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CARMEN JOHNSON


DESIGN PORTFOLIO


THE ARTIFACT

I use the architectural artifact as a design tool that works obliquely to transform the project narrrative into physical, tangible reality. Because thinking and doing are intertwined, the physical action of creating an artifact allows the designer to translate language into an encounter that provides spatial and aesthetic answers, while raising new critical questions.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

WILLIAM DOWNING PRIZE WINNER / CORNELL UNIVERSITY 2017

Wayfinding Tower / “site-specific, small-scale interventions” option studio

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UNDERGRADUATE / NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY 2011-2015 Twin House / 2nd year studio

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PERFORMANCE CENTER / 2nd year studio

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GRADUATE THESIS / NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY 2015-2016 “Pataphysical Prosthesis: Bringing the 3D Printing Industry to Detroit, MI”

HIGH RISE / 4th year capstone project

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POST-PROFESSIONAL / CORNELL UNIVERSITY 2016-2017

Lina Bo Bardi: Challenging the Canon / building exhibitions practicum

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Tidal Energy / dark ecology workshop

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El Fanguito / “havana after nature” option studio

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Wayfinding Tower The stacked rotation of a variable core + facade module produces a flexible system for a new tourism infrastructure in Lofoten, Norway.

William Downing Prize Winner ‘17 “Site-Specific Small-Scale Interventions” Option Studio Professors: Mark Cruvellier, Sami Rintala, Dagur Eggertsson Teaching Associate: Erin Pellegrino (Cornell B.Arch ‘14) Cornell University Collaborators: Justin Foo (B.Arch ‘18), Elie Boutros (B.Arch ‘18), Ben Vongvanij (M.Arch ‘18) Critics: Navid Navid (Architect/Project Leader Flakstad Commune) Dasha Khapalova (Cornell AAP) Tiffany Lin (Cornell B.Arch ‘00) Vince Mulcahy (Cornell AAP) Val Warke (Cornell AAP)

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This open-ended project addresses issues caused by the exploding tourism industry in Lofoten, Norway that is an additional stress to the small municipality of Flakstad which must navigate a seasonal surge in population with outdated infrastructure, limiting geography, and unprepared locals. Working closely with the mayor and project architect of Flakstad municipality, we have developed a wayfinding scheme and Lofoten toilet typology to deal with the growing influx of tourists to the area.

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“The solution is a modular system that can operate both as a stand-alone piece – e.g. Lofoten toilet typology – or stacked and rotated to produce a wayfinding tower.” The design draws from local cues such as the wooden construction of fish drying racks and tower-like sea kill marks for navigation, as well as the dominance of triangularity in vernacular architecture. Houses crouch toward stable land in the harsh conditions of arctic Norway, creating a triangular gesture between the steep angle of the roof and the ground plane. The design of the module takes the upright triangle and flips it on its side, producing a very stable form that is familiar to place yet somewhat foreign, lending to its function as a space for the tourist. The construction of the module is divided into prefabricated core and façade elements and an exoskeleton-like superstructure that is constructed on site. The prefabricated elements allow for flexibility in program

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and ease of assembly while the superstructure adds necessary rigidity. Together they produce a new recognizable typology for the tourist to follow while navigating the larger landscape of the Lofoten islands. Placed at critical decision-making points along the archipelago, a series of wayfinding towers would provide information and direction while speaking to local destination points through framed views.

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Horizontal facade + vertical core Superstructure + prefab core Sea kill study artifact Stand-alone vs. stacking module Wayfinding network for Flakstad

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FL AK ST

LEKN ES / LOF OT EN AD

FLAKST AD YTRESA ND / K

VAL VIK A

RA MB ER G

VANG FRED SU ND

DEN OD AR LN MØ

REDVANG / Y TRE BERG / F SAND RAM

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The Module The module is designed to accommodate various programs including stand-alone toilet, trash, or picnic shelters, as well as an additive stair program which stacks to produce a wayfinding tower. When rotated 120° the stair within the tower module becomes a continuous spiral with a landing occurring on each side of the triangular plan with every rotation. This landing coordinates with a small seating area facing a glazed floor-toceiling aperture which frames the view of a certain destination point. The seating area is created by the extension of the stair into the space of the triangular core. Panels added to the structure of the core produce a wall which partially encloses this space, and houses information pertaining to the view that is framed by the corresponding aperture. In this way, the resulting program is a combination information and lookout point stretched along a vertical axis. Tourists can use this typology as a point of departure: a place to gather information and to formulate a plan before moving forward. It acts as a filter for the increased flow of traffic in the area, and as an advertising device for attractions that may otherwise be overlooked.

