critic: Andrew ZAGO
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Andrew ZAGO: Geometric reveries in architecture are quickly quelled by the brute bearing of matter. Where to put all of that stuff that gets in the way?
The tactics for reconciling mass with a geometric construct—the various alignments, off-sets, extrusions and symmetries of architecture—generally seek a tidy logic that accounts for all the mass in as consistent a manner as possible (sometimes to hilarious effect as in the courtyard of Santa Maria della Pace). While sophisticated responses to this question undergird the entire working tradition of architecture, giving us everything from poché to the corner problem, this seminar intends to mine the potential found in a cruder approach. The approach will be to reexamine (or, more properly, productively misunderstand) the translation from two dimensions to three dimensions.
The first part of the seminar—Graphic Wrap—will take as its point of departure gift wrapping gone wrong. Ranging from studies of crude printing effects to the misalignment of seams and patterns this work explores new logic for the subdivision of volume surfaces.
The second part—Cornered—again examines the fold. With neither the traditional grace of origami nor the theoretical implications of René Thom, the fold here is a clumsy expedient; an easy gesture applied to fat, unyielding volumes.
In both parts large scale studies will be made of folds against an indexed set of inside and outside corner conditions. Working from a series of examples, including recent works of Zago Architecture, the sculptures of Garth Evans from the 1970s and 1980s, and the Splat and Splatter sculptures of Richard Artschwager, the seminar aims to introduce novel geometry/mass tactics to architecture. While the intention is to embrace crude conditions, the investigations will be exacting. An inordinate amount of attention will be paid to trivial variations and their consequences with the goal of extracting valuable qualities from the awkwardness of the initial conditions themselves.