Hernan Diaz Alonso, my studio critic from last year, has asked David Boira (my partner in the GSAPP housing studio) and I to TA for him this semester. Have a look at the studio brief and enjoy the Spanish to English translation:
The Horrific and the Grotesque
Hernan Diaz-Alonso with Bryan Flaig
TAs: David Boira and Alex Pincus
This Studio, a belated exercise in Fleshlogy- “becoming-animal,” is not about the mimetic career of biology into and onto architecture, but of the transference of multiple physioiologic scales into the systemic intelligence of the involute surface-dwelling, and back again. The ocular nerve of the owl, the locomotion of the giant jellyfish, the pack logistics of the rat(s), the program of the frog, are not just forms, organic symmetries and baroque geometries. They are machines, they are solutions, partial grammars to take shape for us, and we for them.
Flesh instead of surface, organs instead of volume. Flesh/organs are the two components that we intent to scrutinize in this studio. By means of tall structures and adjoin parts, the studio will reveal the design procedures as dynamic relationships. If skyscrapers are primarily intervened by means of their typological strength, we will grow them by means of their topological intensity. Assuming at stake tall building’s vertical vertigo, we will concentrate in their interior, thus not in the manner of structure, core or repetitive stacks, instead we will develop active nesting techniques whereas the inner body is not a sequential vertical proliferation but rather a discontinuous organic growth, at the same time this inner mass will stretch in/out the outer flesh. Flesh differs from surface for its layered nature, it cannot be detached from the inner organs, it is just one more coat, it is deeply attached, it stretches and compress for the sake of smoothness, porosity and voluptuous. The model is not that of transparency and structure but rather one of cuts, inserts, nip and tuck, the hand of a plastic surgeon that manipulates matter. The horrific transmutations of bodies and faces becomes the material organizations and design expertise. These mutations have the capacity to create bi-Products, emerging esthetics and paradigms, architecture has been operating of classical paradigms of beauty and proportion, within the last 10 years new techniques and technologies crated a new frame of esthetic conditions that has not been critically re configured, the studio will attempt to produce a series of definitions regarding this issues.
Digital techniques already shifts our thinking and clicking away from the wedge, volume, void, plane and into the joint, organ, cavity, skin: hardly blobs, rather fleshes. What is the language of armature, of anatomy to be derived? Mere undulation is primitive, curvation per se is passé. Iteration is intrinsic but autonomic. What is emergent, already before us here and there is a biotechnological and biopolitical shift in the vocabulary of tectonics: taxonomy, ingestion, circulation, digestion, morphology, expression, reproduction, prolapse, and affinity. Speciation, locomotion, armature, orifice, membrane, interface, anthropocentrism, actor-network, semi-living objects, genomic literatures, biomimicry and its immolations, software and its latencies, and camouflage.
B.01 The Project
Sky Scraper in ground zero.
WTC is going ahead with the Freedon tower, the studio will proposes an alternative exploration to this specific vertical condition. Vertical typology has been the most complex territory for the dynamic topology model to conquer. The studio will focus it specific technique exploration to achieve an innovative and sophisticate research in this area.
Part 1. Skyscraper organs. The first sequence (week1 to 4) will be to develop a synthetic organ that behaves in an animal manner, by pieces that collaborate and create a whole, one that is not based in repetition but instead by collaboration with specific organs. With cinematic techniques the transmutation of the organs is activated.
Part 2. Skyscraper flesh. The second sequence (week 4 to 9) will swell the thin layers that comprehend the skin, from the soft tissue to the porous matter; it all becomes an integrated morphology of substances.
Part 3. Skyscraper Animal. The third sequence (week 9 to 15) will articulate the whole relation between parts, method of syntetic fabrications, vertical circulations, presence and image.
3 days fabrication workshop in LA
Work sessions with Richard Bayley (Visual Effects artist, Fight Club, Solaris, Superman, etc), Renee Daalder, filmmaker
Alex Proyas Dark City
Godzilla Japanese versions
Ridley Scott Blade Runner
David Fincher Fight Club
M. Antonioni Blow Up
Jean Luc Besson The fifth element
Robert Wiene Doctor’s Calligaris cabinet
Terry Gillian Twelve Monkeys
Cristhoper Nolan Memento
Mathew Barney Cremaster 3
Wachovsky Brothers The Matrix
Steven Spielberg Minority Report
Tarsem Singh The Cell
Gilles Deleuze Cinema 2
What is Philosophy
The Logic of Sensation
Jeff Koons Easy Fun Ethereal
Damien Hirst Pictures from the saatchi
I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life
Mathew Barney The cremaster cycle
Paul Virilio, The Lost Dimension, Semiotext(e)
Jeff Kipnis, Mood River
Brian Massumi Parables for the virtual
Ellen Lupton Skin
Fabian Marcaccio Painting stories
Joan Fontacuberta Twilight zones
Sanford Kwinter Incorporations
Guy Brett Force Fields, phases of the kinetic
Michael Speaks Design intelligence A+U 387 to 395
Peter Eisenman Virtual House
Gerhard Richter Florence
Francis Bacon Portraits
Norbert Wu Fish Faces