Week #11

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Oh, boy!

So this past weekend I indulged and went to Vegas. It was architecture blasphemy on crack. And it's beautiful and I had the best time. And I wish I had an extra night there so I could chill in a bathrobe, over indulge in the buffets, rave till 5am, people watch and lather the Wynn body lotion on a freshly sun soaked body which has been racking up its Vitamin D deficiencies ever since my new job.

Now it's back to reality.

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As per usual, you will find shenanigans at the bottom.


 

1. classical music to accompany your reading, press play.

Vanessa Mae back in '96 playing a Toccata and Fugue by Bach, accompanied by the Bratislava Radio Symphony Orchestra. 


My cleverly planned architecture spotlight on Amanda Levete is a perfect segway to this week's theme...

1. Parametric PARAPHERNALIA !!

You may have heard the word parametric, coupled with architecture and/or design... so what does it mean? (in a nutshell)

 


Parametric 

according to dictionary.com

stems from the word Parameter which was used in the following:

1. Mathematics.

a. a constant or variable term in a function that determines the specific form of the function but not its general nature.

b. one of the independent variables in a set of parametric equations

2. Statistics. 
a variable entering into the mathematical form of any distribution such thatthe possible values of the variable correspond to different distributions.

3. Computers

a variable that must be given a specific value during the execution of a program or of a procedure within a program.

 

Jolly good. cool story bro.

So what does it mean for architecture? Well...

People often associate it with this:

Zaha Hadid's Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan

Zaha Hadid's Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan

Or this:

Diller, Scofidio and Renfro's Broad Museum in LA, USA.

Diller, Scofidio and Renfro's Broad Museum in LA, USA.

Gehry (duh)

Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall

Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall

Or just categorise it "crazy", "buzzy", "out there" sh*t. Like this:

Greg Lynn, Professor at UCLA

Greg Lynn, Professor at UCLA

This,

Marc Fornes, The Very Many

Marc Fornes, The Very Many

and this:

Tyoy Ito, Metropolitan Opera House, Taichung 

Tyoy Ito, Metropolitan Opera House, Taichung 

So . . .

Architects use "parametricism" to draw relationships on different parts of a building or components or parameters, e.g a facade shading device that responds to the movement of the sun, or the size of a floor plate responding to the programmatic needs and desired program adjacencies, or a building form generator that uses zoning constraints to limit its outputs.

Great...

Naturally, we're thinking what are the benefits of parametric architecture?

Don't they just create weird spaces? And how does it work with traditional furniture? What's wrong with rectalinear spaces that we're used to?

Of course this is an argument that is not easily defensible, but hear me out. In truth, the architecture industry is quite behind the times, it takes longer for techniques and technologies to break the ice with one off products such as a building. Each crew, client, contractor and architect is different. And as an architect, we are constantly looking at pushing the boundaries. Ways to make our built environment, more sustainable, responsible and future thinking. To make life as a human easier. There's a reason why we don't build temples and historic houses which is simply because that technology is outdated. And there are going to be some unfortunate prototypes as architects figure out where parametricism fits within their own practice. (As seen above).

Parametricism is not the buzzword that will change everything in architecture, but should be viewed as a design tool to assist architects. No one has figured out the one equation to create the 'perfect' building and buildings are always "one offs" and the eye of the artist will use their design descretion to pick their battles in a parametric world.

 

2. urban legends

racist architecture

Yep it's real and it exists.

I get a fair majority of my architecture news through instagram and one great follow is @nycurbanism. A few weeks ago they posted an article about the highway bridges of the United States, in particular the "racist" bridges that conceived by Robert Moses. Moses planned extremely low-bridges over highways (Long-Island Parkway) that would connect to the beach, to make it impossible for buses carrying urban black people from making it to the beach. (i.e car goers only). Moses was openly racist and as the "Master Builder" for NYC he did everything he could within his power to marginalise and exlcude non-white people.

Bronx River Parkway.

Bronx River Parkway.

 

Pools that were built near black and Hispanic neighbourhoods were kept at cooler temperatures as Moses had a theory that "Negroes did not like cold water". Other racially motivated planning, included putting the Robert F. Kennedy bridge exit ramp by Harlem to clog the area with traffic and bridge-using vehicles.

Read here and here and here for more articles about Robert Moses's work.

Cities all over the US (and the world for that matter) have urban infrastructures designed to keep certain demographics and races in specific areas. Stay tuned next week for the next city.

 

Robert F. Kennedy Bridge off ramp on the East side of Harlem. 

Robert F. Kennedy Bridge off ramp on the East side of Harlem. 

 

3. (Over classical music? Last last weekend we had a marvel movie marathon. and this is a great number from guardians of the galaxy.

 

4. An Architectural Model

On the vein of parametric architecture... here are a couple of pieces from Neri Oxman's new death masks collection. 

