Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Studio Hut(s): Wes Jones, Gary Paige, Eric Kahn

In addition to posting progress about my thesis research and work, I will also be posting my work in various other pursuits.  
                                                                  -Marc Antoine Laugier, The Primitive Hut

This post, in particular, is my work thus far completed in my design studio entitled Hut(s).  Led by Los Angeles based architects Wes Jones, Gary Paige, and Eric Kahn, Hut(s) questions the potential for contemporary applications of the concept of the "primitive hut". The studio is separated into three "iterative" explorations of the idea of "hut", each led by a separate instructor respectively.  Based on the Freudian concept of the "Id", "Ego" and "Superego", each instructor has adopted one of these distinct characterization as a "fame" for the investigations of each of the three huts. 

The "Id" hut (Erik Kahn): The feral, the animalistic, the impulsive hut.

Mapping densities in feral landscapes...
 My initial investigations are focused on mapping the effects of water on the arid desert landscapes of north-central Arizona.  I selected a "wash" in the deserts south of the Mogollon Rim, near Peyson, Arizona as the subject of my investigation.  In an attempt to tie my studio work to my thesis ideas about changing ground conditions, studying these rapid flooding events that occur in desert washes offers an interesting case study.


Media: 2400 1"t-pins in a 30"x40" piece of 1/2" thick foam core

Further research revealed a dynamic relationship between these landscapes and the fauna found there.  In particular, the mesquite tree is abundant in these extreme conditions due to an evolutionary advancement in their root structure.  Having both a deep taproot as well as smaller surface root networks, the tree is opportunistic in that it harvests the water far below the surface while also taking advantage of heavy amounts of surface water during flooding events.

Mesquite root structure.

Using the Mesquite tree as a formal, functional and structural case study,  my next series of investigations will attempt to derive architecture potential from these interesting and unlikely relationships.

The "Ego" hut (Gary Paige): The logical, the rationalized version of the "Id's" initial instinct
Loose Fine Monterrey Beach Sands
For my second "hut" track, I have began by studying the relationships between ground in water in a series of simulations attempting to find pattern and form in the simple phenomenon occurring in between them. Fluvial phenomenon such as ripples, eddies, gorges etc. serve as inspiration for further architectural studies.

Detail of sand after the influence of surface water flow

Fluvial simulation series.

"And so castles made of sand fall in the sea...eventually"
-Jimmy Hendrix, Castles Made of Sand

 Inspired by this poetic Jimmy Hendrix lyric, my formal explorations attempted to prevent this exact phenomenon from happening.  What if the sand castle didn't have to "disappear", but rather it's remains begin a new life.

 Concept drawings of sand casting process.

Plaster casting "void" models.  Plaster cast around sand then sand removed to reveal unexpected geometries, sand-castle remnants.

The "Superego" hut: TBD

Professor bios:

wes jones (from website)
During Wes’ years as Design Partner at Holt Hinshaw Pfau Jones, the firm rose to national prominence for its technologically inspired work. His designs for completed buildings and theoretical projects have received acclaim for their "critical manipulation of technology," and the "engaging contemporary experiences" they create. His eight Progressive Architecture Design Awards include recognition for the Astronauts' Memorial at Kennedy Space Center and the $180M South Campus Chiller Plant for UCLA.

After six years as Design Partner at Holt Hinshaw Pfau Jones, Wes elected to form his own practice, Jones, Partners: Architecture. Current projects include offices in Venice CA, a coffee shop in Pittsburgh, and residences in Tampa FL, Hollywood, Silverlake and Redondo Beach.

A recipient of the Rome Prize in Architecture, Mr. Jones has lectured widely, and has served as visiting Professor in the schools of Architecture at Harvard, Princeton, IIT, Columbia, UCLA and the Ohio State University, and presently teaches a studio at the Southern California Institute of Architecture.

erik kahn (from website)
IDEA is an architecture office lead by architects Eric A. Kahn and Russell N. Thomsen, both founding members of the renowned firm, Central Office of Architecture. Both Eric and Russell are licensed to practice architecture in the State of California.

IDEA incorporates over twenty-five years of design experience into a new practice; one proper to the dynamic nature of contemporary culture. It is a culture characterized by conflicting desires, competing models and contradictory views regarding how to effectively move humanity forward. IDEA develops projects that embody and exemplify a provisional response to this dynamic condition.

IDEA practices architecture as if, more than ever, ‘design matters’. Each project is not a cultural depletion but rather (as it must be) a substantive contribution, enriching the human condition.

IDEA runs on ideas, not the steady production of imagery and repeated stylistic variants others claim as architecture. Whether working with institutional clients such as the Getty Conservation Institute or the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, or the owners of a single-family house in Tokyo, our projects engage a wide array of interests under the umbrella of an architectural practice.

IDEA operates and conceives of architectural solutions at multiple scales, from installations at the Walt Disney Concert Hall to large scale scenarios for plausible, sustainable futures for the City of Los Angeles.

IDEA is invested and passionately devoted to architecture; form and utility are tightly bound together, directing opportunities for joy, delight and the production of unusual forms of beautiful intelligence.

Gary Paige
Gary is cool.

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