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Arch 101 Final Portfolio Monica Diaz Professor: Jerry Lum

“The Wall Transfigured: Memories, resurrected, reconfigured, and propagated” Description The Arch 101 Final Project is a team work project in which each student have to develop and apply all the concepts, methodical approaches, and techniques introduced in the first part of the

semester to collectively plan, design, manage and build a full size environmental installation in the South Facing Courtyard wall outside of the Architecture Department. The installed work shall be three-dimensional exploration of both form and space; and evoke intentional expressive experience in the audience trough the application of tectonic language, it shall be visually readable and the manner in which it was constructed shall be clear. The installation

must meet the following requirements: • Respond uniquely to the concept of site. • Provoke others to appreciate everyday aspects of place that are typically ignored or taken for granted. • Reflect narrative of the human condition. • Support accidental encounters and human activities

Site Analysis •

We thought that the corner of the courtyard was the only spot that would allow us to attach our structure in the way that it's designed.


We designed it to provide an interactive enclosed spacing in an otherwise open courtyard

Site Opportunities •

We chose the corner of the courtyard because it has two sides and it could be used to created enveloped space.


The corner gives us multiple planes to work with and develop, which adds to our structural design.


It also frames the structure itself which the wall does not provide

Getting Inspired One of the goals of this project was to try to apply certain techniques like tessellation, framing and

folding to our final installation so we carefully analyzed the work of some architects, mathematicians and artists like Fibonacci, Ron Resch, Shigeru Ban, M.C Escher and the art of Origami folding.

Ron Resch

Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club House by Shigeru Ban

Origami Folding

Iteration 1

Iteration 2

Iteration 3

Iteration 4

Iteration 5

Some paper experimentation

Final Team Iteration

Narrative We wanted to transform the wall by bringing in aspects that would highlight the natural gifts of nature and be reminiscent of the 4 forces of the natural world: Earth, Wind, Water and Fire. Our use of an organic material, paper, is representative of the Earth and the trees she yields. The effect of our stars streaming down the wall emulates a cascading water fall tumbling down the face of a cliff. The fluid engineering of the joints and light

construction must respond to the forces of the wind, introducing that element into our architecture. Lastly, the use of metal and steel acknowledge the power of the fire element in the forging of the steel hardware we have used.

By including these 4 elements in our construction we are rooted our installation in nature’s

wonders and brought the natural world into and concrete manufactured landscape. Furthermore, most of our construction was done by hand, which truly required a human, team effort. And although this may have resulted in minor inconsistencies, this human element added to the natural aesthetic of the piece. As we delve deeper into the notion of morphing the courtyard with elements of nature, more of mother earth’s wonders and topography started to emerge. In this spatial journey one can imagine crawling into the earth’s bowels, a cavernous experience of jagged and faceted geological protrusions or even imagine viewing the world from an insect’s perspective. Viewed from the outside one might also see a mountain range and wonder how to make the visual journey to the highest peaks or see a forest with small plants or

flowers at its base rising to the canopy of leaves up above. Or, one might even imagine a Milky Way of distant stars twinkling in the night sky. Come, take a journey through nature with us

Getting Started The search for materials • Main objectives in the search of materials - Sustainability - Affordability

We realized how well we could embrace these values in our choice of materials, simplicity in our construction, and minimalism in the kit of parts so we decided to use cardboard instead of wood, because for our purpose cardboard is lighter than wood which could allow our design to have a sense of movement and motion. Also, because cardboard is cheaper than wood so we were able to reduce the cost of our project. We also decided to use fishing line and metal hardware to join the whole structure. These materials can also be reused.

Testing the Materials

Findings, Discoveries, Insights In many of our prototypes we tested different materials that would match our original design. One of the most difficult things we found was what method of material would be effective in connecting each individual piece that provides enough tension to hold the shape of our structure. We discovered with the square piece, by placing it perpendicular to the apex and secured by cut notches in the larger planes we were able to achieve a bracing support which would keep the overall structure in it's desired shape. We also found that the fishing line was the lightest, most transparent material we could use to tie each individual piece. It was an integral part of

the structure since we used it to create tension between the planes and fasten the joints of each piece.

Construction Process


Final Structure

Design Issues •

Joining faces of the starts placed in such a way that does not compromise the integrity of the material.

It was difficult to predict how the chipboard material would react with the large tension we were going to apply to it.

Design Strengths •

Our design was very affordable and sustainable.

The kit of part was easy to make and efficient.

Design Weaknesses . The kit of part were very simple but at the same time it was very laborious cutting out all the individual pieces. . Since we spend most of our time cutting the pieces and joining the pieces we did not get to the installation part until the last week.

Jury critiques Issues •

It does not feel that the structure is site specific, because it seems like the structure is hanging there loosely and they agreed that it can go anywhere in the courtyard.

During our whole presentation we kept referring to our design as an origami piece. They said that our design doesn’t not have the main characteristic of an origami piece which is the use of folding to created one piece, instead our design has many kit of parts and joins.

They jury also agreed that we should have slightly used different material in some of the pieces that conform the whole design to give a little beat of contrast and transformation to it.

Strengths •

They like the diversity of movement in our design, some of the pieces look very dynamic and other more

stable. •

They found the shadows and the light that is coming through the installation very interesting, it frames the threes and the sky very differently as they were moving through to different heights and different perception of the eye level .

Conclusion I very much enjoyed this second part of the semester. This second part brought new challenges to the class. One of the challenges was that for the first time we had to deal with the outside environment and build something in real scale, this was a challenge but I felt more than ready to meet this challenge.

The other challenge was that we had to work in a group, which at first I thought it was going to be difficult because everyone in this class has a different personality, but in the end we all get along very well and each one of us fully engaged with our work. I would like to give a special thanks to our Professor Jerry Lum, for his dedication, patience and professionalism which was hopefully well respond to our hard work.

Final portfolio  
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