Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Material Process Product - At Full Tilt

We've been exploring the notion of big box architecture and tilt up construction. The mammoth buildings that dot our landscape are pretty darn generic to say the least. How can we make them more meaningful - feel as though they are an integral part of the landscape and growing out of the earth, as opposed to  the painted ladies we have become all too familiar with and accepting of within industrial projects.

Exploiting the panel; both skin and structure, and expressing the process of how these panels are made was the ultimate goal of our research.  By chance an opportunity arose to push research into practice for a building study on the site of the former Bethlehem Steel Plant.

A little chance inspiration, a misprint from our color copier, arrived during the charette.  Zoom in and see the subtle beauty that only a mistake could yield. 

Our field research revealed some further nuances to exploit within the finish of the system itself and the component pieces that make the process of site cast tilt up construction come together.


Shown above is a view of a "pick" void which allows the panels to be grappled and hoisted into place.  Marks of construction are routinely hidden from sight, our interest is in understanding how they can be expressed in the building facade as evidence of a logical system of construction and ultimately as adornement that reveals how the building is constructed.

A gnarly slab edge condition, shown above,  provided further inspiration to study the possibility of markings that could be worked into the site cast process while reducing labor cost, creating a beauty of economy and system.

The photos were taken with a Lumix DX3 camera but edited entirely on the iphone using an app called snapseed.  This particular edit style is referred to as the “#mustangedit” and was first used by Vicki Liantonio on her image “For on the Floor” which can be seen on her InstaGram feed under the user name “piccolotakesall”. 

We thank Vicki for sharing her editing process and the continued collaborations and inspirations she provides, as always we advocate supporting the arts and the artist:


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Living in the Brownfield - IG Meet

So what happens when the virtual (instagram) becomes real (person with a camera)?  Find out Saturday morning at the inaugaral IG Meet to be held at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks.  

It's bound to be a fun morning meeting all the people that you've interacted with online.  We're super excited here because we get to show off all our "secret spots" to a bunch of talented people, some coming from great distance to attend the event.

We created some graphic announcements to get the word out to the online community.  These collaborations were based around an original photo that was sent to me by Leah Flickinger, a stunning example of her straight up style that can be found online at her "@leahflick" username.

The first two collaborations were a loose attempt at a play on the "exquisite corpse" strategy of dealing with a three way collaboration accross the wires.   Leah's original was divided into three and distributed for interpretation and then recombined using the Image Blender app.  The image was hacked by Lea Munjone "@lmunjone" and Bill Deegan "@fac_610" before being given back to Leah for the final edit and post.  You can see the image below.  We're glad some "International Orange" made it into the mix!

The second image was done at the same time as the first collaboration but sat in the archives for a week before we dug it out and incorporated a time change. We were really surprised to find out how many people were driving in for the event, so we let them sleep a bit longer!  The image below is attributed to the same team as the first (leah, lea, bill) with the final mix falling into my hands(bill) this time, the intent was to state the obvious, arrive at 9AM.

The final image of the pre-meet collaboration was a special guest edit of the image above (without the text) 
as envisioned by Vicki Liantonio "@piccolotakesall" with some collaboration in the mix by E "@_elemental_picture".  Vicki's machine gun edit of the image obliterated the original and created an entirely new image that contains a certain "Hatch Show Print" energy, a perfect reference for a brownfield site that is being transformed into a post-industrial cultural district by the City of Bethlehem and ArtsQuest.

All of the original artwork and photography in this post was created and edited entirely on the iphone and can be found on the Instagram feeds of @leahflick @lmunjone @piccolotakesall @_elemental_picture @fac_610.  Also, check out their own unique take on the world, these feeds contain some top quality images.  Looking forward to meeting some of the collaborators for the first time this Saturday!

some links to the collaborators:!/leahflickinger

some details on where to meet, further info on this can be found at:

this graphic from the ArtsQuest website has it correct - meet where it says "park here"!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Material Process Product

The Module and Structural Form

Here is some process for you. Now that the Arts Plaza is complete, there is a desire to create an opening into the adjacent Williams Visual Arts Building to access the plaza. We thought the opening needed more of an experience and would resemble a tear in the layer of brick. More importantly, the opening would happen without any conventional structural support. We intend to rely on the careful craft of stacking brick to make the opening and provide the sculpted and structural form. We look to the master of sculpted structural form Eladio Dieste and his church in Atlantida Uruguay. Looking forward to meeting with the masons to start the collaborative process!