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Portfo lio

B ri an T. Rex


Portfolio

B ri an T. Rex

Ta bl e of C o n te n ts

M a k i n g D o A rc h

d e s i g n & c on s tru c ti on of a n a c a d e m i c p rog ra m a t S ou th D a kota Sta te U n i ve rs i ty

Vo l ga C o r n e r

m a te ri a l re s e a rc h , d e s i g n , & c on s tru c ti on of a mon u me n t a t th e c e n te r of d own town Vol g a , S D

Wr i gl ey S qu a re

m a te ri a l re s e a rc h , d e s i g n , & c on s tru c ti on of a mon u me n t a t th e e n d of M a i n Stre e t i n M ob ri d g e , S D

P u tti n g Cu r ti s B a c k o n th e M a p

re s e a rc h & d e s i g n of a c i v i c c e n te r i n th e j u n c ti on p a rk of C u rti s , N E

S u r fa c e s i n S u r re c ti o n

p e e r- rev i ewe d & p u b l i s h e d s tu d y of a n eve n t st r u c t u re a t P l a c e d e s N a ti on s , E x p o ‘ 67, M on trĂŠ a l , Q C

T h e S a n dbo x

p e e r- rev i ewe d a n d p u b l i s h e d p e d a g og i c a l s tu dy of a n i n te rd i s c i p l i n a ry f i rs t- ye a r d e s i g n c u rri c u lu m

2018


In the Fall of 2010 I founded the Department of Architecture

outputting devices. The shop gives us intellectual space to study by

(DoArch) at South Dakota State University. I have engaged the

making. We’ve built Passive Houses, Lamella Arches, Dieste Walls,

development of DoArch as an act of cultural design and practical

Precast Concrete Follies, Cross-Laminated Timber Beams; DoArch

demonstration. Today, we are 160 students in two degrees and

builds architecture. The palatte of our architectural education is

seven full-time faculty teaching a NAAB accredited professional

the “Building Arts”.

curriculum with almost one million dollars in research funding. There hasn’t been a new professional program between Milwaukee and Moscow, ID in over a century. The state is a network of big towns bookended by two small cities. The largest professional office in SD has ten architects. How do we make a small professional program in a small place focused on small practices?

Quality public space and urbanity is the professional measure of our aggregate building practices. The fabric of towns in SD are an under-served urbanism. They are urban but they are not metropoles. How one fashions public space at this scale in this society is an open question that is particularly exacerbated in the communities of SD. The towns of SD are eager to serve as our laboratory. This has

I have fashioned DoArch to fit this place using South Dakota’s

become a focus of the curriculum in a set of protracted engagements

needs and resources as our teaching and research opportunities. I

that address the urban imperative of architecture. We profess that

recruited, hired, and trained a stable, diverse faculty of seven, only

the aggregate effect of our practices are “Public Works”.

one of whom had previous teaching experience. They have shaped DoArch developing their scholarship and instruction. I designed six years of curriculum and we performed it into an architectural culture. DoArch channels our work through Building Arts and Public Works because they are relevant to the communities of this state and possible with this set of personnel at this university.

The Albertian underpinning of the professional program and our place as a liberal art in the univeirsity is that we don’t make buildings or cities. We make models and drawings of cities. Architecture is the last great humanistic form of graphical inquiry. Contemporary representational technologies preference space-making through construction simulation, reinvigorating the fundamental material craft

We had a shop before we had a studio. In the first two years we

of architecture. We profess that the mediation of making buildings

used milling machines and laser cutters as our primary digital media

and cities is the foundation of our discipline.

p.1

Making DoArch


Maki ng D oA rch

2010 to 2017


introductory

pre-professional s

first year

second year

fall

professional

spring

ARCH 101 Seeing Architecture

ARCH 201 Reading Architecture

3

2

The curriculum is two degrees; a pre-professional four year Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture and a professional Master of Architecture.

years of the coursework. This enables an overlay for a three year second degree professional track through the curriculum. We

ARCH Histo Const

3

3

DSGN 151 Design 1

DSGN 152 Design 2

ARCH 251 Pre-Professional Design

ARCH Pre-P Desig

3

3

4

4

studio

graduate no more than 15 M.Arch degrees each year. practical

ARCH 221 Intro to Fabrication

professional, humanities, practical, and technological with practical courses subdivided into studio and shop paths and technological

shop

courses subdivided into building and media technology paths.

1

From the start it was our goal to rethink pro practice by delivering

CM 216 Construction Materials

theoretical content in a sequence of four pro practice courses. Our specialized facilities enabled us to create a new sort of course, the

bldg tech

4

shop—a hands-on course where material process is explored to theoretical effect. The shop complements the studio.

ART 212 Art History humanities

The professional coursework is strictly in the last three and a half

The curriculum is divided into four primary disciplinary tracks:

spring

fall

technological

This was laid out in abstract without the faculty to teach it. The

ARCH 222 Intro to Media DSGN 110 Creativity 4

rep tech

eventual faculty, in-fact, shaped the particulars of coursework and they’ve put a point to curricular tracks such as representational technology and the humanities by professing in the classroom their scholarship and expertise. We recruited a diverse faculty who have come together working in concert to shape and teach a highly directed and coordinated curriculum.

