Five Parametric Projects That Will Blow Your Mind
September 17, 2012
“Parametricism” has become a byword of sorts for “indulgent” formmaking, or “form for form’s sake”. Yet inherent within parametric design is the ability to mass customize and localize individual components within the architectural form, thereby making more and more complex shapes that much easier to fabricate. This–the ability to increasingly realize complexity at architectural scales–is, no doubt, a significant development for the making and experiencing of architecture.
But fabrication is contingent on rapid-prototyping machines and their availability, which, more often than not, are out of reach to most architects and designers for extended periods of time. That’s the great thing about the GE Garages, a mobile lab that spreads the good news of rapid prototyping across the country. The lab arrives at New York’s STORY this October, and the GE Garages: Making Things Competition is giving you the chance to design the storefront window installation that will welcome the throngs of needy designers. And they’re giving you $20,000 to do it.
But hurry! The deadline for submissions is this Thursday, September 20 at 11:59 PM (EST). In the meantime, we thought we’d round up some great parametric projects–both interior installations and full-fledged pop-ups–that point to the future of architecture. Continue.
Installed in 2010 in a Lower East Side gallery, ‘CHROMAtex.me‘ by SOFTlab was a temporary piece made up of 5,000 unique colored panels, fastened together with binder clips (!). The gradient of color that passes from the edges to the inside of the installation gives depth and contrast to the vortex-like form, which burrows through the gallery space, consuming it while revealing its contents only to passerbys outsides.
This second iteration of Matsys‘ “P-Wall” stood on the fifth floor of the SFMoMA until last November, when the bulbous installation was removed. Their loss. The piece is notable for its cloud-like surface, which begs the visitor to stroke it. According to the architects, the wall was an exercise in generating differentiate patterns based on grayscale values, which were used to make form molds. These were filled with plaster, which, after hardened and reactive to various gravitational conditions, resulted in the definitive bubble cast.
We’re not exactly sure what’s going on with Gage/Clemenceau‘s Nicola Formichetti Pop-Up store for the 2011 BOFFO: Building Fashion series. The space, which stood inside a Chinatown storefront last September for two weeks last fall, looked like the inside of a disco ball, its wall covered with thousands of individual mirrored panels that formed the cave-like interiors. Formichetti’s flamboyant wares met their match in the architect’s hectic, fractured design, which, needless to say, would be near impossible to envision without advanced digital tools.
Produced with ISOFORM (Edwin Liu) for the The Extension Gallery, in Chicago Illinois, Easton + Combs’ “Changing Room” is a cyclonic structure made of hundred of lightweight CNC-milled polycarbonate panels. The design features an innovative structural solution, whereby the dichronic-colored panels are woven into a three-dimensional herringbone pattern; to the exterior, the mirror-sided panels reflect light and the gallery walls, while on the interior, the layered purple-hued polycarbonate creates an altogether different, more private condition.
‘The Morning Line‘ (2011) in Istanbul
The “Evening Line/Morning Line” by Aranda/Lasch represent an on-going project for the innovate architectural firm. The former installation was exhibited at the 2008 Venice Biennale, while the latter has been displayed in many cities throughout Europe (it was last seen in Istanbul). The design is comprised of chains of a single element, a hexagonal panel, recursively copied and rotated several hundred times in all number of scales. These are linked in various configurations to form the structure of the sculpture.