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Ordos, X and Y, pp. 33–40


Everything All at Once The Software, Videos, and Architecture of MOS Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample Princeton Architectural Press New York

STACK, On the Verge of Collapse (Overhang), pp. 41–48


FORTRESS, Transformation of a Necklace Dome, Transformation of a Necklace Dome (Alive, Son of Awake), pp. 49–61


Preface, Hilary Sample, pp. 15–16 Architecture Beside Itself, Sylvia Lavin, pp. 86–107 P.M.S.A., Michael Meredith, pp. 171–72 Credits, Acknowledgments, pp. 173–74 Post-script of a Work in Progress, p. 175

EROSION, Without Out, pp. 62–70


CAT, Afterparty, Escape (Correspondence), pp. 71–80


SAND, Rainbow Vomit, pp. 113–22


Element House, Romance of Systems, Nowhere to Go, pp. 123–35


DRIFT, pp. 136–39


JAM, pp. 140–43


GRID, Temporary Cinema, pp. 144–51


NET, pp. 152–54


BALL, Instant Untitled, Not Negative, pp. 155–67


CRUMPLE, pp. 168–70


Preface Hilary Sample This book is at once a compilation of timebased media with three distinct types of projects: software, video, and built work, albeit temporary experiments that no longer physically exist. The importance of assembling this collection of projects together is twofold: firstly, to put forward a model for a design practice, and secondly to illuminate the increasing significance of representational media to contemporary architectural discourse. Each of the projects found within this book presents different times, narratives, and spaces simultaneously; they coexist, underscoring that we live in multiple times and spaces. As architects, we try to be guided by creating a new space to work within through the production of multiple narratives. These narratives promiscuously intrude and interplay with one another. This book proposes a way of working within the world at large through playful creation and creativity (rather than solely through habits, traditions, or the practical). Architects today are too sophisticated to act totally spontaneously, and architecture is too complex to be approached without a little self-consciousness. In this post-medium age, where any type of architecture is assumed possible and where multiple discourses continue to emerge, architects increasingly have expanded their concerns, concentrating on not only form-making but also issues beyond building—from urban design to infrastructure to ecologies into a world of forces and vectors. At the same time, most architects inhabit niches within which they work, contracting from a totalizing form of practice. Today, there are more camps than yesterday. The fight between dogmatic ideologies has been usurped in favor of a Hilary Sample

seemingly limitless number of practices and projects. In order to be effective, an architect’s concerns must expand beyond architecture, not contract. We frequently choose to produce experiments that reference these new considerations, attempting to relate architecture to these issues, as opposed to giving up on architecture. We believe that the architect’s ability to enfranchise is significantly more important than creating buildings for the sake of building. We do so by interjecting narratives that play out through time-based media and rethinking representation that hints toward history, while exploring contemporary graphic techniques to produce visual acuity. The built works shown here were commissioned projects with an expected physical architectural presence, through the making of something real, material, and shaped by physics. These projects all share the characteristic of being very temporary, and inevitably were removed from their original, intended place of construction. Each work’s agency, however, has not been to remain as a singular project in the end, but rather to exist through multiple forms of media. We filmed the provisional work, leading to an afterlife as a video accompanied by immersive sound and closed captions. Through this process, the temporary has been a subject that we approach without angst. It’s the type of work most young firms are presented with and it’s the world we operate within. We try to transform these temporary projects into something else, in which we reference history and contemporary everyday life. In combination, software, scripting, and Processing produce a framework within which we interact. The core of each work exists within a certain language (videos rely on scripts that are different

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from the scripts of the software), within sets of references and forms. These forms, while arguably not formal, make reference to history, social anxieties, cultural tropes, bad jokes, and games found within architecture’s discourse and should be observed as disciplinary experiments. These media, however, do not replace older and more traditional techniques of architectural production, which we still employ, such as large-scale physical models. Although we make this work for the office and a small group of friends, we’re hoping to produce a new audience that shares our pleasure for new informalities and generates new enthusiasms. We’re seeking to introduce a space between an internal audience and the world at large, rethinking architecture’s meaning through post-medium specificity. The desire for a carefully considered effectualness in creating environments and narratives within and about architecture is presented in this book as experiments and an interpretation of past histories, while dealing with the present social agency of architectural medium.

