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ETech I: Material Explorations
MATERIAL EXPLORATIONS _ Parametric Tiles
ARCH 2311: Systems Selection, Materials and Methods
Kennesaw State University, Department of Architecture
In Environmental Technology I class, students explored how to fabricate a single design to be made from three different materials based on varying material characteristics. First they used the CNC machine to fabricate a wooden tile. Then the students used the vacuum forming machine to make a polymer or plastic iteration. And lastly, they made a concrete version of the same design. For the design they had to generate ‘parametric fields’ as versus ‘repetitive fields’.
a refuge for refugees installation
A PARAMETRIC PASSAGE THROUGH THE FOAMCUBE
Project Title: A Refuge for Refugees
Location: Clarkston, Georgia, USA
Sponsors: Architecture Foundation of Georgia (AFGA) + AIA Georgia
Design Team: Soleimani, Loreto, Karimi + KSU Students
A Refuge for Refugees celebrates the power of architecture in enhancing the community and bringing people together to create a sense of place. Celebrating the collective spirit of Clarkston, the 8'x8x8' foamcube speaks to the notion of experiences that all refugees go through regardless of their geographical, cultural, and political backdrops. Within every unique experience, one finds threads that intersect and intertwine to create a new narrative of global plurality and integration. The incipit was to showcase through architectural means the fairy tale story of Georgia’s Clarkston community, a compassionate and welcoming community where refugees are integral to the town's sense of identity.
Through the notion of "small-scale interventions creating big-scale changes", the installation presents a non-imposing foamcube of everyday, quotidian material – Styrofoam, which upon further investigation reveals a parametric passage carved into it suggesting the collective spirit of Clarkston as a path forward for each member of the community. This architectural intervention portrays Clarkston as a vibrant city, one where refugees have opportunities to thrive, and one where people from greater Atlanta and beyond discover the multi-textured beauty of a global culture right here in their own backyard.
The design was developed based on an overlay of the contours of Clarkston’s people throughout a three-dimensional passage to create an organic path, where people’s souls symbolically converge as they walk through the foamcube. Additionally, two local artists where invited to paint the two exterior sides of the foamcube on the site when the installation was assembled for the first time.
The end result was well received by the Clarkston community – it was a great honor to see Mayor Ted Terry visiting and exploring our installation at Refuge Coffee Co.
Design and Fabrication Processes:
visiting toronto, canada
WTF Towers: [personal reflection]
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
After wandering in downtown Toronto for hours to catch a glimpse of the urban context, it was not very difficult to recognize an unharmonious combination of various architectures ranging from Georgian architecture to modern and postmodern styles. The massive growth in Toronto after WWII has unavoidably pushed the city to adopt and accommodate different European and American architectural influences. This has made it very difficult to expect an urban harmony due to the lack of a coherent urban planning model. On the other hand, the high value of land has opened the door to developers for stacking pancake layers over and over regardless of the urban life quality and the ecosystem.
One thing that stands out everywhere in the downtown is the presence of WTF Towers; no matter where you go, you always feel chocked by the harsh and aggressive skyline - it feels like that the buildings are abusing the sky. This is the result of the rapid condominiumization without any height restrictions and thoughtful urban planning. That is a bummer where there is rich architectural precedents inherent in the city, the glass boxes are being repeated architectlessly by developers!
A mechanism of indirect coordination, through the environment, between agents or actions.
The midterm review focused on the expansion of interactive devices and how each device can inform spatial exhibitions. Students will continue developing museum spaces while defining an overarching theme for their museum. The final product of the museum of interactive technology will offer unique educational, entertaining, and exhibition experiences in the city of Atlanta, Georgia.
The stomata offers different dialogues to facilitate various outputs onto a canvas with photo-chromic pigment.
The Drawing Forest offers an interactive passage where people can walk through and register their motion through painting.
visiting portland, oregon
Portland, the Rich City of Poor: [personal reflection]
While attending the 2019 Reynolds Symposium in Portland, Oregon (October 18-20), had the opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Portland and visit its multifaceted architecture and urban context. The city has been developed along the Willamette River. Near the mouth, the river splits into two channels to cuddle north of downtown Portland. Portland significantly benefits from a thoughtful urban planning model where the building heights are engineered to protect and preserve public views to the mountain and the Willamette River. The building height restrictions and the step-down development model as the city pertains to the river have been positively contributing to Portland’s livability, accessibility, and walkability while offering natural air and light flow throughout the city.
The great focus on the urban design at a macro scale and the development of LEED certified buildings at micro scales has made Portland one of the most sustainable cities in the United States.
On the other hand, Portland is faced with a serious homelessness challenge. Whole around the city, you can see miserable-looking camps and it is hard to walk anywhere and not encountering homeless people holding signs asking for money. Speaking to locals, it was not difficult to learn that Portlanders spend millions yearly to help the street people. In addition to the support by the generous citizens, the mild weather has made Portland a better place to be homeless among other American cities. It is very noticeable that Portland with rich architecture is severely struggling with the homelessness issue!