Exploiting the definitions of pattern using methods and concepts in garment and building construction, the goal of this project is to produce a new type of surface that exists somewhere between the rigid modular assembly of the wall and the body-specific garment. A broader definition of architecture is examined, which implies a variety of interactions with our built environment and the ability to challenge our own bodies, as well as how we relate to each other. This is not an attempt to make a surface that can literally be applied to both body and space, but to make a new type of skin that challenges interaction with the surroundings.
Methods in patterning are explored based on two definitions: pattern as a model for reproduction; and two- and three-dimensional patterns as a visual recognition and/or a systematic arrangement through material properties and connections. Pattern-making as a model for reproduction inherently implies a prefabricated and standardized system, within which the ideal of production efficiency can be paired with customization. Systematic arrangement and visual recognition are inherent in typical construction methods because of the repetitive assembly of standardized parts.
Beginning with the cube as both a basic building block and an elemental architectural volume, it is deconstructed; its surface is unfolded and manipulated, creating new patterns for building components. Initially, the patterns are developed in heavy paper and three new modules are formed and assembled in aggregations - both as homogeneous arrays and as complex, heterogeneous fabrics. Based on the material properties and behaviors in paper, the patterns are tested for layout efficiencies, feasibility for production in a variety of materials, connective ability and overall visual impression. Ultimately, these pattern developments result in the fabrication of a self-structured surface from light-gauge aluminum with a variety of speculative applications.
[selected photos: Albert Chao]