"The team said that the research is leading toward a future where wearable interfaces and building skins are customised not only to fit a particular shape, but also a specific material, chemical and even genetic make-up." - from Dezeen

5. this is the future:

And I NEED to check it out. 

GOOGLE'S TILT BRUSH

I really hope it doesn't give me motion sickness...

 

6. is this real life?

I dunno you tell me...

By Ström Architects.

 

7. architectural Spotlight - This is...

marc fornes

(November 17, 1955 - )

And in ode to the world of parametrics, this week's spotlight is New York based architect Marc Fornes. Fornes keeps a relatively annonymous internet profile but is the founder of The Very Many.  

Fornes leads his New York based studio which specialises in site specific architecture that focuses on unifying skin, form, structure and user experience as a single entity.

His practice has designed numerous, organically shaped, thin-shelled forms that push the limits of traditional architecture. As a result, his studio's work situates itself at the crossroads of art and architecture.

Orlando Convention Center,  O rlando, Florida

Orlando Convention Center, Orlando, Florida

 

His studio is at the forefront of computational design, and his design research is continuously advancing parametricism and it's appropriation in the field of architecture. Unique curvilinear structures are optimised through codes and scripts, to realize efficiency and through flat elements. The works are brightly coloured to manipulate light and our perceptions of depth.

"Pleated Inflation", Lycée Christian Bourquin high school, France

"Pleated Inflation", Lycée Christian Bourquin high school, France

He has collaborated with the likes of SOM, Zaha Hadid, and has taught alongside Patrik Schumacher. He also co-founded a graduate studio (n)Certainties, with Francois Roche at Columbia University. 

 

Aggraphs/Adaptive Clips, in collaboration with Francois Roche, 6om span bridge developed from clips and longitudinally spanning members.

Aggraphs/Adaptive Clips, in collaboration with Francois Roche, 6om span bridge developed from clips and longitudinally spanning members.


shenanigans

1. A Canine friend

East Village Larry, you are way too fricken cute. 

2. Babe

A left over from a newsletter I had prepared during the Winter olympics that never made it to the blog. But here is Bradie Tennell who represented the Team USA. She is incredible!

 

3. Boy

This week is none other than Stranger Thing's Joe Keery, or more well known as "Steve Harrington". I mean that hair, and the episode when he shares his trade secret. Farah Fawcett spray...

Cradling the demogorgon bat weapons.

Cradling the demogorgon bat weapons.

 

4. stair porn

Nyfelt Og Strand As from Norway, have detailed these insane stairs which are so beautifully delicate. Check the chamfered corners on the planks. Magnifique!

 

5. Art

Unfortunately I was not able to get out my phone in time to capture this myself. But this week I bring you the wonderful giant sized bronze statues in the Time Warner Center. Titled Adam & Eve, Fernando Botero's statues attract much attention, and in particular the Adam's genitalia. Over time isolated areas of the statue has gained a gold patina. 

 

Another work of Botero's.

Another work of Botero's.

6. object

Here is an extremely sexy wooden bench by Matthias Pliessnig. Unsure how much it would cost, but I'm assuming A LOT. 

7. Wanderlust

An insanely beautiful wave photograph taken by Jason Fenmore, titled Slicky.

 

8. Lost in Translation

Tomato sauce (NZ/aus/uk?) = ketchup (everywhere else)

I think the above is pretty self explanatory.

I'm now too old to convert.

 

9. harsh realities

Flash back to the fires and droughts in Southern California, where torrential storms created some deadly mudslides that have already taken the lives of 20. The mudslides have devastated Montecito and strewn giant boulders everywhere.

 

10. Meanwhile...

See here for the actual article.

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11. doodle

Another unexciting doodle from work. Yep trying to figure out details on how to actually build a building. 

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12. LOL

So true, it's all good I gotchu.

If you like to laugh, you must follow @funny 😂

A post shared by LADbible (@ladbible) on

13. NOM NOM NOM

When Howie was here we tried another new Ramen house. called E.A.K Ramen in Chelsea. Howie got the beautiful buttery garlic broth with a plethora or pork and Lotti the E.A.K original. For myself, I ordered a veggie ramen, as I wasn't quite in mood for meat. Whilst delicious to boot, can't say the ramen was my favourite, however 10 points for the insanely good Takoyaki balls and Gyoza.

My personal gauge for ramen is always the tamago. The yolk must be slightly gooey with a tea stained white body. Hard boiled, no bueno.

14. and that's a wrap! here's some 'new' music.

It mainstream and poppy, that's all there is to it.

 

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Till next week my friends. #dab-out.

I hope that I have credited everything. If not images are not mine unless stated, please click on the images and hyperlinks to their original sources :)