general

ENGL 101 Composition 3

SPCM 101 Speech 3

GEOG Geogr 3

A&S 111 Citizenship 3

INFO 101 Informatics 3

PSYC Psych 3

MATH 120 Trigonometry 3 17

ENGL Creat 3 14

16

16

pre-profes

p.3

Making DoArch


professional studies

studies

g

H 241 ory of truction

H 251 Professional gn

third year fall

fourth year spring

fall

fifth year spring

sixth year

fall

spring

fall

spring

ARCH 401 Recording Architecture

ARCH 571 Arch Practice 1 Regulation

ARCH 572 Arch Practice 2 Economics

ARCH 671 Arch Practice 3 Stewardship

ARCH 672 Arch Practice 4 Management

3

2

2

2

2

ARCH 242 History of the Profession

ARCH 441 History of Culture

ARCH 442 History of Cities

ARCH 492 Topics In Architecture

ARCH 592 Topics In Architecture

2

2

3

3

3

ARCH 352 ARCH 451 Pre-Professional Fundamental Capstone Building Design

ARCH 451 Fundamental Building Design

ARCH 551 Intermediate Building Design

ARCH 551 Intermediate Building Design

ARCH 552 Building Design Capstone

ARCH 651 Graduate Design

ARCH 651 Graduate Design

4

5

6

6

6

6

6

5

ARCH 461/561 Shop

ARCH 461/561 ARCH 461/561 Shop Shop

ARCH 461/561 Shop

2

2

2

2

ARCH 431 Structures GE 241 Mechanics 5

ARCH 433 Systems

ARCH 432 Surroundings CM 353 Constr Struct 5

Design Elective

ARCH 321 Digital Modeling

3

2

ARCH 421 Atmospheres ARCH 422 Portfolios 2

PHYS 115 Physics for Architecture 4

2

ARCH 631 Envelopes

ARCH 632 Interiors

2

2

ARCH 521 Workflows

ARCH 522 Tech Docs l

2

2

G 101 raphy

Grad Elective 2

CH 101 hology

L 283 tive Writing

13

14

15

15

12

s s i o n a l B FA i n A rc h i t e c t u re

13

12

11

professional Master of Architecture 120

48

Making DoArch

p.4


UMan WPG

FGO

NDSU

MTSU UMin MSP

SDSU

MKE UWM

FSD

RAP

CHI

ISU SLC UNL

UCD DEN

KSU

DSM

OMA

MCI KU

STL

SDF

ICT BNA

AS

ABQ

OKC

MEM

MSU

PHX DFW

AUS SAT

NOL HOU

We set out to make a small program in a small university training students from small towns to work in small practices in a vast landscape with little connection to an architectural culture. We’ve worked to define the discipline of architecture to an institution eager to build up a design culture. We’ve making a place in the university for a professional program that is keenly connected to the humanities, p.5

Making DoArch

design, and engineering. We took care to map, catalog, graph,


Practice is theoretical. The history of the profession frames the emergence of new forms of practice.

Building arts are technological. The distinction between high and low-end technology is irrelevant.

MTL OTT Left: Collecting 32 models made from 320 black museum board sections. Each model is based on the history of section as a representation tool.

Left: Cutting a thin-tile ceramic Timbrel vault in half. The vault is a historic building technology that explains compressive structures during

Center: Presenting the design and performance criteria for Passive House 01.

TOR ROC

The design and construction of the house is funded by a grant from the South

a semester-long Building Shop.

Right: Photographing a 6 inch by 6 inch wooden cube model in the tall

Center: Finishing a 7-foot tall wooden Lamella Arch. The arch was designed and fabricated in a Building Shop focused on wood joinery.

the spaces of the model.

CLE

NYC third

second year

PHI

fall

spring

fall

spring

fall

fall

spring

spring

pre-professional degree

F undergraduate admission

fall

BAL

WAS

u n d e rg ra d u a t e

s t u d y

g ra d u a t e

RDU

BFA in Architecture

High School Diploma

spring

CLT CAE

ATL

p rof e s s i o n a l

JAX

second year

first year

TMP

s t u d y

professional admission

s t u d y

Baccalaureate

p re - p rof e s s i o n a l

s t u d y

fall

spring

summer

fall

third year spring

fall

spring

and analyze the program’s siting and its developing organizational

MIA

systems. After eight years DoArch is a professional program of 160 students and seven faculty.

The program received NAAB accreditation in 2017.

Making DoArch

p.6

professional degree

spring

Master of Architecture

fall

sixth year

fifth year

fourth year

year

graduate admission

first year

CMH

Right: Welding a steel beam, struts, and letters for the Volga, South Dakota “Hollywood Sign.” The sign is set on a series of 14-foot tall concrete “V”s at the main intersection of Volga, South Dakota.

PVD

BUF

DTT

BOS

grasses outside the Architecture Building. A series of stairs define and make


U.

S.

Hi

w gh

ay

14

hi

c

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&

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hw

e

rn

R

R

oa

d

Vo l g a C o r n e r

C

ag

t or

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l ai

Kas

an A ve

nue

nue

S

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co

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d

S

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Kas

an A ve

p.1

Volga Corner


Vol ga C orner Vo l ga , S D

Volga is the Manhattan of South Dakota in that it is surrounded by water. The main street, Kasan Avenue, has a two block north-south commercial core adjacent to the grain operations along the railroad tracks. 2nd & Kasan, the formal epicenter of town, is a hollowed out core. Though the formal core is lost, this is still the town’s primary public space. There once was a bandstand in the center of this intersection. The Ice Cream Social and Harvest Fest are held on the SW corner with events full of shared music, games, and food. Four parades a year turn around the judge’s tables at 2nd & Kasan . Over the years the empty lot at the center of main street has remained a primary yet informal public gathering place. The Precast Concrete Institute funds study of precast technologies. In Volga we have an opportunity to reformalize public space in danger of disappearing. Our precast study is concrete components set on the corner. Our urban charge is to reform the corner. Technologically, what is the maximum formal effect with minimum concrete volume in formalizing a corner? In our precast study this lead to questions about minimum cross section and eccentric loads. A facade of concrete “vees” containing the corner begs the spatial exploration of the material parameters that limit precast components. Eccentric slenderness of such vees demanded precision difficult to attain in erection and lead to a reconsideration of craning for such pieces.

2016 to 2018


p.3

Volga Corner


Founder’s Day

HS Band Parade Competition

Ice Cream Social

Fourth of July Parade

Harvest Festival

Homecoming Parade

The Volga Corner project is a monument to the culture of community and events that make Volga what it is today. The structure formalizes the public space already active with civic practices at 2nd & Kasan.

Volga Corner

p.4


p.5

Volga Corner

7’-6”

3’-4”

1’-8”

outside face fo bench edge

12”

1’-8”

centroid

16’-0”

8” 8” 8’-7” 13’-4”

6’-0 1/4”

bottom edge of precast

centerline of footing

8”

bottom edge of precast

3/4” 8” 8” 8” 8”

8’-7”

inside face of precast

inside face of precast

outside top edge of precast

outside bottom edge fo precast

5’-0”

8”

centroid

8” 8’-7”

8”

7’-6 3/4”

20’-8 3/4”

7’-6”

7’-6 3/4”

outside top edge of precast

precast concrete components

outside bottom edge of precast

outside top edge of precast

inside face of precast

inside face of precast

outside top edge of precast

outside bottom edge fo precast

5’-0”

cast in place concrete foundation

PRECAST CONCRETE FACADE for VOLGA, SD

centroid

8”

centerline of central 2nd St footing

centerline of eastern 2nd St footing

centerline of Kasan Ave face

back of sidewalk

back of curb

adjacent building

face of adjacent building

southern limit of precast

8”

