The design brief for Exhibit Columbus Biennial stated that the University Installations “represent the state of architectural education as well as speculate on the potential to be a catalyst for changing the way we design and build in the Midwest ... expanding design literacy through education.” This statement and the broader brief aligned with a prior research agenda to strategically blur the lines between the academy and professional practice, taking advantage of both, within a design-build project. Research into a flexible design strategy operating at multiple scales simultaneously was also primary to this project. The rich cultural context of the city, combined with the specific site between two schools, turned the city and site into a classroom for architecture and design. Indelible Pattern(s) is designed to be challenging and didactic, telling multiple, simultaneous stories - if one takes time to explore and observe.
The project initially presents itself as a single habitable space, organized by a hanging swarm canopy above and an inscribed deck below. It requires visitors to move around and through to see these direct alignments and discover multiple indirect allusions. Visitors who slow-down, contemplate and observe, find the initial spatial simplicity as a subterfuge concealing a complex set of overlapping spaces and patterns. As one looks closer at these micro-spaces, the site and city are recontextualized as active participants forming and informing this new, temporary place. Columbus’s Modernist History is formally absorbed via regulating lines within the context while large, clearly defined voids pierce the installation framing iconic vertical moments contrasting the horizontality of the region. Patterns that are more graphic in nature are less identifiable and subtler in their operations. Two examples are the hanging swarm and the razzle-dazzle pattern in the laminated structures. The swarm reveals pixelated volumes that appear and recede as one moves and the razzle-dazzle transforms from a solid mass to thin apertures depending on the angle of view. Other tectonic assembly patterns and designed geometries allude to indelible cultural landmarks.
These contradictory smooth and discrete typologies, designed around and with the landscaping, define micro-spaces that inscribe the structure with site specificity while other organizational rules evade, obfuscate, or delay comprehension. By juxtaposing these clear organizational alignments with less physically identifiable computational rules, visitors are left with moments of clear identification and a gap in their complete understanding. Without a single story or simple answers, visitors are left with lingering questions and personal discoveries that are felt beyond the temporary exhibit, the foundation of an individual’s education.
The design process begins with an abstract, formal, multi-scalar research agenda that gets fine-tuned through hundreds of iterations as the project's constraints are understood, absorbing information and increasing precision as the design evolves. Layered into this formal agenda were contradictory interests where patterns (camouflage and glitch) obfuscate and confuse the formal precision with a secondary digital precision that is difficult for a visitor to reconcile.
Exhibit Columbus Team and Support
Assistant Professor Martin Summers
Associate Professor David Biagi
Nick Abend (4UG)
Bryan Hardin (1G)
Drew McGurk (1G)
Alexis Peneff (2G)
Steel Fabrication (Water Jet Cuts):
Rob Moses at 502 Fabrication and Manufacturing
Intertech Mechanical Services
CNC and Workspace:
Nomi Architecture, Design, Fabrication
Kelly Wilson and IUCAD
Lance and Bianca Schneider
The University of Kentucky College of Design
Partial Material Financial Support:
Jason Ralston at Huber Engineered Woods
Lexington Building Supply
The design brief for Exhibit Columbus Biennial stated that the University Installations “represent the state of architectural education as well as speculate on the potential to be a catalyst for changing the way we design and build in the Midwest ... expanding design literacy through education.” This statement and the broader brief aligned with a prior research agenda to strategically blur the lines between the academy and professional practice, taking advantage of both, within a...
- Year 2017
- Work started in 2017
- Work finished in 2017
- Client Exhibit Columbus Biennial
- Contractor Martin Summers, 502 F & M (Steel Waterjet), Nomi (CNC Wood), Intertech Mechanical (Steel Cutting and Welding)
- Status Completed works
- Type Pavilions / Exhibitions /Installations