Preface

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Software Architecture still largely relies on two-dimensional orthographic models of composition. This organizational method structured architectural thought by correlating the part to the whole. Complexity was produced within the abstract relationships of plan and section. This flattening of space allowed architecture to achieve portability and operational efficiency. When orthographic drawing became the primary medium of architecture, it also produced a technical datum—a playing field—in which all buildings could be evaluated against one another. The abstraction of architectural designs into digestible compositional imagery encouraged a discourse around a unified discipline. The further reduction of plans into diagrams has completely detached architectural representations from the material configurations they attempt to organize. Coupled with photo-realistic renderings and techniques that produce imaginary buildings, architecture has achieved an unprecedented relationship to its representational medium. In an attempt to discover new modes of representation within this disciplinary ambiguity, we have turned to software in order to engage other processes that do not focus solely on geometry. The simulated physics found in video game engines, for example, has the potential to produce more situational, inclusive, and relativistic material behaviors. Forces such as weight, gravity, structure, chance, and entropy undermine the pure and absolute ideals of geometry that have preoccupied the discourses of painting and architecture. Software gives us the opportunity to misuse behavioral forces in service of an aesthetic and new possibilities of organization. Installations Installations are the contemporary version of the eighteenth-century folly. Through their uselessness, they transcend the utility of building. The only difference is that architectural installations are found inside galleries or architecture school lobbies rather than picturesque gardens. In both cases however, they represent technique free from the restraints of buildings. The technical has become the new picturesque;


it is our contemporary ruin. From one perspective, installations can be seen as a novelty version of architecture—a simplified, ornamental, or tectonic gimmick. In our case, these disembodied installations are not ends in themselves, but generative models for new software, films, or future architecture. They are not thought of as mere representations but producers of a reality themselves. Once you start talking about multiple temporalities, things get complicated; it becomes difficult to determine an absolute real. Videos Film more than any other medium was the protagonist of postmodern architecture. Architecture sought to transpose filmic qualities such as time and movement into drawings, collages, and other twodimensional forms of representation. Both film and architecture attempt to script experience. Our films, or videos, toy with notions of subjectivity, allowing reality and fantasy to cohabitate. These fictional narratives offer utopian possibilities and disciplinary problems, or at the very least they offer a narrative of the present. Architectural models that are usually used for working or presentation purposes often become characters in our films. They are a type of dematerialized object that negates the importance of the final built work. Instead they demonstrate the temporal unfolding of the architectural event. Once you see architecture through its representation, it becomes impossible to untangle their relationship. This relationship of simultaneity is what we’re trying to explore within this book.

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62.699.3 78.018.5

52.146.4

CAT, Arcade, The Zombies Are Late —— 2008 31.132.7

Hanging chains. We all know this one. How about hanging chains on chains, then adding weights, misusing gravity to distort these funicular arches, and then developing the arches into surfaces that are panelized and fabricated? It’s a game, a playful environment, where design, analysis, and precise fabrication are all rolled into one.

CAT

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CAT

20

55.548.0

28.315.8

53.791.1

30.159.7


CAT

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59.629.4

54.802.2

75.450.9

56.360.7

15.748.5


CAT

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69.401.1

08.434.3


Covent Garden, London, UK When we started, it seemed like a good idea. Maybe it wasn’t even an idea, it was a general form derived through vaulting. We started with hanging chains, Arcade

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and structural form finding. We tried to be economical and pragmatic. We designed it in fabric. It became a soft and wrinkly Gothic cathedral of sorts. The structure worked but it looked funny, or not funny Arcade

24


enough depending on our mood. We debated its merits. We panelized the curvature. We nested the panels. We made a model. It was parametric, but didn’t feel right. We made a movie. Arcade

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Arcade

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Everything All at Once: The Software, Architecture, and Videos of MOS  

In less than a decade, Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample have emerged as two of architecture s most daring experimenters. Their New York Ci...

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