RE VIEW PRINCETON- school of ARCHITECTURE rumor- winter 2011 ---------------------------------------------
Rumor 02.02 integrated building studio: paul lewis with nat oppenheimer and mahadev raman
fall 2010 studio 503
For the past seven years, the fall Integrated Building Studio, taught by Paul Lewis with structural engineer Nat Oppenheimer and environmental engineer Mahadev Raman, has explored how overlaps between structural logic, environmental performance and program can be catalysts for architectural experimentation. Working through a sequence of representations—including large scale section models and exploded axonometrics— the course challenges students to invent at a variety of scales with an emphasis on specificity. Particular attention is placed on the section, where structural, environmental and spatial qualities are most explicitly and simultaneously manifested. The program for the studio is intentionally small (around 10,000 sq ft), allowing projects to be developed to a high level of detail and resolution. This past fall, the students developed designs for an elementary school located adjacent to NYU’s Silver Towers by I. M. Pei & Associates. The work dealt with a variety of issues, including modulating light through roofs, nesting thermal volumes, using playgrounds to transition from the inside to the outside, inventing apertures specific to children and play, and engaging the idiosyncrasies of the site.
top: Bryony Roberts and Devin Jernigan; center: Joy Wang and Christine Chang; bottom: Jae Shin and Kuan Hsu
RE RE VIEW VIEW PRINCETON- school of ARCHITECTURE rumor- winter 2011 ---------------------------------------------
Masters Thesis Projects: NOISE FALL 2010 Liz Diller, Thesis Director Assisted by David Allin
Each semester, the thesis students are challenged to make an architectural response to a general thematic question. The theme is explored in workshops, stated as a written proposition and elaborated as a design proposal during the students’ final semester. Thesis topics are one word themes, agreed upon by the faculty, that serve as a hinge point between architecture and questions of politics, culture, technology or society. The thematic organization of the final semester’s independent design research creates a shared point of departure for students, faculty and visiting critics.
Invited Critics Final Jury David Benjamin Catherine Ingraham Sylvia Lavin John McMorrough Emily Thompson Enrique Walker Mark Wasiuta
Modernity means the advent of noise. The only silence our societies know is that of the temporary outage, a machine failure, transmission breakdown—the cessation of technology rather than the emergence of inner life. —David Le Breton, 1999*
The ear is an undoubtedly selfish organ; it only takes and gives nothing in return…and precisely because it simply takes, it is also condemned to take in everything that comes within its proximity. —Georg Simmel, 1908*
02.02 p.02 The evolution of music is comparable to the multiplication of machines, which everywhere collaborate with man. Not only in the noisy atmosphere of the great cities, but even in the country, which until yesterday was normally silent. Today the machine has created such a variety and contention of noises that pure sound in its slightness and monotony no longer provokes emotion. —Luigi Russolo, 1913* *noise quotations from The Sense of the City, edited Mirko Zardini (Canadian Centre for Architecture/ Lars Müller Publishers, 2006)
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Soft Energy Infrastructure: the Shanghai Workshop October 30, 2010 By Molly Wright Steenson
In late October, the Princeton Center for Architecture, Urbanism and Infrastructure (CAUI) convened the “Soft Energy Infrastructure” workshop in Shanghai, China, held at the Shanghai Study Center of The University of Hong Kong. Led by Professor Mario Gandelsonas of the Princeton School of Architecture and Tom Wright, Executive Director of the Regional Planning Association, and with workshop speakers and participants from China, the US, France, the Netherlands, and beyond, the workshop tackled issues of energy infrastructure and its architectural and urban response. Workshop participants also visited the World Expo 2010 Shanghai in its final week and received a private tour of the Cisco Pavilion. “Soft Energy Infrastructures” examined the pliable, flexible nature of new, electronically mediated infrastructures as opposed to traditional “hard” and inflexible infrastructures. Soft also means smart: smart grids, smart design, smart education, smart visualization. The workshop asked such questions as: How is energy demand and delivery changing the way we design our cities and buildings? What is the impact of energy infrastructure on architecture? How do we move beyond sustainability? How can our cities adapt to 21st century energy needs? The morning