• the cosmetic limit

    the cosmetic limit
    los angeles CALIFORNIA

    suckerPUNCH: describe your project.

    naureen MEYER: Operating at an increased degree of the superfluous, the expanse and ability of the cosmetic effect to transform the identity of architecture is tested. Much like the relationship of makeup to the human face, the cosmetic enhances and creates illusion in existing features. In The Cunning of Cosmetics, Jeffrey Kipnis describes the effect as more “visceral than intellectual, more atmospheric than aesthetic.” The effect is an intrinsic essence; its power lies in its subtle meshing between face and makeup and the ambiguous border it creates between the two.

    In relation to surface conditions, legibility of an existing face, and the superficial nature of temporary makeup, the application of the saturated cosmetic is implemented. As a means of understanding cosmetic transformations contextually, Gordon Kaufman’s façade to the original Los Angeles Times building is operated upon, potentially revitalizing the face of the endangered newspaper and repositioning its identity in the city.

    The transference of these effects into architecture becomes the primary means of searching for a limit. The effects practice a confluence of attributes of a more traditional cosmetic, but at an increased level of the unnecessary, as the underlying identity of temporary facial amplification is exposed, redefined, reapplied.

    Fleshing out the project came in five experiments that tested the range of two different veins– cosmetic effects in relation to 1. Printing errors, and the illusions created from color misregistration and content misalignment and the translation of this 2d concept into 3d and 2. The masking of a form with a second unfamiliar and unrelated unit. The experiments intentionally left the original face of the building intact. Each experiment was manifested through a perspective render, unfolded elevation, and physical model. The five experiments were:

    1. The Fur Effect- Using the fake eyelash as a premade unit to create an ephemeral yet grotesque coat
    2. The Foundation Effect- Like cosmetic foundation, the idea of completely masking existing, undesirable features of the building was utilized to change its overall form
    3. The High Cheekbone Effect – Essentially the 3d misregistration of a building envelope wireframe onto itself multiple times to create an imploding effect
    4. The Fake Nails Effect- Using the fake acrylic nail as an opaque premade unit that followed its own logic in covering the building
    5. The Painterly Effect – The 2d misregistration of a photograph of the building misregistered onto the body of the building that could essentially function as a paint job

    sP: what or who influenced this project?

    nM: Printing errors, cosmetics, Warhol, David LaChapelle, H.P. Lovecraft, Lady Gaga

    sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?

    nM: Reading: The Cunning of Cosmetics by Jeff Kipnis, Alejandro Zaera Polo.

    Watching/listening: A lot of Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, and John Mauceri– the Beetle Juice soundtrack, Edward Scissorhands, Alexander Mcqueen fashion shows–basically anything weird, quarky and dramatic.

    sP: whose work is currently on your radar?

    nM: Grafitti Research Lab, 1st Ave Machine, Joseph Kosinski, Kara Walker, Encyclopedia Pictura, Wes Anderson

    Additional Credits: Thank you to my thesis advisor, Andrew Zago, for encouraging me to work without any creative limits.

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