15’-0” 15’-0”

centerline of Kasan Ave footing

10’-1 3/4”

outside bottom edge fo p

centerline of 2nd St face inside face of precast inside face of precast

outside top edge of preca

outside bottom edge of p

outside top edge of preca

back of sidewalk

back of curb

3’-5 1/2”

top of precast

height of centroid

top of precast bench surface

ground line

bottom of precast compone top of cast in place foundati


western limit of precast

centerline of west 2nd St footing

7’6”

precast

ast

ast

precast

four concrete “VEE” constructions are set on four cast in place concrete pier foundations each “VEE” is made of two precast concrete “EL” components for a total of eight precast concrete pieces weighing 3540 lbs for a total of 28,320 lbs

The town wants a sign. They need formal space. We find resonance in the super-text paintings of Ed Ruscha and the sign studies of ScottBrown and Venturi. The cantilever beam puts the structure up in the

e

ent ion

air, visible to passing highway traffic 3 blocks away. The Hollywood Sign is 38,000sq.ft. of sign looking down on 180,000 residents. The Volga Sign is 400sq.ft. looking down on about 1,600 people. Both signs are 6” by 6” of sign surface per citizen. Volga Corner

p.6


cast-in place form-work in wood survey, excavation, form-work, & rebar set foundation poured in form-work in excavation concrete ‘Vee’ form-work in wood precast concrete ‘Vee” elements poured ‘Vees’ craned in & welded onto foundation beam & sign fabrication beam & sign craned in & bolted onto ‘Vee’

p.7

Volga Corner


st ee ls ig n pl at e

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ST

CL

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s

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conn

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bly

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h fla

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plate

column centerline

column centerline

st ee

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an

til

ev

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be

am

w

in

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rm

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ia

te

beam

conn

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Volga Corner

prec

ast a

ssem

bly

p.8


Project Team Brian Rex, principle investigator Brian Lee, co-investigator Iman Ebadi, co-investigator Alejandro Marin, co-investigator & ARCH 351, Fall 2016

p.9

Volga Corner


4 1/4"

6 1/2"

4"

4 1/4"

4 5/8"

4 7/8" 5' - 8 1/

5 1/4"

4"

5 1/2"

5 7/8"

9'

6 1/8"

- 0 3/ 4"

6 3/8"

6 3/4"

7" 7 3/8" 7 5/8" 8"

8 1/8" 9' - 0

8 1/2"

3/ 4"

8 3/4"

9 1/8"

9 3/8" 9 5/8"

10"

9' - 1

10 7/8"

5/ 8"

10 5/8"

10 1/4"

2' - 10"

10 3/4"

11 1/4"

11 1/4"

- 8

1/

2"

11"

11 7/8"

3'

11 3/4"

- 1'

0 3/8"

1' - 0 3/8" 1' - 11"

1' - 0 1/4"

Volga Corner

p.10


p.11

Volga Corner


Volga Corner

p.12


Project Team Brian Rex, principle investigator Josh Wagner, fabrication assistant Garrett Walter, fabrication assistant & ARCH 351, Fall 2013

Wrigley Square is a 7,000 sq. ft. triangle of public space built at the base of Main Street. This new civic space was cut into a vast asphalt surface where they once dropped freight at the end of the line on the Milwaukee Road.  Wrigley Square is a sight, a stage, and a sign.

p.1

Wrigley Square


Wri gl ey S quare M o br i dge , S D

match line A-A

2016 A I A : S D M e r i t Awa rd

G

H

I

3'6-3/4"

3'6-3/4"

2'10-1/4"

K

3'6-3/4"

2'10-1/4"

2'7-5/8"

2'7-1/4"

letters

frame

overall

46.5 lbs

74.3 lbs

52.8 lbs

51.8 lbs

58.4 lbs

47.4 lbs

6-5/8"

top of letters

3'6-3/4"

2'8-1/2"

6-7/8"

J

Z

3'8-5/8"

1'4-3/8"

top of frame

Y

1'8"

6'7-5/8"

centerline of horizontal Y

X

centerline of horizontal x

24"

3/4"

2'5-1/2"

4"

bottom of letters

7-1/2"

bottom of frame

6"

3/4"

top of slab

2012 to 2015

4'9-3/8"

4'10"

4'6-3/4"

4'8-5/8"

4'8-1/8"

4'8-7/8"

bottom of slab


Urbanistically, the new triangular square functions as a traffic control device that clarifies paths to unravel a dangerous and complicated pattern of vehicular flows.  What makes the project possible in execution is that we mesh the power of material research and building arts to urban design scholarship of public space in small towns.

p.3

Wrigley Square


One afternoon three years ago, while doing a study of the town, we invented Wrigley Square as a 1:1 chalked out stunt on the vast sheet of open asphalt that used to be the freight drop for the railroad.  We showed our lines to the city council and municipal leaders.  The town responded by opening up a triangle of ground and pouring curbs right where we had chalked it out. They called our bluff. Wrigley Square

p.4


e w v i

t o

g i n t t i S

’ s l l u B

e a v G r

Flattered that the town found that our chalk idea was made of concrete thinking, we engaged the community in dialog and dove deep into its history. Mobridge sits across the Missouri River from Standing Rock Indian Reservation.  Sitting Bull’s grave lies within sight of the site.  The land across the Missouri is still contested ground.  It made sense to build frames in which to catch a story. We M

knit the story into the landscape by building it out of fragments of the

p.5

Wrigley Square

M

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u

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i

R

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town’s history and cultural identities.

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a


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R

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a

d

The square develops in four phases: Phase 1

The Curb

Phase 2

The Wall of Frames

Phase 3a

The Point

Phase 3b

The Platform

Phase 4

The Bench

Wrigley Square

p.6


p.7

Wrigley Square


Wrigley Square

p.8


p.9

Wrigley Square


Wrigley Square

p.10


Project Team Brian Rex, principle investigator Josh Wagner, fabrication assistant Garrett Walter, fabrication assistant p.11

Wrigley Square

& ARCH 351, Fall 2013


Each phase engages “sight, stage, and sign” in a different way. The curb makes the sign of a stage. The wall pulls sights beyond into the site. The point codifies the site as a stage for cruising activities. The platform transforms into the music venue for the annual “Sitting Bull Stampede”, the July the 4th celebration, and as a stage for the range of fishing and hunting tournaments that go on year round. The bench signs the function and place of the site. The shared effect is a set of discrete architectonic landscape elements. We went to Mobridge and drew a new public space at the end of the line.

