suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
evan TRIBUS+ezra ARDOLINO: Historically, the most critical element in the delivery system of ornamental effects was applied molding. From the Greeks and Romans to the Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque through the Victorian period, exterior and interior moldings served to provoke visual interest through the play of light and shadow across its articulated surfaces. Moreover, molding was underwritten by the relationship between the precision of its inherent geometry (a cross-section extruded along an axis) and its effectual geometries (the surfaces that receive light and project shadow).
This came to an ignominious halt with the advent of Modernism. Ornamentation in general and moldings in particular were put in the critical crosshairs for removal. They were deemed fussy and extraneous, symbols of the decadence of the previous era. The post-war housing boom coupled with manufacturing’s ability to make, distribute and sell cheapened versions of moldings did worse. It rendered them vanilla and banal. Finally, post-modernism performed the coup-de-grace, co-opting moldings as part of an awkward representational system befitted to its ideology. Today, molding no longer performs the ornamental role that it had been finely calibrated to achieve.
This seminar seeks to reinvigorate the instrumental and conceptual use of moldings as part of the material protocols of ornamentation and to reestablish it as a site for architectural innovation. With the current technological advancements in computational design software and computer numerically controlled (CNC) production methods, the material and ornamental possibilities for moldings are robust. In particular, there is great potential in delivering ornamental effects through its textured and articulated surfaces. Towards this end, the seminar downplayed three-dimensional modeling in favor of producing surface articulation through a precise, rigorous and intentional use of the CAM software package. The students are required to understand and calibrate the relationship between the underlying geometry of found wood molding, the various algorithmic controls of the CAM software and the protocols of the machining operations in the production of a highly intentional set of surface effects. Intense iteration and both 2d and 3d analysis were employed as a means to understand, control and generate these effects. In total, we are asking not what moldings are, but what they can do.
Jung Hoon Jin
Evan Tribus has been a Visiting Instructor in the Undergraduate Department at the Pratt Institute School of Architecture since 2007 where he teaches design studio. He has previously taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and has been an invited critic at numerous institutions. He has a wide breadth of experience having worked for a framer, a cabinet maker, a rapid prototyping firm, a machine shop, the fabrication arm of Panelite and several architecture offices including Roman and Williams, Holt Hinshaw Architects and Xefirotarch. Mr. Tribus currently directs a design and research studio with a focus on material practices, computational design and digital fabrication. Evan earned a B.S. Arch. at the University of Virginia and a M.Arch. with distinction at Southern California Institute of Architecture.
Ezra Ardolino is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Pratt Institute School of Architecture where he specializes in digital fabrication and computational design. In addition to teaching at Pratt Ezra is the owner and operator of, Timbur LLC, a computer-aided design and manufacturing firm that specializes in CNC (computer numeric control) fabrication technology. In the past Ezra has had the privilege to teach at the Cornell University College of Architecture, Art and Planning and the opportunity to work at the offices of ROY, servo, su11 and Dupoux Design. Ezra earned a Master of Architecture I degree with academic distinction at Pratt Institute.