session, “Soft Urbanism,” considered the implementation of energy infrastructure at the small and large scale, whether in a local neighborhood or across a continent. Vince Zhen Zhang, Director of Strategy for Smart Grid Applications at Siemens China, outlined ten ways that smart grids are being applied to cities in China, including carbon and grid management planning, smart metering, demand response and building automation. He noted that the density of a city like Shanghai makes wind turbines impractical but encourages proximate generation, where neighborhood fuel cells nearby provide localized power. At the other end of the spectrum, architect Laura Baird presented AMO’s proposal for a North Sea wind turbine farm to generate energy across Europe. Her presentation highlighted tensions with integrating sustainability into architecture and methods of bolstering the indeterminacy of wind power with solar power from the continent’s sunnier, southern regions. How can technology drive changes in urban energy infrastructure? Gordon Feller, Director of Urban Innovations for Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, described the emergence of the Internet of Things and how it distributes intelligence to manage energy consumption. Ron S. Dembo, Founder and CEO of Zerofootprint, presented his company’s benchmarking and comparison platforms that show energy consumption and carbon footprints for companies, schools and individuals. In order to be effective, easy visualization of information proves important for such an approach. “Invisible architecture is just as important as the visual,” he said. By making this information available, individuals, schools, and companies can see ways to change how they consume energy. Zerofootprint also creates games and competitions for the lowest footprint. The afternoon session turned to “Soft Architecture,” which looked at qualitative and design for energy infrastructure. Jiang Wu, Vice President of Tongji University and former Deputy Director General of the Shanghai
Municipal Urban Planning Administration Bureau, linked the architectural and the urban in a discussion about transportation and energy. Just 20 years ago, nobody would have envisioned modern highways across China; now they are ubiquitous, he said. But now the question is how to make them more energy and cost efficient. Similarly, China now boasts 7,000km of high-speed rail. An audience member asked about the diversity of rail infrastructure: high-speed rail costs twice as much, and “hard seat” tickets have been eliminated. What about those, such as farmers or students, who might sacrifice time for a cheaper ticket? Stephen Hammer, Director of the Cities program for the Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE), pointed out that there are clear parallels between this discussion of transportation and the smart grid, with differentiation of services. Microgrids can charge more and offer better quality electric service. Laura Baird mentioned that in Russia, people make a similar decision: “Sorry, natural gas is all I can afford.” In “City and Energy,” Ariella Masboungi, Chief Urban Architect of the Republic of France, presented a number of self-sufficient, zero emission, and positive energy projects (projects that generate as much or more energy than they consume) in Europe. New projects in France must be resilient, save and produce energy and handle water issues, which means incorporating solar roofs, photovoltaic facades, geothermal energy sources, urban heating networks and shared urban energy resources. She showed the Pioneer Building, France’s first positive energy building, and the Nantes Airport, designed by Jacques Ferrier for zero emission and a positive energy balance, among a number of other projects. She also described the practices of companies like the retailer Monoprix, which uses rivers to transport its goods: it takes three days longer but produces 298 fewer tons of carbon. Bringing the concept to a larger scale, Ron S. Dembo asked, “How do you retrofit a whole city?” He looks at reskinning buildings as a way of rethinking the city to make it more energy efficient. Soft infrastructure could also include prompts for behavioral change, or “nudges” — elements built into a system to make it easier to use, said Peggy Liu, Chairperson of the JUCCCE. These could include showers with auto alerts at two minutes and heat sensors. She asked how architects could design for adaptability: what would that look like? Liu’s colleague Stephen Hammer presented a decision support tool developed for the World Bank for mayors to model energy efficient cities. A “one-stop shop” for managing a city’s energy efficiency, it provided information, recommendations and tools for data requirements, people to contact and methods for benchmarking so that cities can compare their performance against one another. Ron S. Dembo’s second presentation, “RiskThinking,” brought up hedging as an approach to designing for an ever-uncertain future: a “portfolio of options” for separating out the deterministic and the randomly determined. The final discussion session of the workshop centered on planning, real estate development, and energy infrastructure. Can planning be made effective, and how? “Planning is too long, too cumbersome and doesn’t produce desirable results,” said Tom Wright. Dana Cuff, Director of cityLAB and Professor of Architecture