Wrigley Square

p.12


Ma

tree

t Ax

is

Co

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St

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Ax

is

in S

The roof as airmarked constitutes one of the most effective as well as inexpensive advertisements...The town may appear as a good place for a vacation, a home or a business. The air marker puts the town on the map. Ass is tant S ecret a r y of C o m m e rce J .M . J o hnso n , 1936 p.1

Curtis N-E


P ut t i ng C urt i s B ack on t h e Map C u r ti s , N e bra s ka

How is architecture t ha t i s l e ss t ha n a b ui l d i ng ? Ra th e r t h an b uilding up fro m t he g ro und , ca n we sha p e a n d progra m s pace in a p ra ct i ce a k i n t o fl uffi ng t he e a rth ’s su r face, its grounds , l i ke a ho t p i l l ow ? Thi s p ro j e c t t u c ks the architecture i nt o t he g ro und ra t he r t ha n opposi ng it. Cu rt is is under two m a j o r a i r l i ne ro ut e s. M o re people s ee Curtis to d ay fro m a b ove t ha n i n t ow n. M ar king Curtis fro m t he a i r p ut s C ur t i s b a ck o n th e m ap. We ins cribe the sur fa ce of t he t ow n p a r k wi th in terc onnected pavil i o ns co nst r uct e d fro m t o p o g ra p h i c proc es s es to make a n a i r - m a r k v i si b l e a t 3 0 ,0 0 0 fe e t. Th ese gro und-forms w i l l m a ke sp a ce fo r i nt e r t w i n i n g progra ms of collegial a nd ci v i c a ct i v i t i e s such a s a n aqu atics center, an a m p hi t he a t e r, a m uni ci p a l ha l l , a n ag ed hall, recreatio na l l aw ns, a nd cro p st ud y fi e l d s Th e air marks are ban d e d sup e r - scr i p t l e t t e rs. Th e fon t’s outline is quite i nha b i t a b l e . The l e t t e rs a re m oved into- - as is . U se , funct i o ns, a nd syst e m s in ten sify in the po ch é of t he b o und s. To p o g ra p hy wit h in the letter’s fig ura l b o und s a re t he o nl y fo r ma l parameter. Deviation m ud d i e s t he fi g ure fro m t h e a i r.

2005 to 2012


A pair of collegiate, b a nd e d sup e r - scr i p t l e t t e rs a re m arked on the gro und s of t he p a r k b l o ck a nd t he n in terogated for fo rms of p ro g ra m i n t he t i p of a kn i fe by in sc r ib ing, folding an d sco r i ng t he l a nd a nd t uck in g th e arc h it e cture into it. The t hi ng i s l e ss t ha n a b ui l d i n g arc h it e cture that Ma rc Tr i e b ca l l s, “a n i nfl e ct e d g rou n d s � p.3

Curtis N-E


A

B

C

A

B

A

C D

8 B

C C

B

1

C

8

C A

C

C

8

B

B

D

C C

C

B C

A

B

B

8 8

C

SURFACES

SPACES

lawn : A

1 : pool

grounds : B

2 : ag hall

walk : C

3 : mtg hall

5

bosco : D

4 : theater

C

fences : E

A

A

6 : operations 7 : wash / store

8

B

5 : porch

6

8 : store

D 7 7 C

C 5

8

C 6

2 6

D

7

7

C C

5

C C

7 A

7

B

C

3

5

6 8

C

8

Curtis N-E

p.4


A E A

C

8

C

E

B

A

D

2

E

B

A

D

2

E

B

A

2

D

7

7

E A

B

C

D

5

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E

B

C

5

C

E B

A

E A

A A

A A

A A

E

A

B

C

E

8

5

C

6 B

D

2 8

B

E

5

C

6

C B 2

E

E

E

B

C

E

E

C

8

C

A

C

5

E E

A

C

5

C

8

SURFACES

SPACES

lawn : A C

1 : pool

6

C

grounds : B

2 A

A

walk : C

3 : mtg hall 4 : theater

fences : E

5 : porch

7

E

C

Curtis N-E

A

7 : wash /Bstore

D

8 : store

E

E

B

C

5

C

D

6 : operations

5

p.3

5

C

bosco : D

7

E

2 : ag hall

B

A

D B

E B

A

C

Curtis N-E

C

A

E

A

E

E p.5

C

5

B 5

A

C

B

E


A

E

E C

B

A

E B

C

2

C

E A

C

2

C

2

B

A

C

2

B

8

A

E C

A

C

E C

E

E

E

E A

6

A

C

E

E

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L

C

A

C

E A

E

E B

C

A

E A

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B

8

A

E

E C

A

B

8

C

B

C

6

C

B

C

6

C

B

C

6

C

B

A

B

C

E D

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E

B

C

B

C

2

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Curtis N-E

p.6


p.1

In Surrection


S urfaces i n S urrect i on P l ace D es Nat i ons at Ex po ‘ 6 7

Forty years ago in Paris Claude Parent and Paul Virilio presented the

typified as the SURRECTION - a reconfiguration of the ground via an

utopian urbanism of l’Fonction Oblique throughout their nine self-

uplifting of the landscape subtle enough to reshape topographical

published issues of Architecture Principe. l’Fonction Oblique was a

features while never introducing a new hole in the topological

radical repositioning of the relationship between the ground surface

surface of the site. The topology of a Surrection is a local zone of

(site) and tectonic form (building). l’Fonction Oblique called for

oblique and artificial continuity in the topology of the earth, which,

designing in a surface gradient somewhere between horizontal and

by nature, is a single surfaced sphere. The artifice of the Surrection

vertical. The basic premise or initiative arose from cognitive studies

does not change the topological nature of the situation; only the

showing that inhabitation and passage across formally oblique,

topography is modified as it folds, ventilates, and fluffs that prime

canted, and slanted surfaces consciously builds awareness and

surface without puncturing the land’s native conceptual continuity.

physicality in architectural experience. In the oblique one is always in

This is an investigation of how André and Patrick Blouin’s Place des

descension or ascension. Either way, the oblique surface inhabited

Nations, an events space built for Expo ’67 in Montréal, resonates

or occupied is always present in the mind. Parent and Virilio were

with Parent and Virilio’s l’Fonction Oblique and of their conceptual

confident that forms and functions imbued in obliquely oriented

idea of the Surrection. The Place des Nations was the site of

surfaces would lead to a reconfigured practice that multiplies

Expo’s opening and closing ceremonies and hosted 72 “National

programmatic potential in the city. In construction on an oblique they

Day” events that spot-lighted a participating principality’s culture

proposed a spatial technology for cross-programming and diffusing

and foklorica. Expo ’67 hosted Haile Selasse, Queen Elizabeth,

necessary circulation programs into the inhabitable space of the

Lyndon Johnson, Maurice Chevalier, Count Basie, Robert Wood, Ed

city. This call for a blurring of tectonic form and landform denies the

Sullivan (three times), Princess Grace, Charles de Gaulle, Robert

key historical distinction between the artifice of the building and the

Kennedy and many other dignitaries from around the world. Of

nature of the surroundings- between inside and out. This leads us to

the 100+ pavilions and structures constructed for Expo ‘67 in

an alternate sensibility in architecture- a formal typology of obliquely

Montréal, only the Place des Nations remains essentially intact

oriented and superficially configured constructions that Virilio

today. In this three year investigation I’ve consulted primarily visual

2005 to 2012


and oblique “uplifts” of the ground. Two others, though completely uplifted, detached, and floating correspondingly over raised plinths set in pools of water, are cognitively and conceptually continuous with the ground. The other two buttes are ‘surrected’ into a V.I.P. Dais and a stage for ceremonial torch lighting and speechifying. material, like the aforementioned construction drawings, at the

