maxi SPINA: at a time when contemporary digital responses in architecture often emphasize the total erasure of the seam in favor of the smooth, continuous form -suggesting an apparent new type of continuous magical wrap for buildings that would enable them to become literally seamless- the work presented in reflective formations is an endeavor to articulate architecture’s corporeal presence and tectonic basis through a scalar system of subdivision, serialization, repetition and variation without at the same time weakening its capacity for representational values.
uc berkeley, college of environmental design exhibitions + symposia, spring 08. apr 9 – may 9
focusing on the consequent tectonic conditions that arise from the manipulation of non-planar, three-dimensional surfaces, the project seeks to reexamine the mechanisms of formation of a series of complexly articulated surfaces: the processes by which discernable patterns come to dissociate themselves from a less finely-ordered field.
in this way, the project seeks to render the rates of change through which these surfaces transform in three dimensions in such a way that the form and its modulation -or locally constituted architecture- are in truth continual dynamic resonance.
the project employs a topological iterative technique at various scales, merging subdivision, striation and torque in order to both integrate and articulate geometry, structure and material. in this way, the natural tension created by the progressive torque of every strip assembled through a notching mechanism, allows them to overcome turning resistance. in addition, the continuous shifting trajectory of every strip in both directions produces in their intersection a range of different openings or apertures, materializing in this way an emergent synthetic pattern-field and the series of effects derived from it. therefore, the resulting pattern-field becomes resonance and expression of the embedded torsional forces as well as of their intensity. the emergent synthetic quality of the whole induces a range of different possibilities not only of perceiving but also of inhabiting and appropriating the interstitial superficial space.
the project uses hdpe (high density polyethylene), a flexible type of thermoplastic with stunning tensile and bending strengths. the project’s templates were manufactured perfectly flat and water-jet cut. the assembly process was carried out through a series of scaffoldings, which provided the initial basis for the torquing and bending of the main pieces in space. the rest of the assembly process was facilitated by the notching mechanism -as much a puzzle-like joint as a measure device for progressively torquing these complexly articulated pieces.
suckerPUNCH: what or who influenced this project?
MaxiSPINA: jesse REISER, george LIAROPOULOS-LEGENDRE and jane HARRISON / contemporary japanese textiles, didier ANZIEU’S “the skin ego”, readings of robin EVANS and discussions with alicia IMPERIALE and michael YOUNG.
sP:what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
mS: edwin ABBOTT’S “flatland”, mark c TAYLOR’S “hiding” and greg PALAST’S “armed madhouse”/ four tet, mulatu ASTATKE, dengue FEVER and calexico / family guy
sP:whose work is currently on your radar?
mS: richard DEACON, tony CRAGG, christopher TAGGART and gustavo PÉREZ.
author: maxi SPINA, architect, argentina – maybeck fellow 07-08, college of environmental design, uc berkeley
collaborators: julio CARREON-REYES, christian CUTUL, manuel DIAZ, kevin LEE, brian WASHBURN, christopher DOBOSZ, behnam FARAHPOUR, james KIRKPATRICK, molly REICHERT, yuki BOWMAN, talene MONTGOMERY, diedre FOGG, andrew PARK, rena YANG and shivang PATWA.
photographs: eric GILLET