mary elizabeth adams a portfolio of works completed in GSAPP 2011-2012 for Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design
table of contents summer 2011 camouflage studio digital craft fall 2011 color studio techniques of the ultrareal graphic presentation spring 2012 infrastructure studio parametric realizations beyond prototype
distortion and correction derived through a study of camouflage
Project Description To conduct a study of camouflage, is a method of concealment that al- it was realized that the methods of lows an otherwise visible animal, mili- camouflage are understood if one tary vehicle, or other object to remain discovers how to distort a given unnoticed by blending with its environ-camouflage element. The idea of ment. Examples include a leopard’s distortion coincides with the concept spotted coat, the battledress of a of correction, and leads to the modern soldier and a leaf-mimic but- question of when should one correct terfly. Camouflage is a form of visual a distortion or distort a correction deception; the term probably comes to achieve the effect of camouflage. from camouflet, a French term mean- One instance of correction is the ing smoke blown in someone’s face creation of a horizon line within New as a practical joke. Military camou- York City through the changing flage is part of a broad area of decep- view of varying vanishing points. tion and concealment from all means Out of this creation, a new form of detection including sound and develops incorporating concepts of radar, and involving non-camouflage correction and distortion to deviate techniques such as use of decoys from the obvious into the creation of and electronic jamming. something new. According to Charles Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection, characteristics such as camouflage that help an animal to survive will tend to evolve in any population. Camouflage, whether in animals or
“camouflage a method of concealment that allows a visible object to remain unnoticed by blending with its environment… a form of visual deception that develops a relationship of concealment and attraction”
Expanding upon this basic understanding of camouflage, each student was tasked to find examples of the use and misuse of various types of camouflage. Through intensive research, my analysis of camouflage was eventually narrowed down to the camouflage tactics displayed through the environmental camouflage of the butterfly (page 12) and the horizon line camouflage of mirrored structures (page 13). Through studying the camouflage employed by the butterfly, it was viewed that the butterfly achieves successful camouflage through the use of symmetry in wing form and scale mixed with the composition of pattern. Thus, to understand the misuse of this camouflage, I dissected and distorted the methods of symmetry to achieve asymmetry. The final analysis concluded that the most effective means of butterfly camouflage is displayed though the combination of asymmetry in wing form and pattern to develop camouflage distortion. Analysing the camouflage of mirrored structures, the first observation of camouflage was classified as camouflage of optical illusions. Following along the lines of optical illusion, the understanding of camouflage adopts a more spatially aware context; for many
optical illusions function under the goal of changing an individual’s perception of space. However, as the topic of optical illusion of camouflage encompasses many aspects and leaves the broad area for more in depth research, one aspect of optical illusion was picked out of this broad range to narrow down the subject of research. Further analysis of the three case studies, the Chicago Cloud Gate, the Bjarke Ingles Group Transportation Sphere, and the Mirrored Tree house, showed that not only were they linked by use of mirrors to distort the perception of their surroundings, but that more specifically, they each utilized their mirrored facades to create the perception of the distortion of the horizon line. The Mirrored Tree House distorts the perception of the horizon line though variations in height, while the Chicago Cloud Gate and the BIG Transportation Sphere work to distort the horizon to conform to the curvatures of their specific forms. Thus, as these case studies automatically present a distortion, their use of camouflage was extracted through diagrams that work to correct this distortion. Thus, from the study of the butterfly and mirrored structures, several design strategies for the further
development of the project were derived and used throughout. For the final design of the building to encompass tools of camouflage, it needed to distort and correct the horizon line of the site and possess a sense of asymmetry and layering.
camouflage of the eye through eyelashes
camouflage of the butterfly
A study examining how vertical, horizontal, and pattern distortion of butterfly wings develop methods of creating new uses and misuses of camouflage.
composite study of wing distortion and correction 18
horizon line camouflage of mirrored structures:
correcting the distortion of camouflage of an optical horizon line through a physical transformation of form.