and Urban Design at UCLA, pointed out that California tied greenhouse gas emissions to land use planning; Wright noted that 30 years of land use planning reduced the carbon footprint. Still, there stands the question of how real estate development undoes planning. Dembo suggested that cities reverse-engineer, incorporating adaptability into their planning models — a hedging process that considers criteria energy as well as aesthetics, cost, and reproducibility of methods. “The long term view of buildings is an urban view,” said Professor Gandelsonas, one in which buildings are processes, not permanent objects. Where soft energy infrastructure stands, this means designing and building flexible and adaptive cities. But it also means taking a critical approach to “smart.” Smart isn’t just a matter of technology infrastructure: it is a matter of proper scale, whether hyperlocal or megaregional, of visualizing information and acting upon it, of social behavior and smart grids. In order to provide for the needs of 21st century cities and urban megalopolises, energy infrastructure will need to incorporate adaptable approaches through smart, soft infrastructure. “Soft Energy Infrastructure” is the second in a series of funded workshops on infrastructural issues. The first workshop, “Hard, Soft, Fast, Slow: Access and Mobility in 21st Century Cities,” took place in Princeton in April 2010. A third workshop on water infrastructure will take place in Fall 2011. Participants
Thomas K. Wright, Executive Director, Regional
Gordon Feller, Director of Urban Innovation,
Cisco Systems Ron S. Dembo, Founder and CEO, Zerofootprint Laura Baird, Architect, AMO Vince Zhen Zhang, Director of Strategy, Smart Grid Application Business Unit, Siemens China Mario Gandelsonas, Professor, Princeton University School of Architecture; Director, Center of Architecture, Infrastructure and Urbanism Dr. Jiang Wu, Vice President of Tongji University; former Deputy Director General of the Shanghai Municipal Urban Planning Administration Bureau Mark Simmons, Front Inc. Ariella Masboungi, Chief Urban Architect, French Government Peggy Liu, Chairperson, Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE) Invited Guests Dana Cuff, Director, cityLAB; Professor,
Architecture and Urban Design, UCLA Songzhou Dai, Professor of Architecture, Tongji University, Shanghai Juan Du, Assistant Professor of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong Ling Fan, Assistant Professor, Central Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Beijing Stephen Hammer, Ph.D., Director, JUCCCE Cities Program; and Columbia University Feng Jin, IBM Eunice Seng, Assistant Professor, The University of Hong Kong; Architect, Sciskew Molly Steenson, Ph.D. Candidate, Princeton University School of Architecture Hongwei Tan, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Director, Study Center for New Energy and Green Campus. Tongji University H. Koon Wee, Academic Director, Shanghai Study Centre, The University of Hong Kong; Architect, Sciskew Rebecca Wong, Student, The University of Hong Kong Li Xiangning, Tongji University, Shanghai Dr. Jing Xiao, Staff Researcher, Environmental Computing, IBM China Research Lab Darren Zhou, Architect, Princeton University School of Architecture Alumnus
FACulty PRINCETON- school of ARCHITECTURE rumor- winter 2011 ---------------------------------------------
PRINCETON- school of ARCHITECTURE rumor- winter 2011 ---------------------------------------------
clip/stamp/fold the radical architecture of little magazines 196x–197x
beatriz colomina with Craig Buckley, Anthony Fontenot, Urtzi Grau, Lisa Hsieh, Alicia Imperiale, Lydia Kallipoliti, Daniel López-Pérez, and Irene Sunwoo
Since opening in 2007 at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, the exhibition Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X–197X has traveled to the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; Documenta 12, Kassel; the Architectural Association, London; Norsk Form, Oslo; the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Disseny Hub, Barcelona; Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos, Murcia; and NAIM/ Bureau Europa, Maastricht. Future venues will include galleries and museums in Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Bogota, São Paulo, and Pamplona.
