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Emily Kutil Graduate Architecture Portfolio Summer 2013


Education Master of Architecture with Distinction, Museum Studies Certificate, 2013 University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Rackham Graduate School Ann Arbor, MI Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Cum Laude, 2011 University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning Cincinnati, OH

Contact emily.kutil@gmail.com 248.425.0285 emilykutil.com 3919 1/2 Prospect Street Culver City, CA, 90232


Contents

Projects

Creatures of Fierce and Ordinary Reality: A Zoo for Belle Isle

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Master of Architecture Thesis, University of Michigan, 2013

Preservation Detroit: Experimental Branch

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Sanctuaries Studio, University of Michigan, 2012

Strange Making

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Installation, University of Michigan, 2011

Stubble-Step

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Venice Biennale Installation, Ellie Abrons and Adam Fure, 2012

Professional

Osborn Architects

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Architectural Internship, Los Angeles CA, 2010

M1/DTW

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Architectural Internship, Detroit MI, 2009

CV

For more projects and images, please see emilykutil.com.

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Emily Kutil

Creatures of Fierce and Ordinary Reality: A Zoo for Belle Isle Master of Architecture Thesis, University of Michigan, 2013 Thesis Advisor Catie Newell Recipient of Thesis Honor Award

“In every case, the figures are at the same time creatures of imagined possibility and creatures of fierce and ordinary reality; the dimensions tangle and require response.” —Donna Harroway

Creatures of Fierce and Ordinary Reality takes place on the site of an abandoned zoo on Belle Isle, a park island on the Detroit River between Windsor, Ontario and downtown Detroit. The zoo’s abandonment, in this case, is not a problem to be solved but rather a strange and wonderful upsetting of the image of nature that the zoo would normally present to its visitors. The thesis explores the ways in which zoo design calibrates relationships between human and nonhuman life, orienting us in particular ways to our surrounding environment. A zoo is a manifesto. It tells a story about the relationship between its human visitors and nonhuman captives, and it makes that relationship real. It is a place for indulging collective fantasies, for the thrill of contact with something other-than-human. Architecture plays a key role in determining the nature of those relationships, positioning the visitors as particular kinds of subjects and the captives as particular kinds of objects. Sometimes, the zoo’s relationships become static and stagnant—we can become trapped as certain kinds of subjects, captive to the roles we are asked to play. But within the uncertainty and unease produced by the Belle Isle Zoo’s open cages and collapsed fences, there is breathing room—room that leaves us free to imagine other ways of relating. The project is a collection of renovations to the zoo, with one major programmatic shift: it operates under the premise that, when the zoo closed in 2002, it abandoned the idea of captivity altogether. The renovations transform the zoo from a collection of captive animals into a collection of structures that produce conflicting subject-object relationships. The structures respond to a variety of impulses or desires common to the history of zoo design: Islanding, Collapsing, Hiding, Staging, Organizing, and Bubbling (described on the following pages). By never allowing its subjects to settle too comfortably within one way of seeing, the renovations attempt open up the zoo to more active imagination and play. In Creature of Fierce and Ordinary Reality, drawing and model-making are opportunities to think about architectural methodological structures that, like zoo enclosures, actively shape our relationship to that which we design. Also like zoo enclosures, these structures can be toyed with, undermined, and made to conflict and perplex in ways that open them up to imaginative participation.

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Creatures of Fierce and Ordinary Reality: A Zoo for Belle Isle

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Creatures of Fierce and Ordinary Reality: A Zoo for Belle Isle

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Creatures of Fierce and Ordinary Reality: A Zoo for Belle Isle

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Islanding: how to get away In order to create a self-contained, fictional world, zoos remove themselves from their surrounding contexts. The zoo’s interior is often sealed from the exterior with fences, freeways, and large stretches of impassable land. Without the idea of captivity, the border of this zoo can become loose and porous—the zoo removes itself not by sealing its interior from the exterior, but by playing with the travel time from one side to the other.

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Creatures of Fierce and Ordinary Reality: A Zoo for Belle Isle

Diego St.San Louis ZooZoo Bronx Zoo San Diego

Zoo LosCincinnati Angeles Zoo Cincinnati DetroitZoo Zoo

Bronx Zoo St. Louis Bronx ZooZoo

Detroit Zoo Belle Isle Zoo Los Angeles Detroit Zoo Zoo

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo Bronx Zoo

Belle Isle Zoo Cincinnati Zoo

Cincinnati Zoo Detroit Zoo

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Collapsing: how to flatten Collapsing plays on the long history of designing zoo exhibits to visually flatten their contents into two-dimensional images. In Carl Hagenbeck’s 1898 zoological panoramas, visitors were cast as worldconquerors, able to take in an entire geographic region represented by seamlessly aligned enclosures collapsed within a single, perspectival view. In this exhibit, visitors can gaze at and photograph a landscape that looks smooth and continuous—but they discover, once they enter it, that the landscape is crossed by hidden spaces.

