austria under construc - Southern California Institute of Architecture

austria under construc - Southern California Institute of Architecture





of objects

Library Gallery

February 4 - April 22, 2011

audience of objects

Designed and curated by Eric Owen Moss

for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010

Austrian Pavilion.

Opening Reception

Friday, February 4, 7-9pm

Discussion with Exhibitors

Wednesday, March 16, 7pm

in the W.M Keck Lecture Hall


Herwig Baumgartner and Scott Uriu / BPlusU

Craig Hodgetts and Hsinming Fung / Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture

Alexis Rochas / I/O

Elena Manferdini / Atelier Manferdini

Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich / PATTERNS

Hernan Diaz Alonso / Xefirotarch





tr ajan over nero


der standard interviews

eric owen moss



Herwig Baumgartner and Scott Uriu / BPlusU

Craig Hodgetts and Hsinming Fung / Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture

Alexis Rochas / I/O

Elena Manferdini / Atelier Manferdini

Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich / PATTERNS

Hernan Diaz Alonso / Xefirotarch

In September 2010 Eric Owen Moss Architects

presented the work of 65 international

architects in the Austrian Pavilion at the

Venice Architecture Biennale.

One portion of the exhibit utilized

standard scaffolding to construct a stepped

seating system. Typically such an arrangement

accommodates audiences observing games,

plays, concerts, and so on, presented

by performers who face the audience from

a staging area in front of the seats. In

this exhibit the seats were used to mount

multiple models designed for the event by

faculty/student teams from schools of architecture

around the world.

The Audience of Objects transposed the

conventional positioning of observer

(seated attendees) and observed (performers

on stage).

Among the 65 architects invited to present

their team’s work in the Austrian Pavilion

were Hernan Diaz Alonso, Herwig Baumgartner

and Scott Uriu, Craig Hodgetts and Hsinming

Fung, Elena Manferdini, Alexis Rochas, and

Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich all faculty

at SCI-Arc.

Those six projects from the Audience of

Objects, minus the scaffolded bleachers, are

shown at SCI-Arc in this Library Gallery




The existing pavilion, meticulously crafted

by Josef Hoffman in 1934, houses “Under Construction”

Staging area for the audience

Opening Panel Discussion:

Hernan Diaz Alonso, Peter Noever, Eric Owen Moss,

Wolf D. Prix, Thom Mayne

The Spiral:

Inside the Austrian Pavilion

The Audience of Objects:

Contrary to the

traditional academic

forum, the seats will

not be filled with the

usual attentive and

scholarly audience.

Rather the “audience”

is the objects.

The audience is the


tr ajan over nero

“when the roof caved in,

and the truth came out,

i just didn’t know what to do…”

–jason derulo/whatcha say

Some years ago, the Roman emperor Nero

constructed his domicile on a hillside not

far from the Coliseum. The emperor Trajan

followed soon after, strategically loading

his vast new baths and gardens on the roof

top of the Domus Aurea, partially collapsing

Nero’s (heretofore) flying vaults.

Architecture’s oracle:

An antagonistic, committal present disassembles

a once committal past, and, in so

doing, suggests a future prospect.

Sympathy for history stalls architecture.

Architecture moves dialectically – thesis

and anti-.

Architecture needs enemies.

Adverse proceedings propel the discourse.

The act of displacing the present that

announces the future.

It’s a privilege to organize the Austrian

Pavilion in Venice for the Federal Republic

of Austria and Minister of Education,

Arts, and Culture, Dr. Claudia Schmied for

the Biennale Architettura 2010.

The existing pavilion was thoughtfully

imagined, and meticulously crafted by

architect Josef Hoffman in 1934.

And it’s a privilege to engage Professor

Hoffman (and all the antecedent

commissioners, and all the commissioners

who will follow):


Trajan and Nero.

The introvert – mid-20 th century, mid-European

Austria; The extrovert – Austria at

the start of the 21 st century; Central

Europe now central to the international

architecture discourse.

Austria pursues a didactic role in the global

architecture debate: Its architects build

around the world; Its architect/educators

teach, exhibit, and lecture internationally.

Reciprocally, Austria offers venues for international

architects to build in Austria,

and to international architect/educators who

teach, lecture and exhibit in Austrian universities

and museums.

So: “Austria(‘s) Under Construction”.

Here’s the 2010 Venice Austrian Pavilion


Architecture builds its pedagogy.Scaffolds

signify construction. Austria’s building.

Ergo we will scaffold the building inside

and out.

Teaching obligates discourse.

We gerrymander the scaffolding to

construct auditorium seating inside the

pavilion and out.

Scaffold is the anti-Hoffman-thesis.

The anti- to the scaffold thesis

The drape. Drapes cover the scaffold.

On the Hoffman Pavilion exterior, drapes

carry the printed images of current projects

by Austrian architects building outside


On the interior drape, the printed images

represent projects by international architects

currently building in Austria.

