Utilizing more than 17,000 straws, the team led by Yueqi ‘Jazzy’ Li and Eric Baumgartner strung together a blurry architectural space that engages touch, sound, and sight. Twelve panels form two constantly moving curtain walls and fluidity the space in between. The transparency and lightness of the installation allows itself to play with sun, wind, and light conditions. The ephemeral project does not take any static visual, acoustical, or sensual form. Instead, the dematerialization of straws, characterized by porosity and local interconnectivity, creates what Stan Allen calls - ‘field conditions’ – which are defined not by overarching geometrical schemas but by intricate intervals, repetitions, and seriality. The project was awarded 1st place of the architects’ week competition.
Danaus is an installation created by the Digital Fabrication seminar at the Tulane School of Architecture (TSA) in the spring semester of 2011. The piece explores the classic relationship between form and function through a series of multifaceted transitions of complexity, density, and depth.
Inspired by the work of French artist George Rousse, the student designers created a red cube made out of thin fragmented pieces in the shape of a hexagon. After entering Richardson Memorial Hall, one is confronted with the complete perspective of the cube right at the door. As one steps in and walks up the stairs in the lobby, the perfect cube reveals itself in the fragmented composition and begins a morphological process towards the floor above. Starting from small 4-sided polygons on the cube, the voids gradually morph into 5 and 6-sided shapes, simultaneously growing in size while diminishing in spacing. The designers digitally scripted this reciprocal relationship between size and spacing to formulate another level of transition in the visual, namely from the subtractive to the additive, and further articulated it to allow Danaus a function that emerges out of its own form.
One finally arrives at the end of Danaus and realizes its programmatic use as shelves for school publications, pamphlets, and postcards, which formerly were left flat on the bench by the administrative office. These unique shelves vary widely in size and depth to accommodate different publications and reach 11” at the deepest. The very last one of them is articulated to be a perfect hexagon, referring back to the original cube and completing the morphological cycle.