African Panorama, “Carl Hagenbeck’s Zoological Paradise, The Zoological Garden of the Future,” 1898 “Carl Hagenbeck’s Zoological Paradise, The Zoological Garden of the Future,” 1898

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“Murals Make Beavers Feel at Home,” Popular Science article about the new Belle Isle beaver exhibit, 1936 Belle Isle Beaver Exhibit, Popular Science, June 1936


Creatures of Fierce and Ordinary Reality: A Zoo for Belle Isle

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Staging: how to play Staging is the design of zoo enclosures for particular kinds of play. Berthold Lubetkin’s 1934 design for the penguin pool at the London Zoo cast its visitors as spectators and the penguins as performers, sliding on playful white slides into a perfectly circular pool. This zoo has a playground for humans and animals, and a place to watch them both.

Berthold Lubetkin (Tecton Architectural Group)

Penguin Pool, LondonArchitectural Zoo, 1934 Berthold Lubetkin (Tecton Group) Penguin Pool, London Zoo, 1934

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Creatures of Fierce and Ordinary Reality: A Zoo for Belle Isle

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Hiding: how to disappear Hiding is the desire for a zoo exhibit to erase completely the presence of a human subject. The Woodland Park Zoo, designed by Jones and Jones in Seattle in 1980, expertly created the illusion that humans were absent from the animals’ environment, casting its visitors as invisible observers of a pristine natural setting. This zoo plays with several kinds of erasure: getting lost by winding, disorientation through monotonous repetition, and perching in a secret spot.

Jones and Jones, Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, 1980s Jones and Jones Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, 1980s

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Sherif Truman and Pete Martell birdwatching, Twin Peaks, Season 2, Episode 8, 1990 Sheriff Truman and Pete Martell birdwatching, Twin Peaks, Season 2, Episode 8, 1990


Creatures of Fierce and Ordinary Reality: A Zoo for Belle Isle

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Organizing: how to line up Zoos point out connections between things by organizing, or producing meaning through ordered accumulation. Early zoos, like the London Zoo in the early 1800s, collected many examples of the same species and lined them up for morphological comparison. This zoo has a place for lining up both people and things.

Rhino Exhibit, London Zoo, early 19th century London Zoo, early 1800s

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Museum Wormarium, Copenhagen, mid-1600s

Museum Kircherianum, Colegio Romano, and the Museum Wormanium, Copenhagen, mid-17th C.


Creatures of Fierce and Ordinary Reality: A Zoo for Belle Isle

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Bubbling: how to share and borrow Bubbling is the desire for a zoo exhibit to help its visitors enter into another living thing’s “perceptual bubble.” Cedric Price’s 1964 Snowdon Aviary at the London Zoo strove towards the weightlessness of the birds, lifting its visitors up into an airy tensegrity structure and into the space of the animals themselves. In this zoo, bubbling is attempted in a collection of self-contained spaces that use different types of media to immerse visitors in animal contact at a variety of scales.

Cedric Price, Frank Newby and Antony Armstrong-Jones Cedric Price, Frank Newby and Antony Armstrong-Jones Snowdon Aviary, London Zoo,1964 Snowdon Aviary, London Zoo, 1964

Surroundings and Environment, Jacob von Uexkull, A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans, 1934 Surroundings and Environment, Jacob von Uexküll, A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans, 1934

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Creatures of Fierce and Ordinary Reality: A Zoo for Belle Isle

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Preservation Detroit: Experimental Branch Sanctuaries Studio, University of Michigan, 2012 Studio Advisor Meredith Miller

