Recorded: March 30, 2011
Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich are principals of the office, P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, founded in Los Angeles in 1999. In this excerpt from the presentation, Marcelo Spina discusses the Prism Contemporary Art, West Hollywood, CA; FYF Residence and Jujuy Redux, both in Rosario, Argentina.
The research- and collaborative-based approach of the practice seeks to move between digital and material expressions. P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S describes its form-making, as “Driven by digital techniques and advanced computation, this is not just an abstract formalism, but a formalism deeply embedded in the physics of materials and tectonics, and the potential of construction methods and new fabrication processes.” In addition to their research, built projects include Prism Contemporary Art in West Hollywood; FYF Residence and Jujuy Redux both in Rosario, Argentina; and Fluid Core Yard in Chengdu, China. The firm was named by Architectural Record in 2004 to its Design Vanguard and is the recipient of a Graham Foundation Grant. The firm has been nominated for the Ordos Prize and is a current finalist for the Iakov Chernikov Prize. A monograph on the firm’s work, Embedded, is forthcoming.
The Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices Award spotlights North American individuals and firms with distinct design “voices” that have the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. The work of each Emerging Voice represents the best of its kind, and addresses larger issues within architecture, landscape, and the built environment.
Jeffrey Kipnis begins the fourth of the Fecundity of a Mossy Climate conversations with a survey of Marcelo Spina’s work, from the 2002 Busan Tower to the 2014 entry by P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S in the competition for two new museums in Budapest. Spina and Tom Wiscombe and Wolf Prix join Kipnis, and discuss Spina’s work, the concept of elegance, the exploitation of architects via competitions, the significance of tools, strategies, and career trajectories.
Eric Owen Moss outlines the background of the competition, in which a grant from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs created the opportunity to create a four-year pavilion that would be used not only for SCI-Arc's commencement but for community events. Each of the competition participants (Marcelo Spina, Elena Manferdini, Ramiro Diaz-Granados, Tom Wiscombe) briefly describe his or her project. Moss challenges each of the participants to clarify their explanations, prompting a discussion of siting, communicating to different audiences, and open versus closed systems. Marcelo Spina suggests that the competition format leads designers to modify their work according to intuitions about jury preferences and prejudices. This prompts a discussion of different strategies for dealing with competitions. Moss concludes with a summary of the jury's response to the four projects.
Hernan Diaz Alonso introduces the event as a new format of review for the post-grad programs that addresses the full complexity of the issues.
David Ruy identifies machine vision and artificial intelligence as the main issues of this session of Architectural Technologies. What does it mean for a machine to see? To think? What is the role of the designer, working with mechanized collaborators?
Marcelo Spina and Casey Rehm outline the 2016-7 session of Architectural Technology, “Distortions and alterations of the real: the attraction of unexpected machines”. To avoid operating in a vacuum, they grounded the investigation into machine vision and artificial intelligence with a real site, the 1931 Lincoln Heights Jail, closed since 1965. Students explored the site in a 2D machine vision exercise, followed by a point cloud scan of the site, scripted manipulations of the data, and recomposited images back into the site.
Spina and Rehm present student projects:
•José David Mejias & Daniel Horowitz, “Crypto-Architecture”
•Moheb Hezkial & Shabnam Moravveji, “Resurgence”
•Zihua Chen, “Half Half”
•Burcin Nalinci & Sanhita Vartak, “Biophlia”
•Soham Doshi, “Robotic Assembly”
•Arsenios Zachariadis & Hsiao-Chiao Peng, “Fug They”
David Ruy, Marcelyn Gow, Marcelo Spina, Casey Rehm, Robert Stuart-Smith, Ferda Kolatan discuss issues raised by the presentation, including the case of machine vision and artificial intelligence as demonstrated in automated cars, the agency of the designer, ethics, automation, machine collaboration, internet of things, programming, and originality.
Hernan Diaz Alonso introduces Marcelo Spina, founder and co-principal, along with Georgina Huljich, of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, a design research architectural practice based in Los Angeles. Diaz Alonso discusses the exhibit he curated at the Artists Space called Matters of Sensation, and projects relating to surface branching and partitioning called Fake Plastic Trees, and the Broad Caf? @ SCI-Arc.
Spina discusses projects relating to porous masses (Casitas Gradient Housing, and Zhixin Office Building), and manifold assemblies (Oslo KulturAtrium, and Manifold Dubai)
Spina discusses projects relating to local inflections called Jujuy Redux, FyF Residence, and the Sunset Contemporary Art Gallery.