• Once Upon A House

    Once Upon A House
    los angeles CALIFORNIA

    Yale University SOA
    critic: hernan diaz ALONSO with erick CÁRCAMO

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    kyle STOVER: This studio examined the relationship of types versus species. Where type is viewed as “categories of standardization, then species are malleable entities in constant metamorphosis.” The brief called for a house to inspeciate a site in three acts by employing a cellular spatial logic. My project technologically romanticizes the idea of the house to present a radically picturesque possibility of inhabitation.

    Sited adjacent to a series of Neutra Houses in Silverlake, key destinations on the Grand Tour of the West, this house seeks to create an infinite space in which today’s prostheticized subject can operate. This project takes on the discourse of the house as image, or rather the house as a product, to question the nature of daily occupation.

    As today’s subject continues to work, live, and play at home, in increasingly nontraditional capacities, this house allows for the capacity to adapt and morph for an ever changing life.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    kS: Benedict Campbell, Bart Hess, Hans Belmmer

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    kS: The Rolling Stones, Last Year at Marienbad, J.M.W. Turner, Janelle Monae

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    kS: Hernan Diaz Alonso, Mark Foster Gage, Ruy Klein, Bureau V

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    • art v Says:

      ‘this house’ … puke. i would not have near the trouble accepting all these hernan turd clones if they would all stop trying to pawn them off as architecture. it’s very unfortunate that prestigious schools and their students keep buying into this garbage.

    • alex Says:

      art v: what is garbage about it…..or is it that it is over your head and can’t understand it? you cant just say its garbage with no knowledge of the project, other than what you read. I guarantee you didnt even read the description, you probably just saw it, realized you could never understand it thus it cant be architecture. Since when does architecture have to be 4 walls at right angles with punched in openings.

    • Nick Says:

      Nice project, dig the animation and glad the plants are now a staple in every HDA project. Keep it up and don’t mind the haters, especially Art V – He uses 3ds max…

    • gelander Says:

      Regardless of description or concept, there is a clear line that can be drawn when viewing these kinds of projects: those that have a technical/formal/geometric prowess or net interesting atmospheric and spatial conditions vs. those that are lacking in geometric rigor / clarity. In this project’s case, it is the latter, rather than the former. The description is seemingly irrelevant because it is the same as almost every other project of its kind, sorry Kyle, it’s “back to the drawing board” with this one.

      But hey, the photoshop/texturing work seems pretty good! Better than I could do.

      You can feel free to critique my work too, it won’t hurt my feelings…isn’t that how we get better at what we do?

      Contrary to Art V, I felt like Hernan is one of the best faculty I’ve had the privilege to study under. He was awesome and I’d urge anyone to take him if you have the chance. I’m sure Kyle had a lot of fun.

      This one from YSOA was actually pretty refreshing:

    • M Moran Says:

      “He uses 3ds max…”

      What a childish thing to say Nick. Is our architecture now judged on how well we can use certain software? Our should we be judged on how well we represent our work (hint: it’s not the same thing)? In this case, the work is hard to judge due to the lack of information. The description sounds interesting and I presume the rest of what SP left out was too.

      There is an obvious object fetishism here (in fairness that’s what you do at SCI-ARC right?). This is problematic, because it leaves us no other choice but to comment on the look of the thing. And YES, it kind of does look like puke, but I’m sure there is more to it.

    • Mike Says:

      You cannot crit HDA based on a bad project, every studio has students are do better then others.
      I personally don’t like the project regardless who the professor is, I don’t agree with formal and aesthetic choices, the student let Maya decide the outcome of the design. Mostly I would argue due to the lack of software’s knowledge, you can see total acceptance of what maya gives out in raw form. Project lacks of formal exploration and in all fairness its hard to be able to judge of what is good and what is bad when you are starting out tweaking forms in maya for the first time. Once you get accustomed to the software and do a few projects you start yo pick up and set your criteria of what is good/bad.
      In terms of other architectural qualities (non formal) hard to judge when no plans, or sections are presented, or the logic behind deriving such “building”.

    • gelander Says:

      “He uses 3ds max…”

      Yes, I completely agree with M Moran. This is a VERY dangerous statement. As a collective, we have to look beyond the tools and towards the design. There are soooooo many projects that I can look at these days and immediately break them down to the 5 commands they used in Maya to create the “design”. Also, I have not seen many Maya projects that cannot be modeled with 3dmax, which is actually a great program as well. Although, I did laugh at the statement when I first read it, but maybe it would be more apt if Nick said SketchUP.

      On the other hand, I disagree with the statement that there is no choice but to comment on except for the “look of the thing”. IMHO, it is the only thing that really matters, the final result. If you have an interesting process or whatever, great, cool, but in the end, the look of thing that would get built (this is what we do, right?) is absolutely the only thing that matters. It also has to work, functionally, but that is a given. My mom doesn’t care that I was reading DeLanda or Deleuze and gleaned my project’s concept from him, she just cares @ what it looks like.

    • Ehsaan Mesghali Says:

      As much as I’m interested in biologically inspired and informed architecture id have to agree with the general underlying notion from the above comments that much of what we see here is a surface level formal gesture at mimicking natural growth as applied to architecture. I think perhaps students often fall into the trap of “im going to design something inspired by nature therefore my building needs to look like whale genitals springing forth from the ground.” Just my un-expert opinion. Id also like to comment that although the software choice shouldn’t really dictate the “quality” of the work or help judge the content of ideas behind the project, it does say a lot about the goals and ambitions of the architect and could be equally informative. For example someone that chooses to use Rhino and Grasshopper can inform their project with algorithmic models derived from nature so they are already one step ahead of the game in defending their form against the onslaught of the arbitrary police.

