Course: ARCH 8251 - Graduate Design Studio 1
Instructors: Gayla Lindt and Andrew Lucia
For GD1 studio we were tasked with designing a building for the Institute for Figuring, a combined studio/living space/gallery for a resident mathematician, and artist. Initially, I was interested with the site’s place within the competition between various neighborhoods and how those borders have changed over time. Specifically mapping the historic boundaries of Prospect Park, the industrial corridor, and property geared towards the University of Minnesota, generated a field of vectors that comprised a visually-compelling image.
While the site exploration was not as fruitful, I carried the process of specifically mapping changes in boundaries as vectors over to an exploration of how the artist and mathematician spaces might mix. A compelling way to explore this was to look at how two inks might mix. I set up an admittedly clumsy, though curiously effective, light studio in my kitchen and set the camera to take pictures every second, making sure to record at least 15 seconds of material even when the colors became too muddled. I repeated this process, changing a few variables along the way including the container shape, temperature of the water, and the number of ink pigments released into the water. From here it was a matter of finding a way to quantify the forces of mixing and representing them graphically.
To do this I used the “Image Trace” function in Adobe Illustrator to convert the images into vector objects which then could be exported to Rhino and put into a Grasshopper tool that generated the boundary changes as vectors. The Rhino script segmented each curve into the same number of segments and then connecting like-numbered segments, creating a field of vectors. As these fields were generated and layered on top of each other, certain densities emerged within the image, showing greater movement and defining certain spaces that could then be read in the vector field.
The next step was to use these vector fields as a basis for form-making and strategic planning. Much as a seer would read someone’s future in a wad of tea leaves, I traced over the twisting lines over and over again until forms began to rise out of the paper. These forms, while somewhat amorphous, shaped the planar and sectional qualities of my final proposal: a building about mixing, shaped by mixing.
Spatial Proposition - Plan