Each of the six primary landforms has a single surface connecting

archives of Andre Blouin in the Canadian Centre for Architecture

its summit on the periphery to the square in the center. These

(CCA), the archives of the Corporation for the Canadian World

key surfaces are constructed of both cast-in-place beton brut and

Exposition (CCWE) at the National Archives in Ottawa, and

precast concrete elements. The secondary facets that support the

in l’Archives de Montréal to develop a critical analysis of the

continuous concrete surfaces all slope away from the square and are

development and construction of the Place des Nations and a

surfaced in soil and turf. These turf faces appear pulled away and

search for a resonance with the Surrections in the influential and

circumstantial surfaces in the process of “uplifting”. They hold the

concurrent writings of Parent and Virilio in Architecture Principe.

real topographic breaks. Radiating out from the square and between the six key heights are slots of ground surface that lead out of the

At the center of Place des Nations is a 180 foot by 180 foot flat

Place des Nations either visually out into the surroundings, or to

square surface that was the core event space of a cycle of daily fetes

simply channel expected crowds of 7,000 daily event spectators.

and demonstrations in the summer of 1967. This open flat square

Spanning these radiating slots of space, set between each of the

of space is surrounded by a finely differentiated series of inward

six landforms, and running along the project’s perimeter is an ring

looking and sloped risers. Surface Surrection is rooted in the artifice

of elevated laminated timber bridges that were designed, like the

of this concentric zone surrounding the square. In the Place des

rest of the active layers in the project, for both passage and sitting/

Nations construction drawing set the inhabitable surfaces of these

watching. The visual effect of these suspended structures is an

oblique landforms are not labeled as planche (floor). Each key height

elevated datum circumscribing the limits of the place in plan while

in the construction drawings is labeled with a distinctively geologic

finer scaled active and oblique surfaces start at the square and

descriptor: butte, tribune, terrain, place, and bassin. The main six

carefully drop and carve space under the bridges before feathering

structures in pronounced Surrection surrounding the central square

themselves out and beyond in the surrounding landscape. Broad

are four buttes, a tribune, and a terrain. Though formally different,

slots of space under the bridges frame vistas from the central square

they are made the same way, from the same material, with the same

out across the fairgrounds to the Canadian Pavilion, upriver to the

geometries, and follow the same basic formal and programmatic

historical Pont Victoria, and across the old harbor to the city’s skyline.

types. Two of the butte landforms are simple superficially continuous

The design is the first project completed by the father and son team

p.3

In Surrection


of André and Patrick Blouin. André was a French born and Ecole

published nine issues of manifestos and projects in 1965-66. The Place

des Beaux Arts trained architect who worked for Auguste Perret on

des Nations is an anomaly in so many ways from the rest of the Blouin

the dismantling of the Nazi’s Atlantic coast defense positions and

practice. Maybe there was an external influence or guiding hand?

in building reconstructions at Le Havre for Perret before emigrating in 1952 to Montréal to take charge of the thesis year at the

The earliest sketches we have for the project are dated December ‘63.

Université de Montréal and start an influential practice in the city,

They explore orienting the structure so that it takes advantage of the city

Blouin et Associe. André Blouin was a rare architect in Montréal

views across the harbor. In very general terms it resembles a concentric

who balanced academic and professional careers. As a frequent

bowl; incomplete and open on the city side to frame the view as a backdrop

contributor to l’Architecture d’Aujourd ‘hui and as the curator for

to a central stage. So, from the start the designers were cognizant of

the influential 1959 Rétrospective Le Corbusier in Montréal, he

the importance of framing views of the surrounding fairgrounds and

was a significant voice of Montréal architecture, urbanism, and

cityscape. Late in an ensuing set of drawings documenting a struggle

theory in France and vice versa. André remained active in practice

with the form of this amphitheater we find the first sketches of the

until 1995. Patrick graduated from McGill University in 1965,

project in section and immediately a new problem becomes evident- it

was made partner in his father’s firm in 1966 (Blouin et Blouin),

isn’t as easy as it looks in plan to make this structure separate of the

completed a series of projects with the firm, was elected the

grounds it sits on. The Isle Ste-Héléne surface surrounding and grounding

national president of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada

the Place des Nations is only about 6 months older than the Place des

(RAIC) in 1983, and died of suicide in 1984. The title block of

Nations. The ground plane being depicted in the sketches from 1964

the front sheet in the construction drawings says that the project

isn’t out in the St-Lawrence yet- it’s a changeable abstraction and the

was designed by Patrick Blouin and checked by André Blouin.

Nothing before or after in the Blouin oeuvre works the way that the Place des Nations does. There’s no sign of a practice in “surrection” in any of their other projects. Its prominent location on the “prow” of land splitting the St-Lawrence River down the middle is fixed in the fair’s master plan as early as the spring of 1963. Designed over a three-year period of 1963 to 1966, Place des Nations has extensive documentation in over 50 preliminary notes and sketches in André Blouin’s archives at the CCA. Parent and Virilio announced the Groupe Architecture Principe in 1963 and In Surrection

p.4


designers are finding the seeds of continuity between Place and site

wood bridge system. In a handful of simple and decisive

in the thumbnail sections here. About this time Parent and Virilio’s

sketches we see the gradient of the buttes fall from pyramidal

church of Ste-Bernadette du Banly in Nevers is constructed.

to oblique, a note of “Corridor ou autre Moyen d’allez!” lead to

Gradually, as more and more sectional studies are completed, we

a flurry of bridge speculations, and from the square, out under

find the initial bowl, the audience seating element of the theater,

the bridges, and through the frames of space the Blouins note

begin to breakdown into various configurations of smaller riser

as, “les espaces humains, la vie grouillante,” they find new

components and a design note of “elements plus fort autour”. In these

consideration for those city views that were the first observations

drawings the theater stage transforms into a clearly demarcated

in the project. These are the last sketches and notes that

flat neutral grounds at the center of the project. In these design

are anything less than a formal presentation perspective or

sketches we find notes like: “Conception: Theatre Total” as it’s

construction drawing of the constructed Place des Nations.

