suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Igor SIDDIQUI / ISSSStudio: Sugarfree is a site-specific lighting installation designed and fabricated for the Materials Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. Its prominent feature is an assembly of patterned lenses that modify the emitting light.
Installed floor-to-ceiling, Sugarfree produces a warm, amber-colored glow transforming an otherwise unremarkable corner of the Lab’s interior space. The lenses create a column-like form, subtly varied in overall geometry and surface pattern. Each piece is made from biodegradable thermoplastic that has been cast in digitally fabricated molds. The plastic is produed from a custom mix of entirely edible ingredients that are not only renewable and nontoxic, but also allow for aesthetically novel articulations of the material surface. Pliability, translucency, thickness, color, and texture are material properties that are designed from-scratch to meet the specific demands of the project. In this way, architectural form and material are designed simultaneously and in relation to one another.
Sugarfree is a part of ISSSStudio’s larger body of design work that deals with bioplastics and digital fabrication. The work focuses on plastic as a highly customizable material, while exploring alternatives to petroleum-based modes of production. By considering the material as edible, the aim is to question conventional patterns of consumption as well as envision innovative lifecycles for products in architecture and beyond.
The project was realized as a part of the Materials Lab’s public workshop on bioplastics conducted by Igor Siddiqui, Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and Principal of ISSSStudio. The Materials Lab is comprised of the circulating materials collection, gallery space for temporary exhibitions, book and magazine collection and reading area, and two classrooms. With over 27,000 materials samples, it is the largest academic collection of its kind in the world.
Additional credits and links:
[The Materials Lab at The University of Texas at Austin]
Project Curator: Jen Wong
Project Assistants: Alvan Bidal-Sanchez, Stancey Moore, and Jordan Teitelbaum.