sean LALLY: wanderings is an attempt at a ‘climatic infrastructure’ for commercial and public domains that augments and re-configure existing external micro-climates for occupation and programmatic use. the project instigates a discussion of the materiality traditionally found in and around the geometries and forms that we as designers traditionally rely on to define a physical boundary. these ‘material energies’ of thermal variation, air velocity, humidity, and spectrums of light, all have opportunities beyond being relegated to producing moods or effects; as they are often explored through little more than metaphors and poetics, or worse, as a resource for providing preconceived –rule of thumb interior comfort zones and “energy efficient” buildings.
the project operates on existing external micro-climates, altering and controlling them for the use of programmatic activities. this ‘climatic infrastructure’ looks to ways of lifting these materials from their dependence on surfaces and services and in doing so, to deploy them as building materials in and of themselves; thus redefining our physical boundaries and the resulting design innovation of new spatial and social organizations on the urban public and commercial metropolis.
the project is focused on the physical boundaries we make as architects for organizing activities and program. acting on the ground plane, the attempt is to create multiple zones (micro-climates) that pull from the existing climatic context, creating distinct and definable edges, boundaries and transitions of these materials. operating as discrete nodes that build and aggregate together, so as to make external spaces usable for activities and programmatic actions that might otherwise be assumed to need four walls and ‘conditioned interior. the project then goes beyond this to do more than simply ‘condition’ exterior spaces, but instead seeks new territories of design, infrastructure, texture, and social interaction. the intention isn’t to simply move activities ‘outside’ but to tease out the spatial and social implications when ‘walls’ and ‘geometry’ aren’t our primary means of spatial organization.
date: 2008, size: 800 m2
location: rice university, houston TX