Adjunct Faculty, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Fleet HOWER: Collateral Intricacy is a proposition for an operationally contextualized architecture that combines the logic underlying Gothic geometry with the precision and expanded capabilities of contemporary computation. By encoding specific quantitative and qualitative Gothic operations such as subdivision and proliferation of detail, a radically new architecture emerges.
The project began by questioning the possibility of the contextualization of generative design research by using as its encoded impetus an established architectural lineage. Pursuit of this answer led to a series of research investigations into the formative processes underlying Gothic geometry while a parallel development of computational studies encoded said operations. As pure research objects the generative studies revealed a potential to meet and push beyond the formative threshold of existing Gothic architecture. Investigations to understand geometric formation were conducted on a cross-scale basis, from that of planar organization to the development of detail on a local level. On this small scale Gothic formation can most often be understood as an inflated solid that produces fractal-like subdivisions when sufficient levels of curvature are reached. Such operations occur most commonly around areas of significant topological variation in a cathedral; entry ways, apertures, or the introduction of a significant structural member.
The project is not an objective translation but an interpretation of established archetypes for suitable use with contemporary methodologies. There is subjectivity in its understanding of Gothic as well as biasing of code. It is a rejection of pre-packaged linear parametrics, passing over preconceived neatness for an emergent possibility with the potential to produce results that have yet to be imagined.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
FH: Gothic geometry, fractalization, scalar cohesivity, Roland Snooks, Annette Fierro, Otto von Simpson, and my mother.
sP: What were you reading/listening to while developing this project?
FH: Reading The Gothic Cathedral, Heavenly Vaults, Animate Form, White Noise, Snow Crash, and Vanity Fair. Listening to The Antlers, Bon Iver, The Knife, and Empire of the Sun.
sP: Whose Work is currently on your radar?
FH: Kokkugia, Jenny Sabin, Tom Wiscombe, Michael Hansmeyer, and many others. . . .
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