Columbia University GSAPP
critics: François ROCHE & Ezio BLASETTI, Luis Felipe PARIS (T.A.)
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Allen GHAIDA, Carlos GARCÍA FERNÁNDEZ, & Bian LIN: Our focus was to explore the idea of a zoo in relation to a high-rise.
The zoo cage is no longer a scenario of captivity but of evolution and confrontation where the last subjects of Darwin’s tree of life come together to perform a spectacle of instigation and various degrees of conflict.
Humans and primates are interlaced in the vertical structure developing relations of mutuality, symbiosis and confrontation. Multiple double sided cages where both humans and various primate species observe each other in the performance of life in a continuous dynamism.
The structure develops vertically and the cages and its dwellers grow in a perpetual and promiscuous entanglement ranging from friendly observation to fear of territorial trespassing.
Following the systems, the machines produce these cages as cartography of danger, indistinct territories, and mutual inter-dependencies. The various degrees of conflict unfold and eventually include the humans as paths begin to dissect, intersect and protrude. Proximity from the various primate cages suddenly disintegrates and the reliance of the machines substrate density is the main body of protection.
Computational logic was explored to define the machines trajectories and modes of locomotion which mimic the movement of the primates it will cage constructing its material density to control both danger and safety.
The machines, as mechanical hybrids, condense the last stages of evolution and replicate the locomotion of the different species performing their movement in an oscillatory rhythm. At the same time they release the material subtract for the construction of the structure allowing the contingency of production, the possibility of failure and the agency of gravity that deforms the material along the process, expressing the vertigo of facing the void.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
AG & CGF: The project site had a tremendous influence on our structure. A shopping mall in the heart of a commerce district in Bangkok with a lackluster zoo on the roof meant to serve as an attraction for consumers to visit and spend money in the mall. In a way, our project is influenced by the idea of capitalist dystopia. Who is really caged and, most importantly, for whose entertainment? That idea, coupled with our scenario and the design-research through computation being explored by François, Ezio, and Luis influenced our means of production.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
CGF: Reading: J. G. Ballard, High Rise; Peter Sloterdijk, “Rules for the Human Zoo.” Watching: Chris Marker (dir.), La Jetée; Peter Greenaway (dir.), A Zed & Two Noughts.
AG: Reading: Frank O’Hara, Meditations in an Emergency; Ludwig Wittengstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Listening to: TV on the Radio; Sigur Ros; and The XX.
BL: Watching the film 12 Monkeys and listening to some piano/rock.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
AG: The work of Roland Snooks, Gabriel Morales (Retinal Substance), and Alisa Andrasek
BL: Ezio Blasetti’s computer design including code, Biothing, and Toyo Ito.