Using the tools of design gained through camouflage studies, the next goal of the project became to design a remote sensing lab and data center to be placed in the site of a current parking lot found at the junction of Broadway and Lispenard Streets in the Tribeca area of Manhattan. While conducting site analysis, I endeavoured to employ the techniques of horizon line perception derived from my camouflage studies. However, within this area of the city, it is impossible to perceive the horizon line within the urban landscape. Thus, to correct this distortion of perception, I created a perception of horizon line within my site analysis by lowering and elevating the eye of the viewer, similar to the function of the Mirrored Tree House. The analysis of these photos is further conducted by studying them
through the connection of varying vanishing points within the site; which are then utilized as tools to create interior spatial devices that define the deformation of the horizon within the building. One method of transforming the vanishing points into spatial elements is through the use of the facet. Analysing the photographs, the lines can easily become points where the surrounding site could be folded up or down to distort the horizon line. Along with the use of the facet also comes the utilization of the pleat, where pleating acts as smaller
spatial devices whereas faceting becomes the object of pleating. The use of the facet and pleat in relation to the distortion of the horizon line is further studied through a series of physical models that combine the usage of the facet and pleat as design tools.
Models spatially exploring the distortion of the horizon line of the site through methods of pleating and faceting. Similar to earlier camouflage studies, the models explore the deformation of horizon through vertical and horizontal mediums.
A study model of a combination of faceting and pleating in the development of finding the building form. 23
Final building form combining the use of faceting, pleating, and layering to create the sense of horizon line distortion.
upper floor plan
ground floor plan
lower floor plan 27
Through the completion of various tutorials, the goal was to gain knowledge of the use of Rhino, 3dMax, Grasshopper, Illustrator, and After Effects. The final project of the class involved the construction of a digital replication of a built architectural work; as a building detail or larger site plan. Utilizing this digital model, each student was tasked to create renderings, use the digital file to create a physical model, and develop an animation focusing on the exploration of the digital model.
final project digital model of zms schwandorf administration building by archimedialab
sectional rendering of administration building
corrogated aluminum cladding
insulated secondary metal roof structure cnc milled glu laminated timber beams
aluminum mullion system
metal cladding over concrete structure
concrete base structure
gray arctic 38
To study gray as a color, it soon becomes obvious that how gray is defined is almost limitless and without definite boundaries. With the increasing melting of the polar ice cap, the Arctic Ocean is facing the same issues of boundary definition. The countries surrounding the ocean are vying for the same rights, but in many cases, there are an increasing number of places of conflict where territorial lines overlap and boundaries become indistinct. Thus, it seems the only solution is to put the groups in charge of the arctic in a place where they can really observe the outcome of their decisions; to develop an arctic structure spatially defined by the boundary conflict and ever shifting nature of the ice.
gray facts: “a subtle change in context can have a profound effect on perceived gray shades, especially in terms of spatial position.” “the human eye can perceive 500 shades of gray” The first concept of how I understood gray was under the idea of pointillism, to create the definition of boundaries of gray through concepts of developing a gradient and a depth of field; to use the gradient of gray to create the perception of space and the ability of gray to create optical illusions depending on how the different shades are placed together. However, to look at the arctic utilizing concepts of gray, one of the first issues to emerge is the disputes of boundaries and the application of the law of the sea to the arctic between the eight countries vying for the ocean.