The book documenting the exhibition was published by ACTAR in 2010 Photo: Storefront for Art and Architecture, January 2007
pRE PRE view VIEW PRINCETON- school of ARCHITECTURE rumor- winter 2011 ---------------------------------------------
A Conversation between Philippe Rahm and Stan Allen
Translated from the French by Gabriel Cuellar
Stan Allen: Many of the variables in your work are invisible: climate, physiology, atmosphere. This presents a challenge to the designer as the conventional tools of architectural representation are inadequate, and you have invented new tools to represent these invisible forces. Can you talk about the effect of these new forms of representation on your recent work? Philippe Rahm: The specifics of architecture really have to do with the invisible. It is maybe already quite clear, but it is important to declare it really the main subject of architecture: not the walls, the solid, but the hollow between the walls, the void, the space, the mass of air and the light to which architecture gives certain qualities of scale, temperature, luminosity, hygrometry and especially those for us to enter and inhabit. That is what essentially makes architecture distinct from sculpture, which produces hard, closed, concave objects that sit in front of us, impenetrable, where the visual and tactile dominate. In space, we bathe, immersed, and therefore it is not only through visual means that we sense and perceive architecture, but also with other senses, other lesser-known modes of perception, but equally as important, those of endocrinology and neurology. Until recently, architects did not really have the tools, in effect, to work on the void, so they had to resort to working on the solid, that which bounds the void — the wall, roof, and floor — and give it certain structural and decorative qualities. I take it upon myself to work on the void itself, to give plastic qualities to the cavity, to the very space. In that regard, you are right, we have to
PRINCETON- school of ARCHITECTURE rumor- winter 2011 ---------------------------------------------
redefine our tools and mode of representing. And the difficulty with that is that we do not work in the visible anymore, we do not represent the visible anymore, and that is what is paradoxical. On the contrary, we try to represent the non-visual parameters, like temperature, humidity and even the amount of protein burned by the body. When we just began, it was quite difficult to find ways of proceeding from this interest and all of my projects took on the appearance of minimal, neutral boxes within which climate was invisibly, chemically, and electromagnetically modified. The Hormonorium for the Venice Biennale of 2002 is a perfect example of this. Piece by piece, I put forward the ideas necessary for the movement of air, ventilation, and my projects began to look like air ducts that were enlarged and expanded in order to became inhabitable. The sport hall projects in Lyon in 2008 or in Slovenia in 2009 are examples of that. Next, I became interested in the intrinsic physical behavior of air. I began to use meteorological phenomena such as convection, conduction, or evaporation as the principles for architectural composition. For that we had the support of multiphysics software, permitting us to design space by working on the climate itself. And slowly but surely forms appeared, like the differentiation in heights, for example, due to the phenomenon of convection that makes hot air rise and cooler air fall. It was that principle that was behind my recent projects, such as Digestible Gulf Stream in 2008, Domestic Astronomy and the Convective Apartments in Hamburg in 2010. To answer your question very concretely, it is true that in my drawings I emphasize the void and lessen the visual presence of the solid. I try to qualify the void itself, to reveal its climatic, chemical, and electromagnetic qualities. I use the representational vocabulary that is found in meteorological reports, making gradients and different intensities in order to, above all, bring the thermal, hygrometric and luminous qualities of space to the fore. * * * sa: You have insisted on a new concept of organic architecture, less dependent on metaphor or appearance, stating that architecture “is inscribed within ecological cycles...one of the links in the mineral, chemical, and biological chains, and also the food chain, which form and deform materials and substances over time and through space.” As you move into larger scale projects, housing and public buildings for example, what carries over from the installation work? Are there specific issues — say structural,
