Academic Portfolio. Plastics. Seminar

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P . P . P . PPLASTI CS,PAST ,PRESENTANDPROSPECTI VEUSES.SEMI NAR Pr of essorLor enadelRi o


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PLASTICS, PAST, PRESENT, PROSPECTIVE USES CORNELL UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE, ART AND PLANNING DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE SEMINAR. SPECIAL TOPIC IN CONSTRUCTION BUILDING TECHNOLOGY ELECTIVE I N S T R U C TO R : LO R E N A D E L R I O “Every material possesses its own language of forms and none may lay claim for itself to the forms of another material. For forms have been constituted out of the applicability and the methods of production of materials. They have come into being with and through materials.” Adolf Loos, “The Principle of Cladding,” 1898. When first synthetic substances were developed architects, artists and designers were fascinated by the potential of the new materials.This initiated a period of intense experimentation and searching for new forms and concepts that could adapt to the new products and to the new society that saw in the characteristics of these materials the perfect representation of progress and future.Technical limits and high production costs, due to the oil crisis, resulted in the end of the plastic euphoria around 1973. This seminar will take the students through an overview of the use of plastics in architecture through history, trying to understand the relationship between form and material. We will investigate the technical solutions applied in constructing with plastic through the analysis of a group of case studies and the semester will end with the design and construction of an INFLATABLE pavilion counting on a budget under 500$. “Every new material means a new form, a new use if used according to its nature”. Frank Lloyd Wright, “In the cause of architecture: Composition as Method in Creation.” 1928. 63


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[COME PLAY] MAY 5 10AM-12PM SIBLEY DOME

JELLOpavilion 64


JELLO PAVILION I N S T R U C TO R : LO R E N A D E L R I O

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Nils Axen Danica Davis Bee Gan Yiwei Gao Irene Garcia Boyao Jiang Lucia Lee Jingyang Liu Liam Martin Alejandra Martinez Jinting Yang Yaoyi Zhou

The Jello Pavilion is an inflatable structure in the spirit of Ant Farm: the avant-garde group of architects who revolutionized the use of plastics with the ambition of creating flexible, democratic and fun spaces for people in the 1970s. Students in Lorena del Rio’s “A Journey into Plastic” Seminar conceived the Jello Pavilion as a collaborative design build project to bring a wave of fun during the stressful final weeks of the semester. With a budget around 300$ the pavilion is comprised of over 100 plastic panels of various geometries secured together through a calibrated technique of heating. This thin plastic shell achieves its volumetric potential with a high-power fan that inflates air in through a tubular appendage in a constant way. A globular shape when fully inflated, the pavilion is easily manipulated into different formal configurations through the fastening of Velcro strips attached throughout the volume. Despite its complex system of assembly, the Jello Pavilion portrays a simple image of fun, and is filled with balloons and light projections at various times throughout the day. The Jello Pavilion is an opportunity for all to literally enter a bubble of fun in the midst of hectic campus life. It also carries on the tradition of plastics as a cheap, malleable and flexible material with incredible potential for designers.

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