University of Pennsylvania, PennDesign
critic: Matias del CAMPO
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Sarah J. BLITZER: Intersecting Boundaries is an exploration of the deformations that result from the intersection of a random and a gridded system. I began with the idea of intersecting particles using two systems: regular/gridded and irregular. My aim was to explore how these two intersecting systems can be used to create space. These intersections are the basis of the form.
The program of this project was urban housing with a spa. I relied on the gridded, regular, system to organize the interior space, which resulted in 3 different types of space — studios, spa, and family units. The family units are larger and offer more opportunities for enclosed space or privacy. The more open studios occupy the space between the regular rows of the grid.
Ultimately, the resulting spaces seep down and bubble up, deforming residential units to create variety within. Structure becomes inhabitable and the boundary between units undulates. These units take on a more fluid character, springing from the intersection between the regular and the irregular.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
SB: Liquid suspensions, nanocomposites, particle aggregates and agglomerations, neural networks, and spongy bone tissue.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
SB: In studio, we always returned to the contrast between Semper and Deleuze. Matias had me do a close reading of Nina Rappaport’s “Deep Decoration.” I also listened to an unending stream of “This American Life.”
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
SB: Last summer I took a study abroad class on sustainability in Scandinavia. Now Scandinavian architects and architecture turn my head.