organizational, or formal — that arise as you translate this ambient space into a more complex building? pr: For me, architecture is something completely material, physical, concrete, practical. In that way, I share the point of view of the philosopher Hegel who placed architecture at the lowest level of the arts, like a practical reality, subject to weight and the hazards of climate. It is for that reason that I think architecture should not tell stories, but on the contrary, create spaces, a geographic and climatic background where stories can be invented. I compare architecture to a natural landscape. A landscape does not tell stories, nor is it symbolic, but it can be the frame where stories unfold. Architecture, for me, should have this same semantic neutrality and give only physical indications, such as gradations in humidity or light intensity levels where histories may be born. So as an example, for a housing project, I would not try to design spaces based in functions, but rather a landscape where the temperature and humidity vary from one side of the apartment to the other, accommodating functions according to physical principles and not to social or cultural principles. I have misgivings about social responses in architecture, because they are often misinterpreted or fall to the side. It takes a moment to explain, but the example of public squares is key. When a square in the Middle Ages served as a market or source of water, it worked to create social links. Squares in the 20th century failed, because they were created without having to serve the need for water. The supermarket became the real town square in the 20th century, because it is there that we went to eat, and not to the postmodern squares that, in spite of their nice round forms and precise materiality that mimic old squares, respond neither to the physiological nor food necessity of the inhabitants. Regarding the scale of the project, I try to work in the same way whether for an installation or a more important building. So for example, in an ongoing project for an office of 28,000 square meters near Venice, Italy, the idea was that the corridors, as well as other circulation or entry spaces, also become reservoirs of fresh air having certain thermal qualities. Similarly, we did a project for an office building near Paris whose basic premise was the same as the Digestible Gulf Stream from the Venice Biennale in 2008. For me, my projects in museums or installations make up a store of concepts and ideas that I literally reuse for more important projects.
* * * sa: I have a feeling that for many artists or architects of your generation, the question of medium specificity has less urgency. Just as certain artists today move between painting, installation, or video, you appear to move comfortably between gallery installations, media, and buildings. Your work has been contextualized in both the art and architecture worlds. Do you see the gallery installation as a laboratory for future buildings or as an end in itself? pr: The question regarding the link between art and architecture is important and often a source of confusion. As you say, many architects of my generation show projects in museums or galleries, and the difference we have from previous generations is that we do not present drawings or models, but real, experimental, spaces that you can enter. It is just that which Aaron Betsky, and he was right, wanted to do with the Venice Biennale in 2008, and it is the notion that Kazuyo Sejima also adopted for the Biennale in 2010. What is strange is that when architects want to create real spaces for exhibitions, that one could actually enter, some people think that we are trying to make art or design objects. It is absurd. The truth is the exact opposite. When an exhibiting architect presents plans and models, into which we cannot enter, it is like he/she is imitating literally the modes of representation of painting and sculpture. But besides this polemic, I think what interests us about working in a museum, and in this way we share a common concern with artists, is the rethinking of the language with which we work. It is redefining our tools and objectives, revolutionizing our practices and order of hierarchies, renewing our view and modes of action on the real. When an architect renews the language of architecture, it is then that he/she becomes an artist. Robert Venturi, Le Corbusier, Aldo Rossi, or Peter Eisenman to cite a few, they are artists, because they are not content with applying
Clockwise from left: Convection House, La Défense, Paris, 2010; Domestic astronomy, Louisiana Museum, Denmark, 2009 (photo: Brøndum & Co); Philippe Rahm; De-territorialised milieus, VIA carte blanche prize, France, 2009 (photo: A. Dupuis/ VIA); Décosterd & Rahm, Hormonorium, 8th Architecture Biennale, Venice, 2002 (background, photo: Niklaus Stauss); Evaporated Building, office building in Nanterre, Paris, 2010. Images courtesy Philippe Rahm architectes.
