University of Arizona, Tucson
Biomimetics elective class installation
critic: Susannah DICKINSON
Schematic Design Team: David KIM & Sheehan WACHTER
Design Development, Fabrication & Construction Team: Nada ASADULLAH, Sergio BARAJAS, Rene CORELLA, Joseph DIMATTEO, David KIM, Nikota LITZIN, Anh LUC, Joseph MIRANDA, Jaime SEVILLA, Sheehan WACHTER, Alex ZEE, & Yukun ZHOU
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Susannah DICKINSON: The group installation for the Beaux Art Ball at the Mercado San Agustin, Tucson was part of an elective class on Biomimetics at the University of Arizona.
The class began with research into various natural systems including cell growth and morphogenesis. In nature cells contain preprogrammed responses, which allow for adaptation to internal and external forces. This logic of variation and growth was developed into the installation design. Customization and overall form was created by bending and loading topologically equivalent components, allowing the system to adapt to external forces, such as the sun, while at the same time navigating the site, adapting to provide structure and ultimately architectural space.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
SD: Frei Otto, Tara Donovan, Ball-Nogues, and various natural systems, of course.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
SD: Reading The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
SD: The AA Emtech work and their lineage (which is growing rapidly) around the world.
Additional credits and links:
We would like to thank CAPLA (College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona—particularly our director, Rob Miller) for the opportunity, the Mercado San Agustin and our local AIAS group (particularly David Gonzalez) for coordinating the location, Larry Medlin and Siri Trumble for their mid review comments and Molly McKnight for sharing her lighting expertise. Also, Benjamin Supply, Tucson for donating some of the pex tubing.