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stand-alone bathroom module

The module is composed of a pre-fabricated metal core and pre-fabricated wood faรงade panels, and is added to a wooden onsite superstructure of posts and beams. Stacking modules include pre-fabricated metal stair pieces; stand-alone modules can be filled with additional pieces to suit program, including toilets, sinks, and waste receptacles as pictured in the bathroom module plan. Additionally, glazing panels may be applied where necessary.

stacking and rotating tower module

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Collar bracket at beam/column/foundation connection Core structure breakdown (welded steel “V” column + beam + inner wall panels) Collar bracket at beam//column connection Guy-wire to foundation connection detail

Prefabricated elements are designed to fit within the confines of a standard shipping container. One container can hold two modules (though the model below is shown with one for clarity). The containers can then travel by ship or truck to site, where each element is placed into the superstructure with the help of a crane. The superstructure rests on poured foundations and is secured with custom steel connections. In the case of the tower, guy-wires brace the structure against lateral forces. The prefabricated core is erected first, followed by stair components which are bolted both to the core and to the façade panels which follow. Additionally, the façade panels are nailed to the superstructure and glass panels attached before proceeding to the next level. 3

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Deployment on Site: Draugen When deployed on the site suggested by the Flakstad municipality – Draugen - the wayfinding tower joins existing programs including picnic shelters, toilet, parking, and trash to complete the identity of the site as a rest and information stop. The orientation of the tower creates an intentional sequence of views from the inside, while marking the landscape from the outside. Draugen is the first moment of pause upon entry into the island of Moskenesøya, acting as a gateway to the southernmost portion of Lofoten, which is home to incredible hiking, fishing, and birdwatching opportunities. The interior qualities of each module can be designed to promote these activities by providing a sense of directionality through framed views and through informative panels and installations that provoke interest.

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level 4 >>> fredvang fishing village

level 3 >>> northern lights and midnight sun

level 2 >>> peak and bridges

level 1 >>> draugen

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The twin house is a home that is designed to facilitate the healing process for an agoraphobic woman and her twin sister. In order to communicate the historical, cultural, and programmatic premises behind this narrative, the development of an artifact was crucial. The completed artifact is intended to be presented in tandem with traditional representation of the architectural solution so that connections may be drawn across varying platforms and media. The artifact consists of a wooden block encasing layers of torn newspaper clippings, signifying crucial memories and formative moments in the development of the client’s anxiety disorder. The restricting weight of the disorder is manifested by the coiling barrier of concrete applied over the opening of the vault. A group performance involving the uncoiling of the concrete obstruction revealed the deep, layered nature of the issue and the value of the strength of community.

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Twin House A home that will facilitate the healing process for an agoraphobic woman and her twin sister.

2nd year studio Professor : Stephen Wischer North Dakota State University

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“The home is designed in layers to produce a progressive hierarchy of intensely private to semi-public spaces.�

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The resulting architecture builds upon the metaphors discovered in the creation of the artifact to produce a sensitively curated healing environment. A vault-like library constitues the core of the home; its bookshelves are split and pushed apart to pierce through monolithic stone walls, producing vertical circulation on the interior of the resulting enclosure. The open layout of the library on both halves of the twin house allows for unobstructed access to memories stored upon the shelves. The home is designed in layers to produce a

progressive hierarchy of intensely private to semi-public spaces. Segregated bedrooms at the back of the house provide moments of individual introspection for each of the twins. The dual sided library acts as a transition to shared living and dining spaces at the front. The staircase at the center of the home advances from the underground garage through the security of the heavy library walls to the rooftop garden, providing a safe and comfortable environment for re-integration with the public realm.

