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  • Possible Mediums: Excessive Volumes

    Michael YOUNG, Depth and the Optical Vector. Photo: Jacob Comerci.
    columbus OHIO

    The “Possible Mediums” Conference, which took place at The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture from February 07-10, 2013, brought together 18 designers, 120 students (from the four co-host schools: The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Architecture, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning and University of Kentucky College of Design), and special guests John McMorrough and Jeffrey Kipnis, to participate in design workshops and formal discussions surrounding the question of mediums in contemporary architecture.

    Challenging the boundaries of architectural convention, the invited workshop leaders led students in exploratory processes rooted in mediums external to the discipline (such as film or comics) or developed from atypical applications of more conventional mediums (such as drawings or models). The conference results, both in design and discourse, demonstrate the profound potential of an expansion and diversification of architectural mediums as format, as material, and as a means of projection.

    “Excessive Volumes” features designers who orchestrate depth and calibrate spatial intervals with sharp expertise. They have surpassed an internal discourse of generative computing in favor of a broader focus on the tectonic, optical and atmospheric effects generated by volumetric modeling.

    The collective work seeks nuanced effects across multiple scales, utilizing surface distortions and employing vectorial tactics. Justin Diles’s research balances a calibrated relationship between volume and mass, engaging thickness and poche at various scales. The work is deliberate and precise as it challenges gravity and redefines enclosure. In the work of Michael Young (Young & Ayata), the amplification of depth, both actual and implied are utilized to create visually deep space. The designs evoke a sense of movement and flow that blurs, drifts and fluctuates, illustrating a honed expertise of volumetric control. David Freeland and Brennan Buck (FreelandBuck) amplify volume through color, pattern and supple form that invigorates space with specific character. Their designs seek to enhance spatial qualities through multiplicity and ambiguity of scale. The group relies on refined modes of representation to present with precision and dexterity the depth and detail of the three-dimensional form.

    Curated by Kristy Balliet, the workshops in this group manipulate spatial perception often going beyond the usual proper limit and into the realm of superabundance. David Freeland and Brennan Buck’s workshop investigated the potential spatial and perceptual variability of subtle modulation while building a colorful space frame kite with straws and mylar. Justin Diles and his students studied fundamental forms by exploiting their excessively volumetric qualities. Using paintings and bas reliefs as a starting point, Michael Young’s students explored the tension of spatial desire and the manipulation of depth. The aesthetic exploration resulted in a calibrated explosion of vectors that shift in color, texture, density, and intensity of stroke.

    Additional information on each workshop, workshop leader’s bio’s, and photo/video documentation can be found on the conference Web site: http://possiblemediums.wordpress.com/

    Photos: Phil Arnold

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