Texas A&M University, College of Architecture
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Kokkugia / Roland SNOOKS with Mitchell Lab: The Fibrous House is an experiment in the generation of volatile fibrous assemblages. . . .
It is a speculation on the tectonics and affects of designing an entire project from a single geometric type, the strand. The house appears to emerge from the landscape, its fibrous tentacles converge in a turbulent flow of strands that wrap to enclose space and dissolve back into the landscape. The form is intentionally chaotic, a wild assemblage that expresses its intricate internal order, without smoothing over or taming its process of formation. The articulation and reading of the project is inseparable from its methodology – it is a vivid expression of the intensive algorithmic process of its becoming. Without being deliberately referential, the expression of the project lies somewhere between the natural fibers of plants and the tissue of flesh – not metaphorical but intentionally disquieting.
The project expands on the techniques originally developed in the Fibrous Tower project in 2008, by increasing the population of strands and freeing them from the influence of a predefined surface. Unlike the Fibrous Tower, this project doesn’t rely on the topology or form of the project to be explicitly modeled, instead the form emerges with its structure and articulation as a dense mass of strands.
The project indulges in excess and opportunistically takes advantage of the redundant nature of the geometry that is produced. The highly networked thin strand geometry is inherently strong due to its structural depth and connectivity. It is the excess of the strands that allows the geometry to operate in multiple roles simultaneously – the strands define form, structure, surface, and articulation of the project. Each of these architectural imperatives occupies the geometry in different ways. What is redundant for one is optimal for another. The geometry is the negotiation of these competing behaviors.
The prototype for the project explored the capacities of composite fiber techniques in the fabrication of highly intricate fibrous assemblages. Rather than the typical application of composite fiber fabrication as a high performance material, fibrous composites were explored for their expressive capacity and the blurred condition created between surface and strand. The fibers delaminate from the surface to create this blurred condition and form an ambiguous threshold of enclosure.
In the last few years there has been a proliferation of high-density strand projects within contemporary computational architecture. However typically these projects apply strands as though it were texture, a dense but ultimately undifferentiated smear of articulation. Impressively intricate as these may be, they don’t create a complex organization – the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. In these projects the texture or pattern of fibers are applied to form, rather than form emerging from the behavioral interaction of fibers.
Fibrous assemblages are part of the broader methodological approach of Behavioral Formation, developed by Kokkugia. An approach that draws on the logic of swarm intelligence and operates through multi-agent algorithms to self-organize architectural design intent.
Additional credits and links:
A collaboration between Kokkugia / Roland Snooks, and the Mitchell Lab @ Texas A&M, Directed by Gabriel Esquivel.
Design Director: Roland Snooks
Project Team: Ryan Wilson, Drew Busmire, Jacob Patapoff, Emily Knapp, Hong Bea Yang, Jose Padilla, Nick Gutierrez. Ashley Ricketson.
Fabrication Team: Jorge Cruz (Project Manager), Adrian Martinez, Cody May.