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PERFORMANCE CENTER

An experience in counterpoint. A small performance center in downtown Fargo, ND will serve as the new home for the FargoMoorhead Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber Music Series. The architecture of the intimate theater takes direction from its inhabitants’ melodic organization by emulating the structure of a fourpart fugue. Further investigation into the properties of the fugue resulted in the installation of a deconstructed instrument to be played by four hands. Each hand controls two mallets, which in turn each maneuver a double-pronged head, breaking the major fourfold action into eight, and then sixteen, answers. Eight bars producing a single scale are suspended directly across from the mallets, inverting the traditional horizontal orientation of the xylophone to that of a vertical pendant.

2nd year studio Professor : Stephen Wischer North Dakota State University

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“The simple language of the trabeated system is established and repeated, layering and reintroducing itself in contrapuntal variations of the initial theme to construct the form of the building...�

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The progression and manipulation of the voices in the artifact is also at play in the architecture of the new theater. The performance begins at the south end of the site where a lone concrete slab initiates the composition. Sequential slabs growing in vertical height continue beyond it to produce a building procession, eventually soaring overhead and piercing through the facade of the building to provide an arcaded entrance on the exterior, and support for the balcony inside the auditorium. The simple language of the trabeated system

is established and repeated, layering and reintroducing itself in contrapuntal variations of the initial theme to construct the form of the building, reaching a climax at its rear where the echoes of multiple structural voices align into resonating harmony. Here, guests mingle in a monumental gallery space, partaking in the social performance of seeing and being seen before progressing through the abating resolution of the hall preceding the balcony entrance, and, ultimately, taking their seats.

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THESIS Pataphysical Prosthesis: Bringing the 3D Printing Industry to Detroit, MI

In The Technological Society, French philosopher Jacques Ellul explains that “our modern worship of technique derives from man’s ancestral worship of the mysterious and marvelous character of his own handiwork”. We are still intrigued and fascinated by modern technology because it is indeed a human discovery. However, modern technology has been detached from tradition. It has become a game of mechanical reproduction, in which copies upon copies lose their “aura” - borrowing Walter Benjamin’s term -to the absence of context, ritual, and wonder. What is fabricated in a production plant, and the goal of this labor, is outside of the question of its design.

Graduate Thesis Advisor : Stephen Wischer North Dakota State University Critics: Donald Kunze (Penn State) David Bertolini (Department Chair, NDSU ALA)


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This wall adorned with prosthetic hands questions the value of the reproduction line. When ordered in a mathematical grid system, the nuances of each hand are highlighted. These differences were created either by a direct human interference or the serendipitous mistakes of the technology. Compellingly, the 3D printer did not know when it made these mistakes. It was only by the practical wisdom of the human overseeing the project that each difference is recognized and labeled. The variations that I have saved are what give rise to the pataphysical act of play between the creation and ourselves as the humans who encounter it. In Timaeus, Plato spoke of the

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world and our bodies as the products of a creator which mimicked parts of itself. The plastic forms of the world take on geometrical shapes that are imposed upon them. The collisions of these shapes produce the variety of sensations, textures, and objects that make up the world around us. Architectural design creates an order resonant with the body’s own. Our body’s experience of the world is projected back to us through the architectural creation and a distance of interpretation is constructed. Here, it is impossible not to relate the form of these 3D printed hands to that of our own, to project the slices and mutations of these hands onto ours. It is

through anatomical cutting that we have come to know our bodies by the rational means of today’s medical field. A similar system of cutting and layering defines the order of operations for a 3D printer. The analytical ordering of these hands through cuts and classifications is an ironic play on the rationalized, efficient means of production that my architecture is trying to avoid. By contrast, this investigation is not interested in functionality, but in the expressive potential of this technology. The unique exceptions to the ordered copying of the hand provide a pataphysical distance which we fill with our own connections and meanings.


