Yale School of Architecture
critic: Mark GAGE
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Mary BURR & Katie STRANIX: This seminar focused on applying digital techniques and advanced form-making strategies to an analog or manual tradition of construction with the most historically valued and stable material—marble. The goal of the seminar was to rethink the possibilities of marble for a new generation of progressive use in architecture—in this case as an architectural panel.
We wanted to question the assumption of a panel as an opaque solid, and instead create a transparent screen. By applying a gentle curvature to the screen, it becomes a three-dimensional object, rather than a flat panel. We were interested in the work of Elizabeth Turk and her ability to carve fluid, delicate and porous objects out of marble—denying its materiality through the forms. We experimented with different techniques to create a sense of diagonal directionality across it by varying density of geometry, applying micro textures in certain areas, and altering the depth of apertures at opposing corners. We were particularly interested in the transition from high to low points, where the figure and ground relationship invert. For the final model we used a 20″x40″ high-density foam called Obomodulan in order to preserve the finer edges of the piece and achieve maximum smoothness.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
MB & KS: Elizabeth Turk, Iris van Herpen, Erwin Hauer, 40 Bond Street by Herzog and De Mueron, and Scream masks.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
MB & KS: Watching Game of Thrones, Gossip Girl; listening to Late Night Alumni and The Middle East (band).
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
MB & KS: Julia Koerner, Tara Donovan, and Ryan Connolly.
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