Emerging Systems, Technologies & Media Post Professional Program

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Students: Nels Long, Brennen Huller & Nikita Troufanov
Studio Title: Independent Study Seminar / 2014 Tex-Fab Competition entry
Instructor: Tom Wiscombe

PUFF’D prototype explores plasticity of COMPOSITE construction and the role of the seam and joint in architecture. Inspired by Japanese wood joinery, puffy jackets and jet fighter airplanes, PUFF’D pro- poses a novel construction technique for full scale architecture. Instead of following parametric paneling and module-based logics, PUFF’D employs large monolithic building components or SUPER-COMPONENTS suggesting new ways of full scale assembly on site. The project follows up on our previous explorations including studies of super-components, joinery, material agency, and robotic assembly. The previous prototype used the language of stitching and wood joinery to study how composite tectonics would utilize a MEGA-SEAM for a simplified assembly and explored the role of real and fake seams in architectural assemblages. The current proposal scales up and develops an inflatable composite sandwich technique to minimize waste and explore new formal and structural possibilities.


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Students: Brennen Huller, Cheng Lu, Nikita Troufanov
Studio Title: Squished II: Supercomponents and Metaseams
Instructor: Tom Wiscombe

The project explored the renewed relevance of the joint and the seam in contemporary composite construction.The seminar investigated traditional Japanese wood carpentry for its complex structural joinery free of hardware, as a model for building with large, lightweight composite components. The aim was to produce alternatives to the aesthetically homogenizing, and often operationally unattainable, smoothness associated with composite tectonics.
Robots were used to fit and fasten components together, using multi-step processes involving locking, keying, friction-fitting, and gluing. Ultimately, the goal was to explore a massive scaling-up of building components toward integrated chunks and away from panel systems, and to fundamentally reconsider the delivery and assembly chains that might support such a shift.


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Primitive Electrum

Students: Avra Tomara, Salvador Cortez
Studio Title: Spring 2014 – ESTm
Instructor: Marcelyn Gow

Primitive: From the Old French primitif, from Latin primitivus (“first or earliest of its kind”), from primus (“first”)

Electrum: From the Greek (ἤλεκτρον ēlektron), connected to a term for the “beaming Sun”, resin.

The Paige Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles is revisited by addressing the question of mutability through the production of photographs and drawings that simultaneously define an object geometrically and anticipate its potential for transformation. Focusing on the contouring technique we produced both, more defined/exact and blurry/inexact qualities. The process of contouring in multiple directions in order to create different qualities led to the idea of having two very distinct design schemes. One sharp and rusticated for the exterior surfaces of the building (heightfield) and one more fluid for the interior spaces (lofting).

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What Lies Beneath

Students: Salvador F Cortez
Studio Title: Smoke and Mirrors Final Studio Summer 2014 – ESTm
Instructor: Marcelo Spina & Casey Rehm

For the last decades, motion has been a present issue for architecture, the introduction of new technologies has opened the spectrum for an approach towards a machine-like transformation, where the building physically displaces itself in space while the observer remains immobile, in a traditional spectator-performer relationship. By inverting the roles, the project allows for a more feasible building where reflections and perception translate into the mechanics of motion, moving between the problem of disguise and camouflage in an experiential way, to the accepted notion of formal primitives and heavy mass in the geometrical and material understanding of motion.


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Kinetic Snake

Students: Oksana Gritcai, Gonzalo Padilla, Amanuel Tesfaye Woldemikael
Studio Title: Eye robot, Spring 2014
Instructor: Curime Batliner

The purpose of this project was to create a robotic sculpture, which could facilitate the interaction between the installation and the human body. The “kinetic snake”, was designed to simulate intelligence. When onlookers approach the installation, the “Kinetic Snake” reacted not only to their approach but also to the movement of their hands and the pressure from their tactile interaction.

img02_kinetic snake

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SCI-Arc's ESTm Master program is a rigorous, experimental post-professional degree platform focused on data-based and physical investigations into the rapidly evolving fields of digital design, innovative fabrication methodologies and new building systems.


Program Calendar

January 2015
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