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My architectural solution takes shape as the first phase of a 3D-printing factory and warehouse that will point the trajectory of the industry toward its expressive, contextualized and intrinsically beautiful potential. I have isolated one block of the expansive Packard Plant complex as the home for the completed factory. This block lines popular E Grand Ave with the Packard’s most decorated façade and is connected to the second story assembly line bridge which has become an iconic symbol for the people of Detroit. Phase one operates within the eastern-most portion of the block where restoration efforts are currently underway. The introduction of phase one as an “ethical swarm” of digitally fabricated architecture counters the uninhabitable and uncontextualized quality of contemporary parametric swarms. Rather, this architectural prosthetic breathes new life into the rich historical and cultural framework of the existing building. It has been designed to function within this particular environment, offering a critique of today’s rationalized and efficient mode of production. This swarm is intended to act as a working model for further expansion of the factory, revitalization of the entire complex, the city of Detroit, and the world. It is meant to showcase the potential of 3D printing technology to clients that will ultimately develop the global built environment of the future.

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North facade of Packard Plant (Detroiturbex) Packard Plant complex Revitalization block plan Ethical swarm phase 01 Ethical swarm impact Structural framework Obsolescence gallery Elevated surveillance network

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The major prosthetic applications that service the revitalization of the Packard Plant work within the gaps between endless repetitions of columns, windows, banks, and wings. This monotony of efficient and economic construction can be redefined by the potential for 3D-printed components to be highly detailed and entirely individualized with little to no extra cost or labor.

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“Old and new elements are integrated and fused into a cybernetic organism of a building that offers a critique of today’s rationalized and efficient mode of production.”

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The “Obsolescence Gallery” showcases the most cutting edge examples of 3D-printed applications with a bit of a critical overtone. Installations are showcased in display cases fabricated from a cement polymer based from concrete rubble that has been salvaged from the site. The exterior panels of the obsolescence pieces are scripted with light wells that are fitted with structural 3D-printed glass blocking printed from abundant shattered glass on-site. The teal blocks bring light into the space in the same way similar glass blocking did in decades past. Between each of the four modules, a glass reveal highlights the existing concrete floor five feet below. The entire component supports what was once the fourth and top-most floor

of the Packard Plant. The existing window lintels, columns, and parapet provide a framework through which those inhabiting the event space view the gallery from the other side. The opposite side of the obsolescence frame displays machinery from the Packard’s prime hung within the confines of four outdated 3D printers that have become obsolete within only the past few years. The new display cases on the other side of the gallery are simply replicas of the shells that you see here. In this space, new references old, old may be confused as new. As soon as a new product is introduced to the obsolescence gallery the layers densify and recycle. Here, our understanding of progress and the acceleration of technology is put into question.

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“What is considered completed must be tested in a physical environment against contextual models and a bodily wisdom that is intrinsically human. This step assures the ethical dimension of parametric architecture created in this factory.�

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Concrete Footing Engineered Fill 6� Sand Cushion Concrete Slab on Grade 3D Printed Packard Cement Polymer 3D Printed Structural Glass Block Existing Concrete Window Lintel Scripted Light Well Existing Concrete Floor 3D Printed Steel Handrail Existing Concrete Parapet

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5 4 3 2 1 obsolescence gallery wall section

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level 01

level 02

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level 06

mezzanine


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Main Entrance Obsolescence Atrium Display Reception 3D Printing Factory Studio Loading Dock Storage Museum Event Space Restaurant Conference Observation Deck Maintenance Platform

phase 01 site plan


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Down the hall lies one of the designer’s studio spaces. Here, passers-by encounter a parametric wall that cuts through the entire building to act as a partition between introspective design space and active production-based design and 3D-printing. The openings in this wall were developed through a give and take between man and machine. The desirable scale, shape, and location of openings were scripted into a parametric equation, calculated, modeled, and tested. After tweaking the algorithmic solution manually to reflect contextually specific necessities and personal preferences, the wall was sent digitally to a printer on-site and fabricated locally. Once inside the factory space, we are met with a guarded platform for the designers’ direct observation and collaboration. They are able to assess the printing situation in real time, either making changes on control panels set up within the printing arena or returning to the drawing table on the other side of the permeable wall in the studio environment. The large-scale 3D-printer operates within a 50’x 115’ platform. It is capable of fabricating entire building components such as curved cladding panels or complex structural columns in one continuous print. Much of the work done here involves the production of a series of interlocking modules that will require post-production assembly. Test assembly and free experimentation are vital steps in the process of the exchange between humans and the machine. What is considered completed must be tested in a physical environment against contextual models and a bodily wisdom that is intrinsically human. This step assures the ethical dimension of parametric architecture created in this factory. This give and take is performed in the open printing space when the robotic arm returns to its home base at the far end of the building.

