Architectural Association, Design Research Lab (AADRL)
critic: Theodore SPYROPOULOS
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
26° (Christian ERL, Foteini KONTOLEON, Vineet VORA, & Liqun ZHAO): Rheo is a material deposition research project that is aimed at creating a dynamic prototypical space framing system.
It challenges the notions of plastic fabrication in architecture through exploiting the phase changing capabilities of viscous materials as an intrinsic part of the fabrication process itself. Rheo questions further the conventional nature of space frames and the regular organization of line networks embedded within archetypically discrete architectural elements by pursuing continuity in the system’s organization of lines.
Its respective instantiation merges together an array of strategies – patterning, weaving, branching and bridging – that were developed through feedback loops, rigorous and systematic research. Synergistically combined with the material behavior, these strategies yield a plethora of emerging spatial performances characterized by the differentiation of architectural elements, the interplay of scales, the continuity in transitions and the diversity in densities, transparency and lightness.
Rheo’s evolution could be explained within a broader framework of its analogue fabrication and its digital computing.
The aspect of analogue fabrication comprises of physical fabrication experiments aiming at conceptualizing and developing a vocabulary of architectural elements by mitigating between computer numerical control and material behavior through phase change.
The fabricated specimen thus provides an insight into the optical, spatial and material possibilities of such a unique structure, and successfully proves the space framing and propagating potential of this formally unique and continuous language.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
26°: Frei Otto, Buckminster Fuller, Gordon Pask, and Theodore Spyropoulos.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
26°: Reading: R.Buckminster Fuller, Your Private Sky; Franz Kafka, The Trial; and Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Listening to: Black Heart Procession; Queens of the Stone Age; and Sunlounger.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
26°: Tom Wiscombe, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Ross Lovegrove, and Minimaforms.
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