Zach Brown | April 18th, 2010
The Plaza Theater, Atlanta’s oldest continuously operating cinema is currently showing something of a rare occurrence; a movie about the influence of architecture on the well being of and sustainability of communities. Showing from April 16th-22nd, Citizen Architecture: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio focuses on the life and legacy of Samuel Mockbee, the man who founded the Rural Studio , a design/build education program in 1993 based out of Auburn University . The film highlights also the creativity and passion of the students who have participated in the program and put in immeasurable effort into the improvements of rural Alabama communities. Through past interviews with the late architect Mockbee, his students, and the residents of these communities, the film brings forward the issues of social change, poverty, class, race , and citizenship and brings awareness of architecture’s role in these topics. //
[ design /build, issue_10, Rural Studio, volume_1, zach brown ]
Zach Brown | April 5th, 2010
GT Photo Club will be having our semesterly Photography Exhibit on April 20th-22nd.
It will be run from 10am until 3pm on all three days.
The first and last day, the exhibit will be located in the Student Center, across from the post office.
Weather permitting, we will have the exhibit outside on the middle day, on Skiles Walkway.
This is awesome and important… //
[ issue_7, photo club, photography, volume_1, zach brown ]
Zach Brown | March 1st, 2010
City of Words, 1977 Vito Acconci
This week’s search for great things to share with you all began with that six degrees of separation. This is that fun phenomenon I’m sure most of us are familiar with that consists of bouncing from one wildly interesting article to another. What makes it so enjoyable is that it wonderfully suggests that all things are linked to one another in someway.
[ issue_4, literature, performance art, street, volume_1, writing, zach brown ]
Zach Brown | February 14th, 2010
I am currently taking a class here at Georgia Tech called Morphogenetic Typologies. In it we have been investigating various precedents of spatial tectonic systems. Some people have been researching sponges, others natural erosion formations. Lucky me got Math Surfaces. No, actually, I have a profound respect for mathematics, its connection to the sciences and architecture is undeniable. Not only that, the formations of parametric functions can be absolutely beautiful, as in this Enneper surface of degree 4.
But how do you make architecture from that? I see it as a scale less form, it could be on playground as easily as a base for a coffee table in my living room.
For me the issue in looking at these math surfaces is that I find it hard to imagine creating successfully habitable spaces. As beautiful as they may be, I would probably fall out of one if I tried to inhabit it..
FUNctional work environments^^^
However, one architecture student in London, Daniel Piker, has been doing a lot of nice research in rheotomic surfaces, and is working on, to me at least, a successful union between the purity of mathematical formations and architecture.
(The word etymology from greek, Rheo; flow and tomos- cut or section)
These structures are complete, embedded and most importantly, walkable.
Here is an excerpt From Daniel’s Blog regarding the difficulty of practical application of math surfaces:
“…Images of these surfaces have naturally caught the attention of architects, and attempts to use them in the design of buildings go at least as far back as the 1970s (see Pearce and Gabriel). Minimal surfaces which form repetitive 3-dimensional structures – Triply Periodic Minimal Surfaces(TPMS) such as the Gyroid and its associate P and D surfaces have recieved particular attention. However, attempts at an architecture based on these concepts have so far been been held back by a number of factors:
One is the daunting nature of the mathematics involved. The growing popularity of parametric modeling has meant that architects are now often quite comfortable with surfaces that can be generated from a simple function giving x y z in terms of u and v, but rarely when faced with something more advanced like the Weierstrass elliptic functions used in minimal surface mathematics.
Another problem is their symmetry. Most known minimal surfaces are either single inviolable entities or they are made up of endlessly repeating identical units. To be useful for architecture a geometric system needs a degree of flexibility, the ability to adapt to varied inputs.
One possible approach is to simply reject mathematical purity and take some of the techniques for working with curved surfaces and apply them in a free-form manner. But if the architect does not have real control of the tools he uses, the work is merely a collage or imitation, and without the integrity of the maths behind it, design quickly gets into difficult waters regarding structural performance and buildability.”
[ issue_2, volume_1, zach brown ]
Daniel’s work is definitely inspiring to me, more of his work and research can be found on his blog.