Preservation Detroit Experimental Branch is a proposed renovation to the Metropolitan Building in downtown Detroit. The Metropolitan was built in the 1920’s and has been unoccupied since the 1970’s for a variety of reasons, one of which involves its window detail. The Metropolitan’s window frames have wide flanges that are laminated between the two courses of bricks in the walls. Now exposed to the elements, the flanges are causing those bricks to separate and fall from the building (see wall section). Replacing the windows would mean replacing almost all of the infill material in the exterior walls. This proposal uses experimental techniques to find ways to reinhabit the building as a test site for a new research branch of Preservation Detroit. The building is lined with two membranes: one is a flexible, formally articulated latex membrane, and the other is a thicker, sturdier rubber that fits more tightly to the existing structure. The latex collects the materials that the building sloughs off over time, and those collected materials constantly change the shape of the membrane. The thicker rubber defines a more stable space for occupation by Preservation Detroit. The latex membranes expand the wall section from the thickness of the brick infill to a much larger dimension-- all of this space is dedicated to capturing and redirecting the building’s materials. The project originated not from a larger set of ideas about preservation, or about Detroit, but from exploring the potentials of flexible, formally articulated wall sections that are designed for “capture.” Two case studies informed the work: the Commerzbank by Norman Foster and Partners, which compresses a highly articulated wall system within a flattened, normative curtain wall; and the Soft House by Kennedy Violich Architects, which uses protovoltaics woven within a moveable curtain to both capture solar energy and reconfigure space. The latex system is an effort to impart the articulation of the Commerzbank with the flexibility and expression of the Soft House. The intervention aspires to promote an adaptive, participatory re-occupation of the building, and also to open a conversation about the role of the image of a “preserved” building in the city. Beyond freezing a building in time or simulating a previous condition, what counts as preservation? Does an imprint suffice? How tightly must the imprint cling?

PRESERVATION DETROIT EXPERIMENTAL BRANCH

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BUILDING SECTION

1/8"=1’


Preservation Detroit: Experimental Branch

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Building Section with snapshots of the interior

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Latex coating, filled

Existing window flange embedded in mortar

Latex coating, hung

Dropped bricks

Latex coating, stretched

Rubber lining

Latex coating, pulled

Wall section

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Preservation Detroit: Experimental Branch

Laminated glass Motorized venitian blinds Extruded aluminum airfoil

Single pane glass Insulated infill panel

Wall section

Case study 1: Commerzbank Norman Foster and Partners, Frankfurt, 1997

Typical facade

Laminated glass

Curtain with embedded photovoltaics Extruded aluminum mullion

Wall section

Axonometric

Case study 2: Soft House Kennedy Violich and Associates, Unbuilt Research Project, 2007

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Emily Kutil

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SITE PLAN 1/32"=1’ Site plan

Dynamics of the building section over time

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Preservation Detroit: Experimental Branch

Section model

Elevation, Coated

Elevation, Uncoated

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Strange Making Elective Seminar, University of Michigan, 2011, Professor Ellie Abrons TUBES > maps, diagrams, notations Collaboration with Meghan Reynard

Opacity: the degr Translucency: the Obscure: indistinc Reveal: to lay ope

Strange Making explores the defamiliarization, the “making strange” of a variety of plastics and wires in a wall application. Emphasizing a multiplicity of opportunities for sensory engagement, the final installation invites prolonged interaction and exploratory play.

Starting with the that share the for into the layers of density, material t

The panel’s layered assembly generates two faces: one textured and varied, the other smooth, reflective and uniform. The textures change incrementally over the panel’s surface, allowing for a subtly shifting perception of the panel as a whole and a variety of tactile interactions with the panel’s individual components.

Opacity: the degree to w Translucency: the degree Obscure: indistinct to sig Reveal: to lay open to vie

TUBES > maps, diagrams, notations

material placement | layers 1 + 2 integrated

material placement | layer 1

Starting with the plastic-c that share the formal cha into the layers of the swa density, material transluc

material placeme

Opacity: the degree to which light is not allowed to travel through Translucency: the degree to which light passes through diffusely Obscure: indistinct to sight, not readily seen Reveal: to lay open to view

ES > maps, diagrams, notations

Starting with the plastic-coated copper wire, this swatch integrates othe that share the formal characteristics of the tube shape. Goals include int into the layers of the swatch and leveraging how light is made visible by density, material translucency, and material depth. material placement | layers 1 + 2 integrated

material placement + depth | layers 1 + 2 integrated

material placement | layer 1

material placement + depth | layer 1

material placement | laye

material placeme

Above: Diagram of material length and distribution Right: Material placement, layers 1 and 2

placement | layers 1 + 2 integrated

material placement | layer 1

material placement | layer 2

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material placement + depth | layers 1 + 2 integrated

material placement + depth | layer 1

material placement + de


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Front of Panel

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Back of Panel


Strange Making

copper wire

plastic tubing

copper wire

pvc pipes, hot glue gun sticks

cable wire

copper wire

plastic tubing

copper pipes

copper wire

copper wire, paint, sugar

hot glue gun sticks

copper wire, paint, plastic lacing

Selected test swatches

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Stubble Step Venice Biennale Installation (Design and Fabrication Assistant), Ellie Abrons and Adam Fure, 2012 Project team: Emily Kutil, Christina Kull, Nick Safley