discovered that there was no need for a separation between stage and seating; they note “Fonction: rendez-vous et repos” when

The time lines of the Place des Nations in the Blouin office in

we see the project excise circulation space and begin to double

Montréal and the publishing of the nine issues of Architecture

program the oblique surfaces as both seating and promenade,

Principe by Parent and Virilio in Paris are particularly intertwined.

and a key sectional note is distinctly reminiscent of Parent and

There were similar influences in the air from others in the art and

Virilio’s oblique with: “partir en gradient”. Soon in the process we

design world of the mid-60’s. Constant was designing “nomadic”

find sheets of sketches exploring the formal dynamics of truncated

places for a people free to move across the ground by designing

pyramids and section drawings still with no delineation between

a city in the air (New Babylon). The Metabolists were plugging

a structure and it’s surroundings. Before coming to rest on the

buildings into their surroundings and suggesting a sort of

constructed forms the designers explored techniques for dealing

interchangeability between building and reasonably similar “sockets”

with this “formlessness” by laying out a scheme of highly regularized

of site. Hans Hollein was juxtaposing the “infrastructural” super-

and vertical elements and a scheme involving numerous small

ground of an aircraft carrier into a pastoral European landscape.

buttes of different sizes only loosely arranged around the central

Robert Smithson was developing the notion of “non-site” and making

square. These seem to be one last consideration for making this

his earthworks. None of these resonate in making sense of the

a building. About this time the first issue of Architecture Principe,

topograhic and topological grounds of the Place des Nations the way

with the text “l’Fonction Oblique” is published by Parent and Virilio

the project of l’Fonction Oblique and the notion of Surrection do.

By 1966 all of the elements and qualities of the constructed

Whether or not Patrick and André were aware of and working

place had been explored and noted, except one- the laminated

through the evocations of Claude and Paul is truly academic-

p.5

In Surrection


though circumstantial degrees of separation makes the direct tie an interesting possibility. Claude Parent and André Blouin were schoolmates at the Ecole des Beaux Arts at the end of World War Two. Both Paul Virilio and André Blouin had worked on the Nazi’s Atlantic fortifications after the war . Up through the 70’s both Claude Parent and André Blouin had written for and were active in the culture around l’Architecture d’Aujourd ‘hui and the periodical’s influential publisher André Bloc. Regardless, I would argue that the Place des Nations, free from the baggage of Virilio’s Bunker Archaeology and the need for sanctuary in the program of the oblique, is more succinct an example in “Surrection” than Parent and Virilio’s church at Nevers.

Place des Nations design sketches and notes that correspond to the time of a particular issue of Architecture Principe confirm the potential for a critical reading of the manifestos and texts of the Parisians in the practice of the Montréalers. What ultimately comes of this study is simply a chance for further articulation and conceptualization of the sort of formless spatial distinction between site and building to which both projects conceptually ascribe- in Surrection.

In Surrection p.6


Notes: 1

Paul Virilio, in Architecture Principe no.6 (Paris-Nanterres:

Parent and Virilio, August 1966) (n.b.- The French word surrection is typically used in geological descriptions to mean an uplift in the These surfaces remain continuous with the ground in the same way that the parts of a bikini or Hawaii are continuous. 2

Andre Lortie (ed.) The 60s : Montreal Thinks Big

(Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2005) p.54 3

These show a distinctive and very mature drawing hand

in the sketches and drawings that are marked in graphite and black “Flair” felt tipped pen. It is always accompanied by André’s signature and date. The drawings also show another distinctive but less confident drawing hand utilizing bright design markers and single word notes and comments. These are never signed and are often overwritten by definitive strokes of graphite from the other “hand”. On close inspection of the trace of documents and events of the time it appears as if the project is a sort of sounding block through which André and Patrick calibrated their shared resources and influences via different educations, tastes, and experiences. That’s another story. 4

An urban myth in the Montreal architecture community says

the reason that Place des Nations looks the way it does is that the Blouin’s were strongly influenced by the Aztec ruins at Teotihuacan and other archaeological sites they visited on a Mexican vacation in the summer of 1965, returning just in time to strike the final design while heavily influenced by their tourism. André had also studied and toured these places in Mexico on a travel grant in 1952. 5

See: Paul Virilio, Bunker Archaeology (New

York Princeton Architectural Press, 1994)

p.7

In Surrection


In Surrection

p.8


For 18 years we’ve been working through the Sandbox, a short first

The surface is where the action is.

year architectural design project that introduces students to shaping

J.J. Gibson2

and specifying material relationships in space in an iterative and

The primary medium or interface in the project is a 20” by 20” by 10”

reflective set of fundamental modeling and drawing exercises.

half cube 2 by 12 lumber box that is filled half with sand and half with

No ideas but in things William Carlos Williams

1

air. The sand in the box is a cubic, viscous form with only one surface “in play” for the student to work on. It disarms a beginning design

This paper looks across the Sandbox’s various iterations to track

student by using a very familiar and plastic medium: sand. Sand is a

our developing understanding of where ideation occurs and how we

granular solid that is under the influences of gravity and its physical

construct it of tectonic things. In our path to teaching an architecture

cohort--friction, cohesion, and angle of incidence. Its neutral state

of things we think we’ve illuminated a flaw in a lot of fundamental

(condition of stasis) is a flat surfaced, level, five-inch deep granular

design education. We present this trajectory for consideration as a

and cubic pool in the box. Sand can seem as much liquid as does a

necessary general retooling from a design foundation where ideation

solid. According to Avrum Stroll3 this interface, the surface between

is designed IN the OBJECTS of architecture to a course of study

air and sand, is a privileged position in space. The surface is a shared

where ideation is constructed OF the THINGS of architecture.

extent of two materials. Surfaces are geometric, chemical, and

We started thinking through the Sandbox as a pedagogical model

ultimately visual manifestations of form. Critical questions addressed

in 1999 as an interdisciplinary four week beginning design unit

in the initial sand box pedagogy are: What is a surface? What is a

on fundamental 3-D design principles for students majoring in

two-dimensional description of a surface? How does one transform

merchandising, fashion, interior design, art, graphic design, and

between 2-D and 3-D in a sophisticated and inventive way? In what

architecture. It was a visual literacy program. We imagined the

ways can an element and a surface relate to each other? (part to

simplicity and directness of Hejduk’s 9-Square Grid but also had to

whole relationships) What methods can be used to record a surface?

contain the goals and outcomes in the project as “a-architectural” and reduced to a timely essence of what seemed relevant for a variety of

description of the initial sandbox iteration

design practices.