The perimeter of the platform is defined by another parametric wall to our left, on the other side of which, we remember, lays the Obsolescence Gallery. Where the wall breaks away, the factory’s structural system is revealed. These complex columns were fabricated through the additive process of the successive layering of concrete via a robotic arm. What would once have taken weeks to realize, now can easily be produced in a matter of hours. This means that we can begin to physically fabricate whatever we see in our dreams. If we can imagine it, we can print it, and we can inhabit it. Rather than continuing the current stagnant state of 3D-printing practice, here clients are asked to tap into the realm of their fantasies, to a space of fiction that invokes wonder and awe. That space can bleed into physical reality through the thoughtful and creative application of digital fabrication technology. Behind the screen of structure, we can observe figures slowly ascending back and forth along a ramp system that envelopes a large gallery wall. This is a crucial part of phase one construction: the museum. The progression along this winding path takes guests through a brief history of technology and the machine. It frames our species’ relationship with modern technology through the lens of history as a once poetic techne transformed through the scientific revolution into what we recognize today as a mathematically rationalized understanding of the world. The gradually additive motion of the museum is positioned alongside the Cartesian movement of the 3D-printer to ironically call attention to the monotonously repetitive character of this mode of production.

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The ramp system commences on the sixth floor where we are slightly elevated and set akimbo from the main productive action. From this vantage point, Albert Kahn’s repetitive banks of industrial wasteland come into focus as they are superimposed by 3D-printed architecture that simultaneously mimics and critiques its surroundings. This simulated environment connects old and new elements through a constant overlapping of past, present, and a dreamlike non-time dimension. This dimension offers a critical preview of what could be, at times warning against a return to the failures of an automated mode of production, and at times inspiring visions of a highly varied, contextualized, and intrinsically beautiful built environment. The transitionsbetween these temporal dimensions are constantly circulating and evolving within the building to the point that they exist at once as a pataphysical hyperspace. It is here where clients discuss their ideas with the designers, where they can dream, where they can play.

The elevated surveillance network provides a final experience before exiting. It is here that humans sit above the machines at the control panel. A covered catwalk connects the building’s two vertical circulation towers, offering a shortcut for designers as they make their way around the factory. From a symbolic stance of wisdom, we are encouraged to look down upon the movements of the machine and the people interacting with it. It is from this seat that we are able to make observations and interventions in what would otherwise be an autonomous process for the machine. It is here that we are finally given a holistic understanding of the building and a position of hierarchy above technology.

“From this vantage point, Albert Kahn’s repetitive banks of industrial wasteland come into focus as they are superimposed by 3D-printed architecture that simultaneously mimics and critiques its surroundings.”

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HIGH RISE A sustainable vertical community that engages the street and fosters a beautiful, healthy living environment.

4th year capstone project Professor: Don Faulkner North Dakota State University Collaborator: Tyler Ertl

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160 Folsom is a sustainable mixed-use high rise building to serve

San Fracisco’s Financial District. A curving elevated highway once directed the flow of heavy vehicular movement across the site. Today, the extrusion of this curve as a vertical community would instead direct pedestrian traffic into a secluded urban oasis. This oasis is linked to busy Folsom Street via a passage that cuts

through the bottom two floors of the building, changing the flow and slowing the pace of foot traffic. A secondary skin of operable panels harvests solar energy and controls sun exposure for residential and hotel guests as it curves down the building, culminating in a series of trellises that shade the rooftop gardens of restaurants and retail spaces below.

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ground level plan

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ground level structure


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level 1-5 level 7-18 level 19 level 20-38 level 39 level 39-40

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retail hotel restaurant residential rooftop garden penthouses

permeable pavers potted trees with seating green landscaping parking entrance with ramped green roof depressed plaza walkthrough underground parking geothermal coils caissons with transverse reinforcement valet dropoff

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LINA BO BARDI

CHALLENGING THE CANON A pop-up exhibition located within the stacks of the Fine Arts Library at Cornell University.