I assisted in the design and fabrication of Stubble Step, an invited submission to Common Ground, the 13th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale curated by David Chipperfield. As a part of the design team I experimented with materials and fabrication techniques, researched and ordered materials, and produced of all of the fabric for the installation. From ea-do.com: “The project is a reimagining of a previous project situated in an abandoned house in Detroit, Michigan. Countering the slow decay of Detroit’s built environment, Stubble Step embraces thickness and abundance, imbuing life through the excessive build-up of common materials. Hundreds of wood members stack and shift to create a stepped landscape, affording opportunities to climb, sit, and socialize. The exterior respects the rectangular volume of the original bedroom, concealing the textural richness of the interior. Upon entry, participants encounter the suggestive, stepped form and an array of saturated surfaces. Various material treatments replace the charred, rustic textures of the original home with rich, colorful casings that prod bodily engagement. Conceived as a collection of moments, rather than a discernible whole, Stubble Step elevates experience over objectification—projecting new patterns of inhabitation and fresh forms of architectural sensation.”

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Stubble Step

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Osborn Architects Internship with architecture and graphic design firm Osborn Architects Los Angeles, CA, 2010

During my time at Osborn, my primary responsibility was a project to improve the acoustics of the top floor of an industrial high-rise building in the fashion district of downtown Los Angeles. I researched acoustic principles and materials, developed design concepts, created visualization drawings for the client, and worked with materials suppliers and the contractor. We considered a wide range of strategies, including felt-wrapped tubes and a net filled with acoustically absorbent material and hung from the ceiling. Our final strategy involved wrapping the upper walls and ceiling with thick strips of industrial felt.

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M1/DTW Internship with architecture and graphic design firm M1/DTW Detroit, MI, 2009

While at M1/DTW, I produced concept drawings and design work for an adaptive reuse project in downtown Detroit: a bar inserted into a 1975 skywalk suspended between two of the city’s most architecturally significant skyscrapers. I helped to design the tables, which clip lightly onto the existing handrails; and the bar area, which serves to trasition between the heavy volume of the building and the high, dizzy space of the skywalk.

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Curriculum Vitae

Education Master of Architecture with Distinction, Museum Studies Certificate, 2013 University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Rackham Graduate School Ann Arbor, MI Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Cum Laude, 2011 University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning Cincinnati, OH

Professional Experience Exhibit Design and Fabrication Intern Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles, California Summer 2013 Design and Fabrication Assistant Ellie Abrons and Adam Fure Assisted on Venice Biennale installation “Stubble-Step� Summer 2012 Architectural Intern Blu Homes, Ann Arbor, MI Summer 2012 Architectural Intern (University of Cincinnati Co-op) Black River Design, Montpelier VT Fall 2010 Architectural Intern (University of Cincinnati Co-op) Osborn Architects, Los Angeles CA Fall 2009 Architectural Intern (University of Cincinnati Co-op) M1/DTW, Detroit MI Spring 2009

Academic Experience Graduate Student Instructor Arch 316: Design Fundamentals I with Neal Robinson Fall 2012 Research Assistant ACSA publication, Architecture School: Three Centuries of Educating Architects in North America Editors Joan Ockman and Rebecca Williamson Spring-Summer 2011 Teaching Assistant SAID 229: History/Theory/Criticism: Modern Architecture with Gerald Larson Spring 2010

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CV

Publications Book Designer and Co-editor StudioAFRICA, publication by Taubman College professor emeritus James Chaffers 2013 Book Designer and Co-editor Dimensions 25, Taubman College student journal With Robin Chhabra, Nathan Mattson, Elizabeth Nichols, and Steven Scharrer Received 2012 Honorable Mention, Center for Architecture Foundation’s Douglas Haskell Award for Student Journals 2011-2012

Essays and Articles “Matters of the PostNatural: On the History and Design of Human Modifications of Nonhumans,” (with E. Turpin) Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy, (Open Humanities Press, 2013). (forthcoming) “Rich Pell Interviewed by Emily Kutil, (Title Forthcoming),” Scapegoat 05: Excess, Summer/Autumn 2013. (forthcoming)

Awards and Exhibits Thesis Award, University of Michigan, 2013 “Thesis Honors Projects,” Exhibit, University of Michigan, 2013 Student Show, University of Michigan, 2013 Wheeler Family Memorial Award, University of Michigan, 2012-2013 Student Show, University of Michigan, 2012 Taubman Scholar, University of Michigan, 2011-2012 UC21 Scholarship, University of Cincinnati, 2007-2011 Cincinnatus Founders Scholarship, University of Cincinnati, 2007-2011 Robert Byrd Scholarship, State of Michigan, 2007-2011 Professional Practice Achievement Certificate, University of Cincinnati, 2011 National Merit Finalist, 2007 Valedictorian, 2007

Software Rhino, Vray Render, Revit Architecture, AutoCAD, Microstation, Adobe Creative Suite

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Thank you for your time

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Emily Kutil Portfolio 2013