Hernan Diaz Alonso, my former teacher, has asked me to teach with him this semester at Columbia. We’ll be expanding on a body of research done over the past few years into problems of affect.
Hemostology Coagulated Architecture
Advanced Studio V
Hernan Diaz Alonso and Alexander Pincus
Liberated from the obligation to communicate meaning whether historical, philosophical, or theoretical, architecture is today once again free to give full expression to its creative potential. Exploring the possibilities of the interiority of the architecture, as a new dynamic field that can be occupied as a network of parts, creating a new continuity trough space. The relation between virtual and physical usually has been defined as a kind of duality, between two different kind of worlds, the studio, will try to explore new boundaries of possibilities of re-definition between these two conditions. Critical to the discussion of interiority is the conditional understanding of the irreducible ‘unit’ that composes architecture. Investigating the nature of the unit and what is irreducible to architecture will allow for us to explore the topic of coagulation and liquidity.
Cells Conditions (Modulation, Stability, Orifice)
“….Architecture is never truly at rest. As structure and as system, some parts are fixed while others are in a constant state of flux. A given building and site materializes in continuous modulation between stable and unstable states. Walls are stable, but doors that open and close are not. Foundations are stable, fenestrations less so. Over the historical course of its production, habitation and decay a building’s biography is characterized as a kind of modulation of state conditions, embedded in each other. Circles inside of circles: relative stability as temporal system condition. The relative state condition is not absolute and can’t be understood simply as animation versus inertia. The instability of one event, its mutability may be a location within a larger system that, while dynamic is also so regular that it has to be understood as a stable state condition.
The flow of blood may be unstable, but the circulatory system is stable.
The relatively instability of space is not determined entirely by engineered form, it is a condition of cell systems as well, that is to say liquid or solid, of hot or cold, of singular or connected. Each of these are not conditions onto which architectonic structure happens, they are systems into which structure adapts itself, into which it inserts itself, as a stabile state within them, one that both produces environmental conditions and reacts to them, interiorizes them and exteriorizes them. The building becomes a (failed) stable condition within the larger instabilities of the generic system.
Architectural form conventionally connotes solidity. It is a limit barrier, concretely fixed, through which flows pass and circulate. The solidity of form gives shape to circulation by internalizing it and channeling its vascular fluidity. This studio, however, takes fluid and fluidity as the material of form and formation. Liquid is not something to fill volumes but the substance of envelope itself. In other ways, architecture has designed liquids, as a fountain, or in a garden. But here, even as liquid conforms to a designed figure, it is remains a problem of hydraulics, something additional to or incorporated into structure.
Skin is punctured, flesh severed, and the blood that animates the body from within drools forth. The apparently solid surface of the body splits apart, as the liquid emerges from wound. It drips and smears, draining away. The liquid core of the body externalizes itself. The blood is something the body expels and remains, by what it contains, the unique signature of that body. The blood holds and is that trace of its source. Immediately the body begins to reverse the splitting. It uses the blood coming forth as the means by which to close the same gap. The blood begins to coagulate. The sudden revelation of liquid from the solidity of skin becomes, less suddenly, a process of liquid becoming solid again. The blood thickens and slows. It covers the gap and closes it. Soon the thickening liquid dries and darkens. The surface of the skin sees a scab where there was once an opening. The scab thickens, becomes a provisional skin, so that new skin cells can mature underneath. Once they have, the body again expels this blood as well, no longer liquid, now hard detritus.
This studio follows on the projection of flesh into form, but does so by desolidifying the architectural body into liquid. Liquid is understood as form in its own right as a model for solids themselves. Liquid is a contiguous body but it can be scooped it or diverting it into an infinitely divisible number of tributaries and droplets. It suggests in this divisibility the design of multiple non-contiguous events, each liquid, that relates or incorporates in new ways. Liquid formations. Liquid can suspend solids (floating).. Liquid is inside the body and the body can swim through it (inside andoutside). No liquid is infinitely transparent (fog). Cloud is liquid form. Clouds as precedents. State transformation, phase transition: ice, liquid, steam.
In Maya, forms will remain liquid. There they will drip, flow and remain slippery. Additionally, the studio will have full access to the fabrication lab, and there, our models of blood and water will coagulate into hard forms: a proliferation of big and little scabs. We will pay careful attention to how the phase transition between the liquid and the coagulant, the digital-cinematic to the material-physical, is able to create architectural bodies.
The studio will base its research on particle systems, scripting, Cellular systems , Incremental transformations
Fabrication and solid state, the studio will have full access to the GSAPP fabrication lab, which will allow the research to be evolved from the abstract speculation into very specific production experiments:
Assembly strategies, Structure systems, Aesthetic effects, etc.
The studio will replace the Brooklyn bridge with a new specie of Coagulated architecture, that will allow to infrastructure and space to mutate. as is one that transforms from one state to another (like coagulation itself)…..it should have to start as one thing and then become something else (programmatically).