Monday, 3 August 2009

Things that Lurk in old Hard Drives: Design for Serpentine Pavilion 2003

What things can be unearthed from the dusty interiors of ancient Hard Drives once presumed broken!

I found this video that I had forgotten I had ever made on an old hard drive that I was about to throw away, since it hadnt worked for about 5years. I plugged it in one last time, to find that it hummed gently, and happily gave up its contents, all of which I had thought forever lost, including this startlingly mechanical and monochrome fly-through of my final design in 2003, (a proposal for a Serpentine Pavilion) for Charles Walker's first year at the AA Intermediate School; a unit that is now spawning a prodigious quantity of pavilions in Bedford Square. I designed an Excel Spreadsheet that would generate all the panels according to a few parameters, and several bell curve formulas (for height gradation and grid distortion, both in plan and section). The next year (2004) the project turned up in a sheet of 'influences' for Jurgen Mayer's Seville 'Metropol Parasol', along with a couple of other projects from other architects.

I do not like the design, but the insanely geeky and thorough process of designing my own parametric 'program' from scratch on Excel was an experience that I do not regret; and besides, doing this design for the Serpentine Pavilion took so long, and was generaly so unnatural to my inclinations, and so out of keeping with a context I loved so much, that there was a whole year of pent-up ideas, and continuously frustrated desires for the site and the programme, that simply burst forth with a vengeance when somehow, through luck, I ended up in Rotterdam, working on the 2006 OMA/Rem Koolhaas Serpentine Pavilion. It was such a joy to be able to work on a real design for the same site, a real design together with a team (notably the eminent Mr Karel Wuytack) and an architect, who were interested in so many of the things I had suffered from a lack of, in Charles' strange tool-based technocracy; namely the pavilion's relationship to the historicity of the place, its quality of allusion and its enmeshment with the events planned to occur within it.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

DomestiCity: Conclusion of Unit1

Unit 1 of the 2009 Summer School concluded with one film, presented while the students sat on a long table in front of the audience, drawing in the light of the projection above them, a final concluding storyboard/mindmap of their experience, which, as the film finished was presented to the jurors sitting directly in front of the table.

the students drawing during the screening of the film, which was projected just over their heads.

Part 1 of the Film:

Part 2 of the Film:

The storyboard

They worked in three separate teams filming and editing footage, while one member of each team represented the rest in daily meetings in which the overall narrative was gradually worked out, which then defined further work in image drawing, animation making, and sound editing for each of the teams.

Heres a little, silly, "outtake film"

Thank you especially to Peter Carl and Catharine Patha for your interest in the work and your insightful comments as the students presented for the last time, and, of course, thank you students:

Nathaniel Bengio
Alicja Chola
Noa Gonzales
Rachel Delargy
Cecilia Hui
Maria Koufalioti
Jan Ledwon
Vanessa Mitrapanou
Lap Fat (Morris) Ngai
Sandy Stuchfield
Chun Ping Yip
Taylor Zhou
Daria Tarawneh