Patrik Schumacher: Pleated Shell Structures exhibition discussion (October 12, 2012)

Regarding the Pleated Shell Structures installation in the SCI-Arc Gallery by Zaha Hadid Architects, Eric Owen Moss wonders where the meaning is located, asking Patrik Schumacher if it matters if it isn’t finished. Schumacher responds by describing the installation as one part of an ongoing research project into lightweight, minimal, fabric shell structures.

Moss questions Schumacher’s use of the word “research,” and they debate the extent to which application of parametric systems can constitute research. Moss wonders why the interior and exterior of the generated forms should be so similar, when they have such different functions and contexts. Schumacher responds that they are intended to generate new experiences and new freedoms. He also argues that cultures are no longer tied to geography, which Moss disputes. Moss asks if Constructivism is still an inspiration? Schumacher replies that his inspirations lie more in the realm of complexity theory, and artificial intelligence. When Moss mentions the progressive social goals of Constructivism, Schmacher characterizes parametric design as a progressive force. Shajay Booshan responds to a member of the audience who questioned the disconnect between the sophisticated design process and the seemingly basic construction process of the SCI-Arc Gallery installation. Moss concludes by reminding the audience that the debate has taken place within the context of friendship and respect.

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