Tuesday, March 31, 2009


LinkFor everyone who has not seen this already. It is a competition website, where other architects had proposed buildings for vertical farming.


Also, the Discovery Channel has made a short documentary about vertical farming. Interesting to see but only superficially informative.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Project 6: Screen Membrane Installation: Ambient Shade

a membrane; a thin pliable layer of tissue covering surface or separating or connecting regions, structures, etc.

There are several unique peculiarities accompanied by our site; the five panes of windows on the second floor, located on the street side of the Bayard Ewing Building.
The windows are in the context of a working environment, a studio space in constant use by students, therefore having a close relationship to human bodily engagement. Through investigations and observations, the horizontal characteristic of the windows led us to define our site as a ‘membrane’ which sits between the two contradicting conditions of inside and outside. The membrane allows light and view to permeate between the two conditions of great depth, and these are the aspects in which we worked respectively to create our screen.
Due to its specific orientation, the inside studio space during the majority of the day is lit by ambient light. Therefore, we have mapped the projected light qualities throughout the floor, and have reflected the quantifiable data on to the pattern of our screen. Our intention for such an approach was to interweave the horizontal ambient light quality and vertical spatial depth, cast by the membrane.
The screen serves to map the interior quality of light on the windows, acting to subtly shade the ambient light and yet still allowing the view from inside-out. It works at the same time to limit the access of view from outside-in and to set a boundary of privacy. The moment where our screen/membrane rests is where a great amount of contrast (in light) happens, therefore resulting in a flattening-effect of our screen. This very phenomenon is adapted to represent our idea in completing our project: to create a thin membrane that permeates light and view and reflects on the spatial depth and conditions of its designated situation.
Post by: Eun Joo Nicole Kim, Tiffany McGlone

Project 6: Screen Membrane Shade: Ambient Screen

Project 5: sculpt (v. sculpt·ed, sculpt·ing, sculpts ): To shape, mold, or fashion especially with artistry or precision

Through our investigations of the sun’s quantifiable direct projection into a space through an aperture, (or a series of apertures) and the experiential result of that projection, we began to understand the rays of the sun as being modifiable “objects.” Our device, attached to the existing double-hung window, is one sculpted by, as well as having the ability to sculpt sunlight. Direct sunlight coming into the room was sculpted such that at any given time, a number of light tunnels either shattered or scattered the sun’s parallel projection. Our light tunnels were sculpted such that at any given time a certain number of them would allow the true projection of the sun, coming through the existing window, to hit surfaces in that space.

Following an extensive study of the constantly shifting sunlight projection in the space, we were able to set up parameters that guided us in defining the individual light tunnels that made up the whole installation. The understanding that was imparted on us through those studies enabled us to form our light tunnels such that direct sunlight, projecting through them, can be seen as expanding and contracting (i.e. breathing) over time.

Each light tunnel was attached to a CNCed plywood frame on site. The geometry of each light tunnel enabled only a small number of variations in terms of how each individual part would create a whole—much like puzzle pieces creating the overall image.

We see this installation as an initial study or experiment that would, hopefully, give us clues on the way we are able to manipulate light in the vertical farm. Perhaps through further empirical observations and modifications, we will be able to use the installation as a tool to move forward in a more specific manner.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Project 4: Curious Mindfulness

We began by documenting the shifting qualities of the mostly diffused light within the stairwell, particularly in the volume spanning the third and fourth floor. Using a digital camera set to a constant exposure and aperture, we collected photographs of a set of views through a generally sunny day. At the same time we became interested in the various surface qualities of the space: matte plasterboard, rough painted brick, glossy painted metal, etc.

Soon this train of thought was interrupted by a serendipitous discovery. The light reflected off of the rearview mirror of a Vespa in the parking lot projected clear direct light into the relatively dim space of the stairwell, carrying with it the impression of the tree that stood between the mirror and the wall receiving the projection. This incident redirected our thought. By placing a set of mirrors outside the building, along the rail line perpendicular to the northwest face of the building, we sought to create a schedule of light events in different parts of the stairwell.

In time this lead to a second set of reflections, made within the volume of the stairway, towards other qualities of light. In one case we hoped to bounce the incoming light vertically, nearly parallel to the wall, raking the light along the surface in such a way that the texture would be revealed. In the second case we wanted to bounce the light horizontally from the risers of the stairs, echoing the rhythm of the rise, and also interacting with the passage of the occupants. The first case is potentially blinding for descendors and the second will be more noticeable to ascenders.

Project 1: Investigation of the BEB Reading Room

Project 3: Light Tracing

Our installation's goal is to bring a re-awareness of the existing ambient sources of light by emphasizing the shadows cast by a series of nails set into the wall. The shadows are only perceived at a zoomed-in scale. We created a new surface to our site's wall with the quilting pattern that the shadows create, the reflective tips of the nails that capture light from different angles, and the nails themselves. The pattern created is also a large scale "drawing" of the light conditions during the days we hammered.
The condition we found to be the most interesting was the way that each nail was installed dictated the shadow it created. In this way each nail installed is directly related to the one in front of it and the one behind it in the sequence. Creating a chain of events across the wall, with each nail becoming a specific moment in time that is related to our body position, position of our hand holding the nail and elevation on the wall the nail is placed.
Each day we regenerated the pattern by striking a vertical line of nails spaced 1" apart and then from there tracked the light throughout the day. We usually started sometime around 8am and ended around 5 pm. However this all depended on weather.

Project 2: Aperture Installation

Beginning with light studies, we decided that we needed to control our site with the use of an aperture device. This manor of mechanical control gave us ample amount of working space for the device to shift in scale and complexity for the desired lighting effects. During the design process we learned that once the device (the panels) were placed into a chosen orientation according to sun path, we could bounce color to suggest movement in the aperture. This gave the aperture endless possibilities as to which colors were used and what intensities of color seen, according to angles the panels were set to in relation to the sun. Thus, the aperture became an ever changing, ever influenced installation.

Project 1: Reading Room Installation

In our Reading room installation we worked with diffusing ambient light. We set up a grid that worked with the existing ceiling tiles to measure the amount of light that was reflected from the ceiling and the amount that would reach the ceiling to create both a visual reading of the light in the room and a new possibility for orchestrating where people sit and stand.