a predefined language to different contexts and programs, and because they redefined the architectural language itself. They took on new ways of thinking, seeing, and acting on the real related to their moment in history. Working on the shift of architectural language toward the physiological and meteorological, I am trying to redefine the language by changing its priorities, confronting the contemporary challenges of climate and ecology. And it is in that way that my architecture practice could be defined as artistic, because it touches on the very essence of architectural language. But that really has nothing to do with the medium. The work I do in a museum is still architecture. You are perfectly right. * * * sa: Finally, what role does teaching, academic work or research play in your practice? What do you have planned for the studio at Princeton? pr: I am usually invited to teach at graduate schools of architecture. Being the case, my students already have the basic knowledge and we can start right away to develop important research in the project of architecture. I would say that, in my studios, one aspect has to do with what I define as the basic elements that I know well and teach in a classical way, like for example all the meteorological principles and design tools. But there is also a part that I barely know, I just have an intuition and the students really become collaborators in that research. This year at Princeton for example, we will focus on contemporary urbanization phenomena, their future, and the possibility of another globalization not based in planetary delocalization of the chains of production due to economic criteria, but rather following a new apportioning of climate, arising from the premise of ecological responsibility. I am a European and am troubled by the current direction of urbanization. If during the 20th century we abetted the spatial expansion of metropolises, spreading out the city to
the periphery in a concentric fashion relative to the car and the subway, today we disintegrate that paradigm proportional to the internet, because the suburbs of a city like Paris are no longer beside it, but thousands of kilometers away in Eastern Europe, China, or India. The results in Europe are urban dislocation and unemployment, which you have seen in the US in cities like Detroit. These post-industrial phenomena, sometimes called “third globalization,” are driven solely by economy, and I ask myself if, in the future, climate could take part in the global apportionment of the old European city. It has been discussed some years ago that some firms of the Silicon Valley have thought to relocate to a colder country, moving their immense air-conditioned data farms, which hold thousands of overheated servers, to the places on the planet where it is naturally cooler than California, so that we could stop cooling them and save electricity. These are the kinds of phenomena that I am interested in studying today, perhaps in the form of a “fourth globalization,” this time more sustainable.
pRE view PRINCETON- school of ARCHITECTURE rumor- winter 2011 ---------------------------------------------
Models of design in the age of computation Art, design, and architecture all have been influenced by the advent of computation. Although their processes differ their underlying computational models have much in common. They are largely based on geometry- and image-based representation and use similar algorithms. Geometric processes continue to evolve and expand the generative possibilities but at the same time many intangible aspects of design remain underrepresented. The push for integration of non-formal aspects of design in computation remains a challenge. Faced with a shortage of models, which satisfy the need for emergence, complexity, and control, architecture looks to other scientific disciplines. Ultimately design specific processes have to be developed to move forward. Speakers in the series represent different approaches to the creation of models of design. They leverage backgrounds in mathematics and computational geometry, computer science, art, and architecture. Their contributions range from the development of novel design projects enabled by distributed control systems, the creation of open source platforms, to consultancies with proprietary processes. This series was organized by Axel Kilian.
Feb 09 Marc Fornes — theverymany, Brooklyn Feb 23 Meejin Yoon — MY Studio and Höweler + Yoon, Boston
Mar 02 Fabian Scheurer — designtoproduction, Zurich/Stuttgart Mar 23 Heatherwick Studio — London
Mar 30 Helmut Pottmann — TU Vienna, KAUST, evolute Apr 13 Casey Reas & Ben Fry — coauthors of Processing
Apr 20 Christian Derix — Aedes, London
Princeton University School of Architecture Princeton, NJ 08544 ---------------------------------------------
ISSUE 02.02 winter 2011 ---------------------------------------------
RUMOR is the Princeton School of Architecture newsletter. RUMOR appears three times a year with news and reviews of the many activities at the School of Architecture: studios, classes and reviews; lectures events, conferences and faculty updates. RUMOR is by definition fragmentary and incomplete: a quick snapshot of the life of the School, telegraphic and immediate.
02.02 p.08 Rumor 02.02