The anti- to the scaffold seating

The “audience of objects”. Contrary to

the traditional academic forum, the seats

will not be filled with the usual attentive

and scholarly audience. Rather the

“audience” is the objects. The audience is

the architecture.

Discourse between the objects.

Here’s how that object/audience will be

assembled: Architect/student teams, organized

by international architects teaching

in Austria, will produce physical models –

speculations on conceptual design,

engineering, fabrication, and construction

– commissioned for the Biennale.

These experimental object/audiences will

be “seated” on the scaffold seats constructed

in the pavilion’s two interior


Reciprocally, exterior seating, constructed

at the rear of the pavilion, will

hold object/audiences designed by Austrian

architect/student teams, organized by

Austrian architects who teach


The Austrian Pavilion 2010, Venice:

Hoffman as thesis.

Scaffold as anti-.

Drape as anti- the anti-.

Auditoria as thesis.

Audience of objects as anti-.

Trajan and Nero.

Nero and Trajan.

Disassemble yesterday,

and provoke tomorrow.

Eric Owen Moss

Los Angeles

April, 2010

Baths of Trajan

Nero’s Domus Aurea

16 17

der standard interviews

eric owen moss

“architecture is a kinetic process.

it must evolve every minute, otherwise stop.”

While news items move to the pace of digital

uploads, Austrian culture begins its morning

in a café with a semmel, mélange and Der

Standard: a traditional fresh baked roll,

coffee with cream and Austria’s most respected

and widest circulated national news

publication, still read broadly in print.

Der Standard, of course, has a powerful

online presence as well.

Featuring an interview with Director

Eric Owen Moss, journalist Wojciech Czaja

brings out Moss’s aspirations and reflections

as director to the Austrian Pavilion’s

“Under Construction”.

A translation of the article follows:


The Japanese architect and Pritzker

Prize winner Kazuyo Sejima (54) has big

plans. “It feels as if we were living in

a post-ideological society,” she says.

“In such a fast-paced world, there is the

urgent question of whether it can succeed

in the architecture, establish new values

and possibly even a new lifestyle.”

As the first woman director in the history

of the Venice Architecture Biennale,

she infuses the human touch as never seen

before: “People meet in architecture.”

Sejima: “The idea is that one man helped

to connect architecture, but also to

establish a connection to each other.”

The Austrian response to the binding

request was made across borders: Culture

Minister Claudia Schmied peered across the

Atlantic and decided to fill the Austrian

pavilion for a change, from a non-Austrian


The California architect and Commissioner

Eric Owen Moss took up the subject

“Austria Under Construction” showing the

Josef Hoffmann Pavilion wrapped in a scaffold.

It presents 64 projects by Austrian

architects abroad and foreign architects

in Austria. Such an occasion gives rise to

an interview.


MOSS Venice, Los Angeles, Venice, Los Angeles,

Venice, Los Angeles. I am now so

tired that I no longer know the difference

between fatigue and insomnia.

STANDARD For the first time Austria is

represented by a foreign architect. What

is the advantage to the cause Mobility’s

simply impossible.

MOSS What I have been told is that this

is the very first time a country is represented

by a foreign architect at the biennale.

That surprises me! In the art world,

it is common that one draws on perspectives

from the outside. In the world of

architecture, however, people prefer to

swim in their own soup and to make publicity

for themselves. In my eyes that’s

old-fashioned and chauvinistic. The view

from the outside, however, is objective

and detached. And risky. Claudia Schmied

sets the bar very high. Such a decision

requires courage.

STANDARD Why Eric Owen Moss

MOSS That you must ask Claudia.

STANDARD I ask you!

MOSS I think I have a somewhat unorthodox

view of things.

STANDARD What makes you so unorthodox

MOSS I am an incorrigible optimist. The

reason I do architecture, from my deepest

conviction, is that I am able to change

or improve something. If you believe as

a client that all is well, then I am definitely

the wrong architect for you. No,

it’s not all wrong, this is far from true,

but architecture can accelerate the process

and that can initiate a debate. One

has to believe just that.

STANDARD The architect as do-gooders

MOSS Architecture is like candy. It is a

small part of life, but if it is good,

then life is just so much tastier and more

beautiful! And most important: Architecture

is a kinetic process. It must evolve

every minute. Otherwise it must stop.

STANDARD How well do you know Austria

MOSS I have been about 25 times in Austria.

Maybe 20 times, maybe 30 times. No idea.

STANDARD You have decided to “show to

Austria under construction.” Which means

MOSS Austria, in regards to its size and

population, is a very small country, but

relatively speaking, it is huge! I wanted

to represent that fact. The abundance of

good architecture is high and the jet

power is comparable to the outside with

almost any other country of this size. I

would even go so far to say that Austria

is one of the few international leaders

in the field of architecture. Austria does

a lot, and much will also be built. Construction

sites are good. This can also be

seen as a metaphor.