SPAIN = 6 NM
‘FREEDOM OF THE SEAS’ LIMITED NATIONAL RIGHTS AND JURISDICTION OVER THE OCEAN TO 3 MILES FROM A NATION’S COASTLINE
ICELAND = 2NM
NORWAY/ SWEDEN = 4 NM
3 NAUTICAL MILES = 1 LEAGUE = LENGTH OF A CANNON SHOT, HENCE THE PORTION OF AN OCEAN THAT A SOVEREIGN STATE COULD DEFEND FROM SHORE. CANON RULE DEVELOPED BY DUTCH JURIST CORNELIUS VAN BYNKERSHOEK
PROSPECTS OF HARVESTING RESOURCES ON SEA FLOOR INCREASED PRESENCE OF MARITIME POWERS INCREASED LONG DISTANCE OCEAN/SEA NAVIGATION
CONFLICT AND INSTABILITY
INCREASED INDUSTRIALIZATION CONFUSION OF CLAIMS SPREADING POLLUTION COMPETING DEMANDS FOR LUCRATIVE FISHING DISRUPTIONS BETWEEN RELATIONSHIPS OF COSTAL NATIONS’ RIGHTS TO IMMEDIATE AND DISTANT WATER WAYS
exploring the development of the law of the sea
AFTER WWII, FOLLOWED BY EGYPT, ETHIOPIA, SAUDI ARABIA, LIBYA,VENEZUELA CLAIM 12 MILE TERRITORIAL SEA
FIRST MAJOR CHALLENGE TO ‘FREEDOM OF SEAS’
PRESIDENT HARRY S TRUMAN EXTENDED UNITED STATES JURISDICTION OVER ALL NATURAL RESOURCES ON THE NATION’S CONTINENTAL SHELF; OIL, GAS, MINERALS, ETC.
1947-1950 CHILE,PERU,ECUADOR 1947 CHILE AND PERU, FOLLOWED BY ECUADOR IN 1950, ASSERT SOVEREIGN RIGHTS OVER 200 MILE ZONE IN HOPES TO LIMIT ACCESS OF DISTANT-WATER FISHING
ARGENTINA ARGENTINA CLAIMED SHELF AND EPICONTINENTAL SEA ABOVE IT
PASSED FOUR TREATIES CONVENTION ON THE TERRITORIAL SEA AND CONTIGUOUS ZONE CONVENTION ON THE CONTINENTAL SHELF CONVENTION ON THE HIGH SEAS CONVENTION ON FISHING AND CONSERVATION
FAILED TO ADDRESS EXACT DEFINITION FOR BREADTH OF TERRITORIAL WATERS
TECHNOLOGICAL BREAKTHROUGHS THREATENING THE SEA WITH ACCELERATED AND MULTIPLIED EXPLORATION OF SEABED TO OBTAIN OIL AND GAS.
NOVEMBER 1, 1967 MALTA AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS, ARVID PARDO, BROUGHT ATTENTION TO THE INCREASING LEVELS OF CONFLICT AND CALLED FOR “AN EFFECTIVE INTERNATIONAL REGIME OVER THE SEABED AND THE OCEAN FLOOR BEYOND A CLEARLY DEFINED NATIONAL JURISDICTION”
UNCLOS II NO NEW AGREEMENTS 44
UNCLOS III KEY PROVISIONS: SETTING LIMITS NAVIGATION EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE CONTINENTAL SHELF DEEP SEABED MINING THE EXPLOITATION REGIME TECHNOLOGICAL PROSPECTS THE QUESTION OF UNIVERSAL PARTICIPATION IN THE CONVENTION PIONEER INVESTORS PROTECTION OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT MARINE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES
ARCTIC COUNCIL 8 ARCTIC COUNTRIES SIGN ARCTIC ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION STRATEGY AEPS MEMBER STATES: CANADA RUSSIA NORWAY DENMARK ICELAND UNITED STATES SWEDEN FINLAND
1994 RESPONSIBILITY = EXECUTE THE PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS MANDATED BY THE ARCTIC COUNCIL MINISTERS WITHIN WORKING GROUPS, HAVE MANAGEMENT BOARDS AND COMMITTEES. OBSERVER STATES AND OBSERVER ORGANIZATIONS ARE LIKELY TO ATTEND WORKING GROUP MEETINGS AND PARTICIPATE IN SPECIFIC PROJECTS.