“Lina Bo Bardi: Challenging the Canon” is an installation located within the stacks of the Fine Arts Library at Cornell University.

Practicum: Building Exhibitions Placed within the major repository of the college of Architecture, Art and Planning, Esra our exhibition Professor: Akcanaims to better represent the remarkable body of work by the Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi (1914Cornell 1992). TheUniversity design and content of this exhibition is inspired by Lina’s exhibition design premises based on urban,Xiao, cultural, and everyday Collaborators: Ana Ozaki, Chuqi Maryam Rabi landscapes that have been epitomized in her inaugural exhibition of Critics: Iftikhar Dadi (Cornell AAP) the Museum of São Paulo (MASP) in 1968. Luben Dimcheffbeen (Cornell AAP) Lina Bo Bardi has increasingly recognized by international scholarship Alicia as a keyImperiale figure in twentieth-century Brazilianfor the Humanities Fellow) (Cornell Society architecture. However, significantly lesser known is her work as Lok (Cornell AAP)educator, and cultural an exhibitionLeslie designer, writer, theoretician, agitator. These aspects of her work are not only complementary to her built oeuvre, but are vital to a full understanding of her career. In tune with the intellectual and creative production of her time, Lina established connections unexplored by contemporary architectural and national discourses. Lina’s truly unique path was enriched by Antonio Gramsci’s vision of the political potential of popular culture, Jerzy Grotowski’s “Poor Theater” (1968), and Paulo Freire’s political Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968), among others. Especially embedded in her curatorship and exhibition design is her interdisciplinary understanding of space. For Lina, the revolutionary design of space could not only defy architectural practice of the time, but also instill a political agenda of activism. In the context of Brazilian dictatorship (1964-1985), MASP’s Inaugural Exhibition of 1968 was envisioned as a performative and political space meant to give full agency to the viewer, defying curatorial hierarchies and the status quo. The series of installations that constitute this exhibition intersect three rows of the main stacks, forming a matrix between the volumes and three themes that pertain to Lina Bo Bardi’s work: “Place,” “Theory,” and “Modern Architecture”, symbolically injecting

Lina’s relationship to “Place” is represented through the use of transparency that established connections between the architecture and the city of São Paulo at the Inaugural Exhibition of MASP. In terms of “Theory,” Lina saw writing as an integral part of MASP’s design to facilitate its mission as an educational and formative institution. For Lina, education was expressly a tool for social activism and development. Additionally, her restless efforts in design research brought more humanistic and comprehensive approaches to “Modern” architecture and exhibition design. Applying lessons from her counterparts in Italy, Lina’s crystal easels combine embedded research from previous avant-gardes with a committed effort to engage the socio-political context surrounding the museum. “Lina Bo Bardi: Challenging the Canon” focuses on MASP’s Inaugural Exhibition of 1968, but this represents only a portion of the extensive and complex body of work produced throughout her life. We believe that the Inaugural Exhibition’s undeniable ingenuity and sustained relevance can instigate conversations within

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“Lina Bo Bardi: Challenging the Canon” is an installation located within the stacks of the Fine Arts Library at Cornell University. Placed within the major repository of the college of Architecture, Art and Planning, our exhibition aims to better represent the remarkable body of work by the Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992). The design and content of this exhibition is inspired by Lina’s inaugural exhibition of the Museum of São Paulo (MASP) in 1968. The language of her iconic double-sided easel is translated here into the frame design for the exhibition, which explodes the image of the content into two superimposed layers, animating the bodily presence of the viewer and implying depth in the picture plane. The frame is freed from the wall and positioned in tactile, embodied space - literally projecting into the aisles between the stacks - allowing a layered framing of outside world, subject, and object.

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The series of installations that constitute this exhibition intersect three rows of the main stacks, forming a matrix between the volumes and three themes that pertain to Lina Bo Bardi’s work: “Place,” “Theory,” and “Modern Architecture”, symbolically injecting Lina into the architectural canon.

