critic: M. Casey REHM.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Polina ALEXEEVA, Junjie GUO, & Charmaine LAM: European landscape is idyllic because it is highly groomed and domesticated, and our project site—Cala Montjoi, Spain, a vacation destination—is no exception.
Since the ostensibly natural site is actually synthetic and extremely curated, our design for the elBulli creativity campus is neither about being biomimetic or integrating with nature. Weird Nature instead aims to amplify the strictly synthetic by producing abstract architectural forms and geometries at the level of intricacy of nature, playing with the conflict between the production and dissolution of object. The project aims or push toward the extreme of artificiality. Natural organic forms are never worked; instead, abstract geometries are worked, hyper-detailed to an intricacy rivaling nature. There is no longer a separation between biological and synthetic, as both exist at the same level of intricacy and continuity.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
PA, JG, & CL: M. Casey Rehm; Baroque churches; Enric Miralles; Sou Fujimoto; Peter Eisenman; and David Foster Wallace’s essay, “Some Remarks on Kafka’s Funniness from which Probably Not Has Been Removed.”
sP: What were you reading/ listening to/ watching while developing this project?
PA, JG, & CL: Reading: Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, “1440: The Smooth and the Striated”; Beatriz Colomina, “The Split Wall: Domestic Voyeurism”; and Phillip K. Dick, Ubik. Listening to: Timber Timbre; Chet Faker; the XX; Gesaffelstein; HIM; Disclosure; and James Blake. Watching: Black Mirror, Interstellar, and lectures on SCI-Arc’s Media Archive.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
PA, JG, & CL: Gilles Retsin; Iris van Herpen; Roland Snooks; Thomas Heatherwick; Keiichi Matsuda; and COOP Himmelb(l)au.