PERMANENT PARTICIPANTS THE CATEGORY OF PERMANENT PARTICIPATION IS CREATED TO PROVIDE FOR ACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF, AND FULL CONSULTATION WITH, THE ARCTIC INDIGENOUS REPRESENTATIVE WITHIN THE ARCTIC COUNCIL. THE FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS ARE PERMANENT PARTICIPANTS OF THE ARCTIC COUNCIL: ALEUT INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION (AIA) ARCTIC ATHABASKAN COUNCIL (AAC) GWICH'IN COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL (GCI) INUIT CIRCUMPOLAR COUNCIL (ICC) SAAMI COUNCIL RUSSIAN ARCTIC INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF THE NORTH (RAIPON)
WORKING GROUPS SIX WORKING GROUPS OF ARCTIC COUNCIL ARCTIC CONTAMINANTS ACTION PROGRAM, ACAP ARCTIC MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM, AMAP CONSERVATION OF ARCTIC FLORA AND FAUNA, CAFF EMERGENCY PREVENTION, PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE (EPPR) PROTECTION OF THE ARCTIC MARINE ENVIRONMENT, PAME SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT WORKING GROUP, SDWG
“THE CONVENTION WAS ADOPTED AS A ‘PACKAGE DEAL’, TO BE ACCEPTED AS A WHOLE IN ALL ITS PARTS WITHOUT RESERVATION ON ANY ASPECT. THE SIGNATURE OF THE CONVENTION BY GOVERNMENTS CARRIES THE UNDERTAKING NOT TO TAKE ANY ACTION THAT MIGHT DEFEAT ITS OBJECTS AND PURPOSES.
1996 OTTAWA DECLARATION FORMALLY ESTABLISHES ARCTIC COUNCIL AS HIGH LEVEL INTERGOVERNMENTAL FORUM TO ADDRESS ISSUES FACED BY THE ARCTIC GOVERNMENTS AND THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF THE ARCTIC.
INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE LAW OF THE SEA ITLOS BASED IN HAMBURG, GERMANY
CONVENTION CAME INTO FORCE 1994, ONE YEAR AFTER GUYANA BECAME 60TH STATE TO ADHERE TO THE CONVENTION.
IC AR E C
united nations convention on the law of the sea
PO CLE L
UNITED ST ATES
arctic council different location every six months
Thus, giving the UNCLOS and Arctic Council a unified location would allow for the proper monitoring of the ever changing arctic condition; for more effective development and enactment of procedures to eliminate boundary conflicts.
To begin to narrow down to a site, I began to analyze the boundaries of the arctic ice and the specifics of what they consist of and how they begin to relate to one another.
My studies included looking at the continental shelf, current shipping routes, political boundaries, and the current shifting of the ice cap.
The final site location is placed with one of the only areas currently labeled as unclaimable, which is also above a rising ridge on the ocean floor.
material studies of plastic
On the path to conceptualizing the building form, a series of material studies were conducted using varying plastic materials. Each material was exposed to controlled heat, which changed the consistency and overall nature of the material; all of which can be symbolically related to the melting of the polar ice cap.
The developing design for midterm was highly focused on the concepts of physically representing the shifting nature of the ice within the building design.
further form development
Following midterm, the development of the building form became more integrated with the program of the building and the relationship between the inhabitants affiliated more with either the science or political functions of the structure, and the development of a public shared space between the two.
final project proposal
I took the two occupants of the building, those people affiliated with the United Nations â€“ visiting and serving under more political objectives, and those of the Arctic Council â€“ serving more towards scientific research objectives, and interjected between the two spaces a gray area of shared public space. Ground Floor Plan Contains the main living space and access to the shared public space; which also allows access to the lower barge level of the building in stepped lecture space which can be covered and opened when needed. Second Floor Plan Contains the main research areas for the Arctic Council, the conference areas for the United Nations, and shared community spaces housing the cafeteria and general entertainment spaces.