Lina’s relationship to “Place” is in part represented through her use of transparency at the Inaugural Exhibition of MASP, which established connections between the architecture and the city of São Paulo. In terms of “Theory,” Lina saw writing as an integral part of MASP’s design to facilitate its mission as an educational and formative institution, which was expressly a tool for social activism and development. Additionally, her restless efforts in design research brought more humanistic and comprehensive approaches to “Modern” architecture and exhibition design. The design of the exhibition bookshelves classifies each book by subject through color blocking, which is introduced at the beginning of every row. The slightly projected and rotated orientation of the book highlights her work, while positioning it within a field of related literature, opening a discourse between her efforts and those of her contemporaries.

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Tidal Energy A look at tidal energy systems from a dark ecological perspective produces an infrastructure that is part of a hyperscale network of interconnected systems and environments.

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Dark Ecology Workshop Professors: Tei Carpenter & Jesse LeCavalier Cornell University Collaborators: Jingsi Li & Constantinos Petrakos Critics: Robert Balder (Cornell NYC) Debbie Chen (Morphosis) James Graham (GSAPP Publications / The Avery Review) Nahyun Hwang (NHDM / Columbia GSAPP) Claire Weisz (W X Y) Matthew McMahon (Snøhetta)

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Fueling Battery Storage Subsea Power Collection Hub Interface to Power Export Electromagnetic Converter Mechanical Rotor Network Scheme

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Tidal energy is an often overlooked resource for electric energy, even though the rising and falling of the tide is clean, reliable, and renewable. This project seeks to amplify the potential mega-energy source and blend it with other systems and environments on a massive scale. First, a generic model for the overall logistics of an expanding autonomous tidal energy infrastructure was developed. It would be composed of many turbine farms connected to huge offshore storage docks. Portable energy vessels would charge up at the docks and deliver electrical energy to fueling points in an urban environment. This would make the tidal power system visible above the water’s surface. Rather than hiding the infrastructure in underwater turbines and cables, this proposal would confront the reality of a hyperscale ecological network by giving the storage docks and portable vessels an architectural identity reflective of the energetic and productive character of the system. In New York City, a portion of Roosevelt Island will act as the mother island for a fleet of daughter vessels that bring energy both literally and metaphorically to the urban neighborhoods to which they will dock. The vessel locks in place, connecting its electrical output to the city grid and bridging the beach to the ocean. In this instance, an outdoor concert could occur in front of amphitheater seating and above an open-ocean swimming enclave, bringing a pop-up environment and program to the area. The vessel would carry about 1 MW of electrical energy - enough to power the neighborhood in need for about a week - leaving its mark temporarily before receding to the open sea to recharge and relocate. The vessel would also act as a ferry, bringing people to visit the mother island.

The mother island embodies the dark ecological character of the tidal system. A somewhat strange and wild natural environment exists on the surface of the mountain, offering a new type of public space for the people of NYC. Commuters on the ferry have the choice of disembarking from the roof of the ferry as it locks into place and exploring the surface of the island, or they may cross the street and enter the belly of the mountain to experience the labyrinth of battery storage inside. The batteries are linked to a huge subsurface tidal turbine farm that is producing energy for the entire urban area. Underwater cables link directly to Manhattan and Queens as well as up and into the belly for storage. Again, the system is not hidden, but embraced and celebrated in this space where tourists may come to see the spectacle, or school children may be guided on educational tours. An open cistern lies at the base, piping fresh water to other systems on the island that has been collected from reservoirs at the top of the mountain and filtered through the belly. The form of the mountain does not try to conceal its mechanical nature. It is a piece of the greater whole and is intertwined with the challenges and solutions of our ecological reality.

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“Rather than hiding the infrastructure in underwater turbines and cables, this proposal the storage docks and portable vessels an architectural identity reflective of the

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would confront the reality of a hyperscale ecological network by giving energetic and productive character of the system.�

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El Fanguito Investigating the urban fabric of an informal settlement

“Havana After Nature� Option Studio Professor: Tao DuFour Cornell University Research Collaborators: Rina Kang, Helena Rong & Erin Yook Critics: Grace La (Harvard GSD) Henry Richardson (Cornell AAP) Jenny Sabin (Cornell AAP) Andrea Simitch (Cornell AAP)

