poles of the complex, grotesque natural and simple, friendly cartoonic architetcure - exists space to develop a rough and saturated architecture to more productively instigate culture. This condition moves beyond digital tropes to produce a Raw Pop, Glimmering Wildness, or to borrow from Paul Morley, an Overgound Brightness. Robert Venturi wrote about both/and as a condition with several levels of meanings which breed ambiguity and tension. This studio will use both/and as a strategy to provoke interference between traditional binaries within architecture to produce alluring new worlds. An uncanny space will be created misusing geometric, textural, chromatic, and figural conventions to create a rough flickering state. Forms, materials, and organizations are not just cast against type but enhanced and reworked to fully reveal their strangeness. These paradoxical combinations serve to open up new saturated states within architecture by questioning the ordinary and spectacular in search of a rough strangeness in the space between.
Reality is densely constructed between the digital and virtual realms with a constant backdrop of YouTube playlists seamlessly splicing disparate content together, Spotify algorithms pillorying across genres and times to shape daily mixes, and Instagram streaming a photo album of incongruent images and non sequiturs. To work within this condition one must resist pastiche or collage as a means to develop hypersaturation and find new strategies to shape and subvert this reality. The both/and tension becomes a key component to produce objects and spaces capable of drawing forth from the noise. Furthermore, this strategy looks for a productive grey area which is lost in a polarized moment where normal, strange, and fake have become completely interchangeable descriptors of cultural and political events.
A binary world has emerged full of shock or banality, both are equally interchangeable. Within architecture this has forced a turn towards the vaguely familiar. The alien digital architecture of the past decades which was meant to shock through novelty has been replaced by a series of developing tendencies which uncover and reflect aspects of contemporary material, social, and visual culture through variations on the expected. Rather than a return to the generic, a state of multiple extremes can be explored to cultivate accelerated versions of the known by creating spaces full of elevated qualities which foster new experiences. A subversive space of contradiction resulting in multiple inner worlds unfolds as a critique of austere blankness or overt iconicity.
To fabricate this architecture, the artifacts produced must look for approximations between convention and experimentation. They should simultaneously embrace their existence within virtual platforms of dissemination while also reinstating the importance of the physical artifact. Ranging from drawings to dioramas these documents are not merely outputs from a virtual model but are moving continually between analog and digital means. Tactile considerations of printing techniques, casting, model materiality, or virtual display reverse the inert production of sterile 3d prints and plotted renders. Where potent, this resists a fetishizing of the drawing or return to nostalgic techniques in favor of an agility between mediums and conventions. The act of drawing, constructing images, and documenting building is in a moment of reevaluation with the potential to radically re-energize and move out of a state of numbness provided by ubiquitous technique and software. The glimmering drawing and raw model will further serve to dislodge conventions of presenting and producing computational architecture.
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