Charged with the task of developing a contemporary villa architype, these 3 models represent the theory of malleable space. Each model represent a moment in time of a continuously transforming space — a single occupant pod for living. Situated in the north Atlantic Ocean, the pod’s envelope reconfigures in response to program, structure, and environmental concerns. When the pod encounters rough water, it closes up and protects the inhabitant. As the seas calm, the envelop gradually opens. This malleable architecture questions the conventional space planning phase of design where functions are separated into multiple rooms forever dedicated to a single purpose — bath, kitchen, bedroom, living… In these pods, you don’t change spaces to perform different function, the space changes in response to your function creating a reciprocal relationship between the occupant and the envelope.
These scale models are constructed from the same geometric principles researched in the malleable foam research project.
Typically in designing a residence, flexibility in design is limited to certain irreducible factors. A minimum bathroom is 5′ X 7′. This bathroom contains a shower or bath, a toilet, and a sink — all with their individual dimensions and functions. By addressing the typology of bathroom, both function and flexibility have a direct relationship with the human body. When each of these specific porcelain objects are viewed topologically, we can see each is composed of a water supply and a water return. Beyond these elements, the specifics of dimension are dictated by (1) the function, and (2) general human proportions and dimensions.
Removed from the restrictions of a 5’X7’ bath, we consolidated all wet functions into a single malleable space. This space is comprised of a water supply, water return, and a silicone surface that configures itself in response, not only to general human dimensions, but to the specifics to the occupant’s body.
This full scale mockup is a part of the larger research project addressing malleable architecture. We charged ourselves with the task of producing a physical showcase of the concept. In theory, the robot would constantly carve the wall, re-producing an envelope required for each moment in time. By utilizing a variable cone boolean operation, the inherent system that constructs the perforations in the wall are topologically intelligent enough to respond to scale and porosity.
More to come soon regarding the relevant research.
Each cast is the result of a 2d pattern drawn digitally and laser cut. These patterns are cut from rigid wood and elastic rubber. The liquid state of the plaster in combination with pressure stretches the malleable rubber. The result if a 3d form. Over ‘time’ the plaster solidifies into the objects viewed above. Each of these are snapshots that represent the specific circumstances of each material and process.
Starting with a laser cut pattern, a thin layer of latex is stretched over and clamped between two box molds. Surprisingly, the process is rapid with a de-molding time of 20 min. I found the process quite hypnotizing. When the pattern is developed, you can only speculate as to what the final product will be. At each de-molding, you are left with empty box molds waiting another casting.
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