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Ecological Context Cuba’s insularity has led to its categorization as one of the most endemic regions in the world. The topic of conservation has therefore become a critical objective in environmental restoration efforts. Once characterized by rich flora and fauna, Cuba’s forests are now subject to rapid degradation caused by poor water quality, which leads to the endangerment of indigenous animals and plant species. Because of haphazard development methods, dangerous adjacencies between factories and housing, factories and river, and landfills and river have been established. The Almendares River serves a population of 570,000 people over its running course of 49.8 km. As one of eight major watersheds in Cuba, it is vital not only to servicing Havana, but is also critical to the entire island. As the Almendares continues to become more polluted by domestic wastewater, industrial runoff, and landfill leachate, the green zones that feed on the river for its water supply have been deteriorating, forming “cancer alleys” depleted of oxygen. Due to a precarious interdependence between human settlements and the environment, hydrogeological dysfunctions and cultural identity become interlinked issues.

Top Above Below

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Degradation of Flora and Fauna Watersheds and Almendares River Historical Shrinking of the Forest

1600

1750

1830

1899

1924

1958

2004

2008

2012

2016


“Due to a precarious interdependence between human settlements and the environment, hydrogeological dysfunctions and cultural identity become interlinked issues.�

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1

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Figure of the Site Existing Buildings Intervention

“The infrastructure is designed along a flexible column grid, with housing units implied by the spacing of the columns and the presence of service cores. The appropriation of the structure will be dictated individually as each household plugs in and fills the gaps, causing the new street grid to grow organically...”

The informal settlement of El Fanguito is situated atop a precarious swath of muddy riverbank along the east side of the Lower Almendares River. This portion of the river runs through the city’s only urban forest and the culturally integrated Parque Almendares, as well as past abandoned industrial territory, before culminating at the bay. This last stretch is the slowest and most contaminated journey for the river as the buildup of heavy metals in the sediment aggregates and algae blooms deplete the water’s oxygen, debilitating the river’s natural mechanism for self-cleaning. The low-lying area of El Fanguito is prone to considerable flooding during the wet season which further cross-contaminates the pollutants in the river with anthropogenic elements, deteriorating living conditions. The lack of infrastructure along this portion of the riverbank contributes to the transience of water, mud, informal structures, and people. The site also lacks the structure of a formal urban grid, becoming isolated from the rest of the city by a 40 foot retaining wall to the east and the Almendares to the west. These ruptures break the city grid and further deepen the social divide between the community and the city that has grown around it. This project anticipates a future that must negotiate with rising sea levels, the continued shortage of urban housing, and the constant battle with deforestation and water contamination. The proposal is an environmental infrastructure that introduces the urban grid of Havana to El Fanguito as a series of elevated city streets that connect the informal settlement to the rest of the urban fabric. This secondary

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grid hovers over the organic grid of El Fanguito, providing a new surface for growth and bringing essential services to the community. The infrastructure is designed along a flexible column grid, with housing units implied by the spacing of the columns and the presence of service cores. The appropriation of the structure will be dictated individually as each household plugs in and fills the gaps, causing the new street grid to grow organically and, perhaps, disappear into the urban language of El Fanguito. The introduction of this environmental infrastructure will give the riverbank back to the forest, allowing for the remediation of the water and the preservation of endemic flora and fauna. All families living between the main road and the riverbank will be relocated on site to the new infrastructure and given materials to build. The forest that grows in their place will be a gift to the community and to the entire urban population, connecting to the Parque Almendares and providing the link along the riverbank between the green belt and the mouth of the river. Ultimately, the secondary grid created by this environmental infrastructure will provide improved living conditions for the people of El Fanguito while remaining flexible for continued growth and reappropriation. It will repair the social and topographic ruptures implemented by the wall and the river, connecting the site to its neighboring communities and continuing the urban grid. And, it will relieve the riverbank of anthropogenic pollution, allowing for its remediation and the reforestation of the urban environment.


lower level plan

elevated streel level plan

cross section

long section (unit segment)

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carmen.jule@gmail.com . 701.610.0460 . cjj45@cornell.edu CARMEN JOHNSON


Carmen Johnson Design Portfolio  

The design portfolio of Carmen Johnson - Cornell University M.Arch II '17

Carmen Johnson Design Portfolio  

The design portfolio of Carmen Johnson - Cornell University M.Arch II '17

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