second floor plan
ground floor plan
overlapping boundaries ground floor plan
second floor plan
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second floor circulation
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second floor research labs
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
14 6 13 7 12 8 11 9
12 11 10
18 17 16 15 14 13
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
12 11 10
18 17 16 15 14 13
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
18 17 16
18 17 16 15 14 13
13 12 11 10
living shared space
18 17 16
15 14 13 12 11 10
18 17 16
all public circulation
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
techniques of the
The class objective was to explore the art developing architectural renderings through photo-realistic, analytic, or abstract approaches using digital tools. Primarily the class focused on the development of the ability to utilize the rendering capabilities within 3dMax complimented further by the tools available in Adobe Photoshop and Aftereffects; to develop the capability to combine the use of all these programs to efficiently develop an inspiring architectural rendering that is developed through modeling, lighting, material application, and compositing. My personal approach to the class began with the desire to design a folly that would realistically allow for people to inhabit and interact with the interior spaces. Through several design schemes, and a desire to keep a fanciful approach towards the project, I finally decided on utilizing the sphere as the main enclosure. Within the sphere, structural elements, furniture, materials, and lighting work together to create the realistic feel towards the final renderings. However, instead of taking the route of the ultra-real, the final renderings mimic the aspirations of the design and become more artistic explorations with ultra-real elements.
mary elizabeth adams
The class objective was to consider the graphic aspect of communicating architectural ideas. The class mainly consisted of the completion of short projects that introduced basic concepts of 2-D design, typography, composition, production, and communication. In the beginning of the semester, the mastery of these goals was attempted through the repeated exercise of composing simple squares into compositions that encouraged multiple readings. Along with the squares assignment, several typographic assignments were also introduced before joining the two together in a 2-D graphic composition. To create these compositions, the tools of adobe illustrator and adobe indesign were utilized.
pres en tation
Arctic To study gray as a color, it soon becomes obvious that how gray is defined is almost limitless and without definite boundaries. With the increasing melting of the polar ice cap, the Arctic Ocean is facing the same issues of boundary definition. The countries surrounding the ocean are vying for the same rights, but in many cases, there are an increasing number of places of conflict where territorial lines overlap and boundaries become indistinct. Thus, it seems to only solution is to put the groups in charge of the arctic in a place where they can really observe the outcome of their decisions; to develop an arctic structure spatially defined by the boundary conflicts and ever shifting nature of the ice.
For the final class assignment, the tools of typography and composition were combined together in a final poster layout; the goal being to create similar but different designs for each poster. The first poster having the function of serving process while the second poster serves as the presentation of final form. 63
houston ship channel 66
Studio Abstract Houston Ship Channel
infrastructure and architecture?” -Michael Bell
“The segregation between architecture and infrastructure in the United States has long meant that the deep financial resources of the public sector invested in infrastructure have rarely affected architectural design in any significant way. Housing, retail, commercial spaces—that is, building—is almost universally an adjunct of infrastructure and segregate from its means, methods or materials... Today, the large scale urban project faces a social and political (if not practical) divide: the segregation of public and private funds, spaces and protocols of architecture vs. infrastructure makes the large scale project almost impossible politically even as immense scales of investment are made. Forming a parallel city of everyday life that is latent with capacities but often devoid of development. It is a segregate world of two types of spending: trillions of dollars produces myriad infrastructures that in their simultaneous but divided means stand apart from architecture and its often urban ambitions. Infrastructure and architecture are separate legal and spatial entities. What is possible if you begin to fuse the capacities of
Keeping this abstract in mind, the studio focused our efforts towards developing new infrastructure systems in Houston, specifically surrounding Navigation Boulevard, a road adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel. A site visit to Houston was particularly enlightening, and opened up the discussion and study of the seemingly vacant nature of the city. In Particular, I focused on how to use infrastructure to reconnect and add a new dimensional factor to the urban grid; while also creating a new venue for the redefinition of the boundary relationships between industry and residential areas.
houston industry If Houston were an independent nation, it would rank as the worldâ€™s 30th largest economy
among the 10 most populous metro areas in the U.S.
Houston has a unique museum district offering a range of museums, galleries, art and cultural institutions, including the Cityâ€™s major museums.
The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. It is the tenth largest port in the world. The Port handled 220 million short tons of domestic and foreign cargo in 2010.