    • Ehsaan Mesghali Says:

      with all that said, great project. 🙂

    • alan Says:

      mike: maya doesnt do anything for you….he did not script it….it doesnt look scripted….he 99.9999% used animation techniques that are hands on….that is the biggest misconception with these programs, they dont do the work for you, you have to do it….it is like sculpting…there is no accepting what maya gives you….you tell it what to do….you can o anything with it….i will give it to you that having no plans or sections is not helping his case.

    • Mike Says:

      Ya I know Maya I do a lot of work in it…
      What I meant in that paragraph is that to me it looked like he created something in maya (very basic looking) hit number 3 and said ok this is awesome. I been modeling for last 10 years starting with 3ds max and now in last few years more maya, so I know few things about 3d work and I know difference between scripting something or modeling and all that. Just wanted to clear that up.
      I see a lot of kids when they start out using any 3d application been at the mersey of that software due to lack of knowledge as to what and how to get something done, looks like maybe few days worth of work in it. I myself could not surrender to the 1st thing I made and said “done deal”. You got a semester make something raw and ugly then take the time and work out details aesthetics and logic.
      Just my 2 cents on that

      I defiantly get what you are saying and I agree to some extent, yes we form opinions based on the look of it, kind of like judge the book by the cover. More and more we do so, with movies lets say, you go to a store some hot chick on the cover catches your eye you will read the short plot on the back. Then you realize that the plot sucks and you go for double take on the chick if you might wanna see the movie. Well same here if one is no good you kind of hope there is something more that might be good.

    • alan Says:

      mike: i understand what you are saying about hitting 3 and i agree with you. no precision!!!

    • Nick Says:

      The software debate is an old one…lets not have it. There are always certain pros and cons inherent in using one software over another.
      “Hernan” type projects area always heavily based on form, which is ok, I dig form, especially in an academic setting. All that being said if you don’t established some sort of rigor whether it be software based or conceptually based you will rarely have a good result. This project seems to be in that realm, it lacks a conceptual rigor, as well a control of the software.

      But the good news is there is always room for improvement

    • Christos Says:

      What these last comments fail to realize is that a criteria of the studio was to create an architecture over the course of the semester that forced students to never edit, constantly layering more and more issues and geometries onto the form. What you all are reading as a lack of knowledge of Maya is simply the result of this palimpsest. The conceptual rigor was innate to how the original primitive adapted to the various scenarios the house had to go through.

    • TvE Says:

      considering the criteria of the studio there still remains the feeling, that this mayarchitecture is becoming more and more boring and ugly…

    • Nick Says:

      There is a big difference between “knowledge” and “rigor”. There is also a difference between “going back” and “editing”.

    • James K. Uphoff, Ed.D. Says:

      As I opened this site, I was quickly drawn into its illustrations and its explanations. My mind was stimulated to think well beyond my normal “in the box” approach and I found this new journey to be exciting. I like what has been designed and the explanations for it.
      Dr. Jim at WSU

    • Mary L. Rucker, Ph.D. Says:

      This is a very creative and unusual design. The artist has made us to realize that we must step outside our usual mental boxes and consider other designs.
      Dr. Mary Rucker, WSU

    • andrew Says:

      probably the most interesting aspect of this project is the dialectic between the “aristocratic lady” in the fourth rendering located on the interior of the hedge and the “peasants” hoeing the ground on the exterior. A modern day feudal gesture. Interesting, if a bit off putting.

    • Zych Says:

      Curiously, most of the threads on this project debate Kyle’s digital literacy and preference for animation versus scripting. The project is far more intelligent than that. Suckerpunch is infested with work of the ‘digerati’ that too often result in pretty shapes covered with a scripted skin and some accompanying jargon making grandiose claims about their brilliant use of the computer. Yawn. This project, on the other hand, is refreshing in its humor, its narrative, its irony, and its engagement with base material (notice that the plants are rotting and the peasants are hoeing a barren field, and contrast it with every other digitally rendered landscape on the internet today.) I also admire the clever engagement with Romantic staging, as if the Delacroix-esque sky backgrounds a meditation within nature akin to the British etchings of the 1800’s so well known to us – only here, nature is the biomemetic mutation of a building and its subjects are this globalized grabbag of characters. Kyle’s work, like Hernan’s, is compelling, and can teach us that there is much unchartered water in our digital landscape beyond the exhausted games of parametricism, if we can finally move beyond the (obvious) observation that this project was made on a computer.

    • Paul Says:

      Bravo Zych…perhaps the most intelligent and lucid critique/praise for a project I’ve seen on suckerpunch. Also, for a project about the image, the lack of plan and section should be read as a thoughtful curation of the work, rather than an oversight. Well done Kyle.

    • ni Says:

      WOW! I absolutely love this snot compared to the last piece of snot I viewed on the site. Hernans nostrils must have enough snot in them to share amongst all his students to create snotty buildings. Buildings don’t have to be 4 walls and a roof, but they definately shouldn’t be a snotty sculpture. Architecture is designed for the user, not for Hernans nostrils.

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