The exercises start with a kick-off exercise of manipulating images on paper by cutting or “ventilating” the paper with an x-acto knife and

surface, sand, and the sandbox

straight pins. After elaborate manipulation, cutting but never cutting

Surface is a privileged condition of form that is intellectually flat,

apart, the image on the paper is obliterated with paint, leaving just

compressive, and planar while simultaneously being perceptually

the homogenous surface of paper and the practice of cutting and

and tactilely voluptuous. It is both 2-D and 3-D. A surface is

pinning in plan view. Very quickly and with little coaching students

complete and understandable but it rarely is seen as a singular and

select a framed “chunk” of this ventilated drawing and translate its

ordered thing in the way that an object is. We began the project with

superficial, intimate, and constructive qualities into the viscous

a desire to keep away from problematizing “object-making” since

layer of sand in the box. In lengthy and frequent discussion in class

each constituent discipline in visual literacy. Throughout the various

we begin questioning matters of difference, craft, and translation

disciplines the axiom “Surfaces are the visual manifestations of

in the sand surface and we continue sand surface manipulations in

matter” holds relevance in a fairly universal way. So, we set about

response to these in class discussions. We describe these surfaces

finding a way to teach how to see surface, how to describe surface,

through a set of everyday geometries and “surface talk”. We describe

how to shape surface, how to record surface, and ideation in surface.

both symmetries and ridges, hierarchies and fields. Capacity to

describe is our primary evidence of understanding qualities of

p.1 Sandbox


Th e S andbox a begi nni ng desi gn pedagogy

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p.3 Sandbox


surface, techniques of translation, and skill in shaping surface.

two years and about 200 students the Sandbox became a respected

We repeat this daily cycle of shaping surface and describing

design project in Visual Literacy at the University of Nebraska and

outcomes until we build a visual acuity in seeing the sand surface

other faculty began to teach through it. It was appreciated for its

and a practical capacity for manipulating the surface. Then we add

shear materiality, weightiness, and systematic way of introducing

another exercise--a third step to the cycle--measuring and recording

concepts while assuring every student has a high potential for

the translated displacements of sand in the box. The rim of the box

success.

becomes a constant, a register, through which we can graphically

I still had questions about aspects of the Sandbox Exercises,

record and figure depth. From string set out across the rim we plumb

especially the way the project could devolve into a sort of “sandcastle

down a line of points from this top neutral surface to the active

competition” sensibility in shaping the sand surface. I saw potential

surface of the sand to make a profile section through the surface. We

to develop graphical outcomes by intensifying the plumbed profiles

translate these point-sets into a 1:1 set of cut construction paper

into larger and more elaborate sets. There was still something

that graphically reads as a set of solid / void profile cuts derived out

objectile about the machinations in the Sandbox that begged

of the sand surface. These profiles are not generative devices but,

further elaboration. The project at this juncture needs some sense

like Duchamp’s “Standard Stoppages”, are profile records captured

of distance from willful sculpture or prescriptive shaping. Incredible

out of a temporally shifting surface of exploration. This sort of profile

work was being put into shaping the surface but little trace of the

drawing in the sandbox is an analytical “check set” derived from the

work was left in the box when we were done.

shaping which then informs both the ongoing discussion and the continued iterations in making.

description of intermediate sandbox iterations

After a series of cycles starting with material transformations of

I left Nebraska and began teaching more advanced and only

a singular viscous surface, detailed discussion leading to a shared

architecture students at Texas Tech. People continue to teach

description of the surfaces, and graphic translations of the surface

Visual Literacy at NU through the Sandbox. We can’t attest to those

into binary 2-D profiles plumbed out of the relationship between

procedures or outcomes. In 2004 we transformed, with limited

surface and register, we shift the exercises into reverse for one

success, the Sandbox as a modeling system for describing complex

final round. In this set we take graphic sections already plumbed

site situations in design studios. Student work could rise to great

and profiled and reconstruct them into a new sense of surface

success and the superficial practices of the Sandbox could enhance

through a “section collection” that can then be translated into a new

the teaching but success seemed elusive for all but the top half of the

configuration of sand surface which we can pick through animate in

students in the class. So much of the understanding taught in these

profile, and read into this one final surface.

studios manifested itself through student work that rose to little more

Initial waves of reflection resulted in papers. One to the 2000

than dioramas. I was teaching with weak co-instructors so it is hard to

Beginning Design Conference about the capacity of the Sandbox

tell how much was curriculum and how much was personnel.

project to work as a interdisciplinary way of teaching form and form-

In this less structured “site model” configuration the students often

making and at the 2001 Beginning Design Conference we explained

couldn’t get past the external reference to draw down into the purity

that the Sandbox offers inherently digital teaching without electronic

of the surface in the box. Fewer students grasped the amazing

devices. As we outlined in that paper “Digital Thinking without

capacity one has in the Sandbox to be able to record surface

Electronic Tools”, from the start the Sandbox was rooted in digital

and form in the space of the box. On a more successful note we

thinking. It taught digital object lessons such as “part to whole”,

graphically began to replace the primacy of the profile with the plan

“hierarchy”, “superficial”, “solid / void”, “catalog”, and “diagram”. Through

projection drawings made from clouds of profiles in the box. What Sandbox p.4


became evident is that the Sandbox was vexed with an overpowering

the subject ‘’reads” in critical practice. Things, on the other hand, are

sense of “looking like” (being an object). It became more and more

not simply material stuff. “A thing cannot be a lump”.6 Things are “...

evident that there was a power in the Sandbox as some-thing, as a

an assemblage between humans and nonhumans...the object and

manifestation of operations and relationships inherent in the nature

its attachments.”7 They’re matters of concern, always sited between

of shaping sand that was lost in simply making objects by binding

things and resist this objectile desire to be critically “legible” in

sand with water.

favor of direct engagement and construction. In his article, “Thing

In 2006 we taught a group of sections of a second semester, second

Theory”, Bill Brown describes things as audacious ambiguity and

year studio at Texas Tech that was focused on issues of site and

specific unspecificity, and goes on to press the illegibility of critical

surrounding surfaces. In this last version of the Sandbox studio

reading in things because things are “...hovering over the threshold

before taking it back to beginning design we found a technology

between the nameable and the unnameable, the figurable and the

that required a logical shift in the practice of shaping the sand--

unfigurable, the identifiable and the unidentifiable...”8 Things are

panty hose. We introduced the capacity to shape the sand, dry, with

not ordered but organized. They are recognized in their concerns;

a system of sheer nylon fabric, string or twine, and anchor points

demarcated conglomerations of human matters. “Things do not exist

along the rim and rails of the box. Immediately we found a whole new

without being full of people.”9 Things are relational and contingent.