Houston ranks second in employment growth rate and fourth in nominal employment growth
Super Neighborhoods Super neighborhoods were created to encourage residents of neighboring communities to work together to identify, prioritize and address the needs and concerns of the broader community. This creates a manageable frame work for community action and allows the city to perform services more efficiently.
RESIDENTIAL INDUSTRY RESIDENTIAL
RESIDENTIAL/ LIGHT COMMERCIAL
“Ladders” The Primacy of Space “The contemporary city, the city that is, at this moment under construction, is invisible. But the contemporary city has not been forgotten or deliberately ignored as it has remained unseen. It was wisely said that ‘it is not the built form which characterizes the contemporary city, but the immense space over which the built form has little or no control’. Key Concepts: Urban Implosion Mass absence Centrifugal Grid Centripetal Grid The Ladder Linear City Houston Grid Analysing Houston’s Urban grid, several different uses of the grid became apparent. This change in the planning device often creates a break, either through physical accessibility or through visual methods. Spaces that then act as voids, which arises the question of how do we then begin to reconnect the void?
Flatland Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbot “Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move freely about, on or in the surface, but without the power of rising above or sinking below it, very much
like shadows - only hard and with luminous edges...you will suppose that we could at least distinguish by sight the Triangles, Squares, and other figures, moving about as I have described them. On the contrary, we could see nothing of the kind, not at least so as to distinguish one figure from another. Nothing was visible, nor could be visible, to us, except Straight Lines...”
Superstudio Superstudio wrote that “ultimately the grid would form a “single continuous environment, the world rendered uniform by technology, culture, and all the other inevitable forms of imperialism.” “Live with Objects, Not for Objects”
Changing perspective of the Grid
Connecting over the Shipping Channel
Connection of two Residential Grids
Two Cantilevers: one reliant on the other
Creation of a void space to be used as Shared Public Space
Final Bridge Forms
Suspended Public Spaces
Horizon Travelling through the bridge, the change of horizon not only defines the manner of experiencing the interior spatial quality of the bridge, but also allows for the development of a dialogue between the resident and industry, which becomes more visible with the progression of height. Pedestrian Bridge Elevated pathways develop additional spaces for the addition of program. The pathways also allow for the individual to pass through the bridge at varying speeds. Vehicular Bridge Acts as the main source of fast paced circulation through the bridge. Structurally ,the vehicular bridge acts as a giant cantilever upon which the pedestrian bridge is anchored.
Becoming intrigued by the possibilities of using felt as the main construction material, our group began to look for precedents displaying the structural qualities of felt. These precedents lead us to the idea that our object should also employ methods of tessellation, to better conserve material and serve multiple functions; particularly as a sleeping surface and storage item.
Exploring several different types of tessellations, our group decided that the square waterbomb was the most adaptable tessellation for our needs. The square pieces could be pushed together to create a surface suitable for sleeping, while also creating storage compartments on the back side where different waterbombs meet.
waterbomb panel folding pattern
Felt Up folds down to neatly fit inside a framing system.
A single frame is part of a set that can be assembled to create a shelving unit to store multiple Felt Ups.
Felt Up serving as sleeping surface and desk storage unit.
For this class, the objective was to study a tessellation system that could be broken down into single components. Deciding upon a system, it was put into Grasshopper to be mapped onto a surface; which allowed for us to examine how the component could repeatedly deform to serve as a more structural element. Once deciding upon the specific design and function of the component, several exercises followed to allow each group to physically construct several components by CNC milling. For our component, we decided to use a combination of aluminium and plastic, both of which required specific cut patterns to allow for the appropriate bending and addition of hardware; the final result ending in the fabrication of two full scale component systems.
waterbomb + bird beak ITERATIONS
04. ROTATED AND SCALED BEAK COMPOSITION
waterbomb + bird beak component exploration
Each individual component is made of the waterbomb and bird beak patterns; combining the two systems to have a removable center section. This center, depending on scaling, can serve as removable seating units or interchangeable light wells.
waterbomb base aluminium
removable aperture frosted plastic
waterbomb base aluminium