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  • Fragments and Connections

    Allyson TAN, "Fragments and Connections." Model.
    troy NEW YORK

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    critics: Stefano PASSERI and TA Miguel LANTIGUA-INOA.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Allyson TAN: This dwelling, which resides on Mars, is made for a researcher and AI.

    The scientist is researching the ice caps and water formations on Mars’ surface and underground respectively. The relationship between the two beings is that of mutual skepticism, where the scientist is hesitant and wary of the AI (due to him not understanding the robot’s overall goal or existence), but respects its support as a helper. While the scientist is discovering more about water on Mars, the AI, a floating sphere with a mechanical eye, gains more knowledge. Each support one another in their goals: further research, and learn as much about the universe as possible.
    This house can be divided into two equal parts, where one is the living area and the other the research lab. The scientist can wander through both spaces whereas the AI is only allowed in the living space, because there is no need for the AI to physically be there, and is, in the end, prohibited through the scientist’s program. While the AI cannot physically exist in the lab, it has the power to control and observe it from the living space. It changes the structure of the lab, as it moves columns, capsules, shift beams, completely recalculating the physical appearance. It’s as if the building is alive.
    Color plays an important factor in the function and future use of the house. White and yellow represent the Mars landscape, blue marks the areas the AI can float through, and green indicates the areas the AI can control. Over time, being alone and separate changes to prolonged loneliness and soon after togetherness, as no human can survive by isolating themselves. Eventually, the scientist will allow the AI to accompany him into the lab. There will be a shift in color, as the blue will take over both sections. There is no permanence. The green and blue will continue to shift and turn as long as the scientist and AI continue to exist. As a being full of curiosity, the AI will learn about feelings, empathy, and compassion. Soon the skepticism will become a certainty, the mutualism will become friends.
    The design of the house is derived from a simple Cartesian grid and a self-designed map of a Mars picture. The photograph I chose depicted the volcanic structures on Mars, and I decided to emphasize the space between them. From there, two different portions of the grid I made, became the basis of extrusions for the final house. This semester-long project began as simple extrusions and boolean differences to one of complex geometry with multiple extrusions serving certain functions for the overall building. Some functions include hallways, windows, waterways, and resting areas.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    AT: When creating the grid, I based it from a previous project of a cube that represented “folding”. For the colors, I was inspired by Hodgetts+Fung’s Jesuit High School Chapel. Through the concept of using glass prisms, light, and a white wall to create light patterns that change throughout the day, I understood the importance and beauty of using colors in a project.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    AT: I was watching some Japanese animation films, such as Makoto Shinkai’s “Kimi no Nawa” and various Hayao Miyazaki films as I was intrigued by their use of theme and symbolism in their works. Along with movies, I listened to orchestral pieces from Joe Hisaishi, Thomas Bergerson, Toby Fox, and Eric Whitacre to name a few.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    AT: Howeler and Yoon, Hodgetts and Fung.