sensibility of shape and form in the surface by retaining, suspending,

Thinking about things pushes our practices to move intellectually and

compressing, tensioning, counterbalancing, slinging, and sheathing

professionally from a legible aesthetic of matters-of-fact, of Objects,

the sand rather than suspending it like a sandcastle. What we began

to an engaged aesthetic of matters-of-concern, of Things.10

describing in our discussion was no longer the forms we saw but the

This changes architecture fundamentally--shifts its foundation and

operations evident in the surface manipulations. The relationship

how we teach it. This is also the change that moving from sandcastle

between surface and shaping was mediated. The surface became

objects to hose based operations bring about: We shift our focus from

the resultant of more massive, formal shaping whose trace was

the object to the thing.

fully evident and incorporated into the Sandbox’s space between register and active viscous surface. The sand was operated on to a superficial effect. The operation, not the form, became the project. We were left at this juncture with a fresh, nascent sense of operation

Ideation, Ideas in Objects, Ideas of Things Things are what we encounter, ideas are what we project. Leo Stein, The A-B-C of Aesthetics 11

and systematic making along with a new, more complex sense of

Shifting the project so that we teach students to fundamentally

graphical space found in the compounded set of profiles in the

understand design capable of working through matters of concern

projection drawing system developing out of the space in the box.

as well as matter of fact in the Sandbox enabled us to make another step forward. Going back to William Carlos Williams’ “...no ideas / but

things, object v. thing, and thingness

in things...” we find that designing things rather than objects makes

“Thinking of Things”, meticulously describing worlds and ideas of

the work direct and self-referential in action. Ideas are no longer

things, preoccupies the work of a range of western philosophers,

found IN the project, reflected and projected, but the ideas are OF the

poets, and writers across the 20th Century4. Such thinking has

project and its construction. Ideas in Objects is exchanged for Ideas

come more slowly to architecture. It is difficult to “...think thingness

of Things. Thinking ideas of things makes it very hard for students

in the abstract--as an abstract physicality”.5 Objects are singular

to think of the work in symbolism, patterning, and geometries while

and ordered projections--matters of fact. They’re self-referential

operating on things in the sand. Though this intellectual shift is

and clarified enough to take meaning well and in this they are what

almost automatic with the move to “thing thinking” in the exercises of

p.5 Sandbox


the Sandbox, it remains a very important extension of the shifts we

sandbox 2.0

enacted in these final versions of the project.

In 2008 we started teaching beginning design again, this time to 200 first semester undergraduate architecture students at Texas Tech. In this latest version of the Sandbox we’ve completed the shift from understanding the surface as an object with meaning to the surface being a manifestation of a rich idea about things. We’ve

Sandbox

p.6


p.7 Sandbox


fundamentalized the operational qualities of design work and description that thinks about things. This description is further developed through a system of easy to construct graphical projections of the surface. The students log points on the 20” by 20” surface using the string grid that is constructed over top of the box. From here the students project measured lines down from every intersection. The result is a 400-plot point survey and drawing. conclusion Working through the Sandbox problem has been a key part of my career as a beginning design instructor and pedagogist. We seem to have conceived this academic design project at the nexus of our intellectual and creative questioning (our research) situational need (the teaching charge), and mythological studio culture. The architectural discipline’s “nature” is rooted in being the most physical and formal of professions. We are part of a tradition with sculptors, farmers, surgeons, and engineers in practices to manipulate physical stuff in a grounded space to desired effect. But architecture across the 20th century was in a stunted dance with the belief that its product “...is a mere social construct...”.12 From Upton Sinclair in the slaughterhouses of Chicago to Speer’s Germania to LeCorbusier’s Chandigarh to Ronald Reagan at the Berlin Wall; architecture across the century was projected as a medium for social, cultural, and political machinations. We think we’ve lost track of the foundation of architecture things and have forgotten the power of the project where there are just ideas of things, and things need not be laden with external references, symbolism, and social commentary, but just be the things they are. The trajectory of this pedagogy over time, place, instructor, and theoretical knowledge has illuminated some issues about things in fundamental design training that we think should shift.

Notes 1 William Carlos Williams, “A Sort of a Song” PATERSON, Book II (New York: New Directions Press,1951) p.30 2 Avrum Stroll, Surfaces (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988). p.127. “The surface is where most of the action is. The surface is where light is reflected or absorbed, not the interior of the substance. The surface is what touches the animal, not the interior. The surface is where chemical reactions mostly take place. The surface is where vaporization or diffusion of substances into the medium occurs. And the surface is where vibrations of the substance are transmitted into the medium.” J. J. Gibson, The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception (New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1986) p.23 3 Avrum Stroll, Surfaces (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988) p.5 4 For instance: William Carlos Williams, Francis Ponge in The Nature of Things, George Perec in “Species of Space”, Michel Foucault in The Order of Things, the photography of Paul Strand, and Ferdinand Legér’s work. Sandbox p.8


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5 Bill Brown, A Sense of Things (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003) p.2 6 Mark Baldwin, “The Origin of a ‘Thing’ and its Nature”, The Psychological Review 2 (1895) pp.551552. 7 Alejandro Zaera-Polo, “The Politics of the Envelope: A Political Critique of Materialism”, Log #13|14 (Fall 2008) footnote #2 8 Bill Brown, “Thing Theory”, Critical Inquiry (Autumn 2001) p.5 9 Bruno Latour, “The Berlin Key or How to do Words with Things” in Graves-Brown (ed.) Matter, Materiality, and Modern Culture (Routledge, London, 1951) p. 10

10 Bruno Latour, From Realpolitik to Dingpolitik – or How to Make Things Public [Introduction to the catalogue of Making Things Public– Atmospheres of Democracy, MIT Press 2005 (edited by Bruno Latour & Peter Weibel] 11 Leo Stein, The A-B-C of Aesthetics (New York: Boni & Liveright, 1927) p.44 12 Alejandro Zaera-Polo, “The Politics of the Envelope: A Political Critique of Materialism”, Log #13|14 (Fall 2008) p.76 Sandbox p.10


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Rex portfolio 20180415  

60 page academic portfolio for Brian T. Rex

Rex portfolio 20180415  

60 page academic portfolio for Brian T. Rex

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