Category: Inspiration

M. Arch 2011

My classmates made some incredible projects this semester. You may download the M. Arch project brochure with a brief description of each project. It is an 11 MB file. Please be patient.

M. Architecture 2011 project brochure

M. Architecture 2011 project brochure

Abney Park Cemetary

ScanLAB scanned a burned out, decaying chapel and created stunning images.

ScanLAB Abney Park Chapel

ScanLAB Abney Park Chapel

Their representation of the building as a ghosted, translucent ghost against the dark background of trees reminds me of how ephemeral models represent time and movement. ScanLAB’s results make the building seem like it is another ghost in the cemetary, a transitory visitory instead of a solid stone building.

stealth objects and scanning mist

ScanLAB are my people. They thought it would be interesting to see if they could scan mist and smoke. Their hunch was right. It is interesting. This is a scan of mist they created.

ScanLAB mist scan

ScanLAB mist scan

In a way I have been chasing a similar ghost. Ephemeral modeling relies on capturing light as it intersects with a reflective object with a camera. ScanLAB is capturing mist as their laser scan sees it.

via: BldgBlog


“We internalize our experiences as lived situational, multi-sensory images and they are fused with our body experiences. Human memory is embodied, skeletal and muscular in its essence, not merely cerebral.”

Juhani Pallasmaa; Space, Place, Memory, and Imagination; in Spatial Recall; pp. 21

Ephemeral modeling creates two artifacts. One is a bodily, muscular, kinesthetic memory of multi-sensory design lessons learned by experiencing space with occupants. The other is a two dimensional, photographic, blended memory artifact of that bodily experience.

reconstructed forms in space

This project is eerie and strange and beautiful. Project 12:31 uses images from Texas murderer, Joseph Paul Jernigen, to create these images.

Project 12:31

Project 12:31

Thanks for sending this Jack.

light painting

Alex Kesselarr Running-with-Fire-III

Alex Kesselarr Running-with-Fire-III

Alex Kesslaar makes fire and light painted photographs. This technique is somewhat related to ephemeral modeling because he is using long exposures and blending them together. Kesslaar’s exposures are longer than the panopticon camera’s exposures so he is able to paint with a small light source. Some of the photographs appear to be blended together because the light breaks in places. The break represents the brief moment when one exposure ends and the next begins. Others appear to be single, long exposures.

Ephemeral models use short exposures that are three seconds apart. The regular cadence of short exposures allows the designer to move materials and model a space. Three seconds is long enough to allow the designer to move into a new position and short enough to allow them to remember where they have been.

László Moholoy-Nagy

László Moholy-Nagy was a painter who experimented with photography as a means to expand his painting ability. He also looked to photographic methods to explain architecture. He is most famous for creating photograms.

“Openings and boundaries, perforations and moving surfaces, carry the periphery to the centre, and push the centre outward. A constant fluctuation, sideways and upwards, radiating, all-sided, announces that man has taken possession, so far as his human capacities and conceptions allow, of imponderable, invisible and yet omnipresent space.”

László Moholy-Nagy in From Material to Architecture

“‘From the point of view of the subject, space can be experienced most directly by movement, on a higher level, in the dance. The dance is an elemental means for realization of space-creative impulses. It can articulate space, order it.’ The subject in motion experiences space, and simultaneously actively manipulates it.”

László Moholy-Nagy in Moholy-Nagy: Photographs and Photograms; pp. 29

” …it is the possibility of shifting our attention from the object to the experience of the object and in so doing reconceptualizing architectural design as the design of architectural experiences.”

Dr. Julio Bermudez in Visual Architectural Experiences

Dr. Bermudez makes a strong case for digital, virtual environments as a tool to enable designers to design architectural experiences instead of architectural objects. He argued, in 1994, that traditional representation methods of architecture fail to adequately represent temporal phenomena. Time, in particular, has been difficult to represent.

“… there remains the fact that the nature of our media and techniques of representation have generated and supported a structural weakness in how we deal with the phenomenology of architectural orders”

Dr. Julio Bermudez in Visual Architectural Experiences

He argued for the use of immersive, 3D, digital environments as a tool to design experiences. Seventeen years later, there are a plethora of 3D virtual reality tools available to designers. I am in no way an expert on 3D virtual reality environments. However, I have used one laboratory. The tool helped me experience my design with my body. Still, I was viewing and experiencing the design within the constraints of the environment. I wore a head band that placed two screens in front of my eyes. Once my eyes adjusted to the resolution of the screen I could trick my brain into seeing beyond them as just two screens. I was limited by the room as to where I could walk. The lab worked well, but I was experiencing my design through the filter of the lab.

Ephemeral models allow us to quickly and easily model experiences in real time, with real occupants under controlled circumstances. The blended photograph is the visual remnant of the experience of ephemeral modeling.

I’ve summarized my current thoughts on the history of similar photographic methods by Etienne-Jules Marey, Eadweard Muybridge, László Moholy-Nagy and Annie Halliday. Included are ephemeral models from the most recent modeling session with Elizabeth Turner and some tests of how to transform this information further.

Process, research and tests

ECO pavilion by MMX

“ECO experimental museum organizes an annual contest to create a temporary pavilion in the principal patio of the building designed by artist Matthias Goeritz in 1953. This year MMX won the contest for the ECO pavilion.”

ECO pavilion by MMX

ECO pavilion by MMX

“The design intent was to remove oneself from the idea of the object. From our point of view the intention should be a system; a field that, continuing and complementing the original effects of the building, effectively evidences and transforms the diverse attributes of the space. The intervention system should create new planes, new volumes, new escapes and new ambiguities and, as a result of these elements, generate a distinct space however accessible, flexible and useful.”

Via: Plataforma Arquitectura

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