STANDARD A total of 64 projects is shown.

Did you have consultants on site or did

you make choices alone

MOSS I have good contacts in Vienna, partly

because some of my friends live here.

To say that I did nothing to help in the

selection would be a lie. What we have

attached as particular importance, however,

was the behind the known and proven:

we have 64 projects that we show in the

exhibition, judged solely on quality - and

not on the reputation of its author, so

many young and unknown are included. The

main thing is they are good! Of course, it

may be that we have included some known

cases next to it. And certainly we also

chose one project over another. What the

heck. An amalgam is never 100 percent


STANDARD The theme for this biennial

is “People meet in architecture.” Without

doubt one of the most important tasks of

Kazuyo Sejima’s was the selection of the

title. Architects are aware of

this burden

MOSS I do not know. In our exhibition

we have done everything possible in order

to create a meeting place. Of course, not

without blinking an eye, we have built a

kind of audience, but here we have replaced

the people through objects. The communication

is now through the work exhibited.

STANDARD Will it actually succeed, that

the architecture biennale will be the

meeting place of a larger audience Or

will we just meet architects, artists and

culture junkies like every year

18 19

MOSS We have had this long talk in the

office. Architecture addresses only a small

audience. It is like this and, for that, we

need not to apologize. Even if you look into

their head: This matter will not pull as

much interest in politics, business, science,

and research. But that does not bother

me. If only three people read Kafka and

if only four people look at a painting by

Lucian Freud, these people do that with a

serious interest and enjoyment, then a lot

is achieved. It is something like this with

architecture. But of course I have tried

to stretch the bow of my concept of the exhibition

as far as possible for maximum

audience appeal. Whether this will succeed…

That is the job for you journalists!

STANDARD Is the model of the biennale, in

principle, still relevant

MOSS What’s wrong with the date I think

the discussion of whether something is

contemporary or not, is totally exaggerated.

In the U.S., you do something and people

come to you and say: Oh, that’s so

80s! Or: Oh, that’s so 90s! Or: Oh, that’s

so 1999! I think it’s terrible. Take a

look at Venice! Is this city still relevant

No. And yet we love it and continue

coming down again.

STANDARD My question relates not to the

city, but the issue.

MOSS I’m happy with the format. Using a

single restriction: Always swimming in

your own soup, as I agree with you, is

definitely not outdated. So I think that

this year Austria is set up with a new and

very interesting thrust: Architecture presentation

from a foreign perspective. This

could make the biennial exciting.

STANDARD A wish: What will people feel

after they have “visited Austria under


MOSS My wish is that the public is aware

of the unique role of Austria. Austrian

architecture is a great export. The country

has power! Hence the scaffolding. It

is a symbol that something in construction

is something that is constantly in


Wojciech Czaja, ALBUM / THE STANDARD

Print Edition, 21-22. August 2010



BplusU’s mission is to constantly push

the boundaries of architecture and urban

design. Using technology and research in

combination with hands-on design, the

firm’s projects are often informed by the

mapping and transforming of imperceptible

forces, including sonograms. BplusU has

developed analytic and generative software

that has allowed it to implement its theories

into a three-dimensional form. BplusU

is on a continuous mission to research and

experiment with new technologies, building

materials and construction techniques by

virtue of 3D technology and manufacturing

techniques often employed outside of the

architectural profession.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif.,

B+U was established in 2000 by architects

Herwig Baumgartner and Scott Uriu, each

partners with over 15 years of professional

experience. It is a full-service architecture

firm that has worked on projects

nationwide and abroad.

BplusU is recipient of the 2010 Maxine

Frankel award for design research. Most

recently, they exhibited their work at the

12th Architecture Biennale in Venice,

Italy; the Architecture and Design Museum

(A+D) in Los Angeles; the WUHO and CCRD

galleriey in Hollywood; the Stadtkrone

2030 Exhibition in Milan, Italy; and the

University of Applied Arts in Vienna,

Austria. Their work has been widely published

and discussed in books and magazines

sincluding Architectural Record,

Architect’s Newspaper, Azure, FORM, Future

Arquitecturas, Architecture Live 6,

B1-magazine, Elemente, Interior and

Design, Dialog, 360 Modern Architecture,

arcCA, Mark, 1000 x Architecture of the

Americas, DAMDI portfolio, Capital, Arte;

on websites such as Archinect and Designboom;

and television and radio interviews.

city futura

City Futura is a visionary urban design

proposal for an expansion of the city of

Milan set in the year 2210. BplusU were

invited, among other international architects,

to imagine the city of the future

situated on Milan’s outer ring. City Futura

is superimposed over the existing city.

Leaving most of its buildings untouched,

it taps into its existing infrastructure

and expands it. The 600m tall structure

hovers over the city, covering a million

square meter area divided into nine

districts that are organized around three

programmatic topics including: civic;

entertainment and recreation; and art,

fashion and manufacturing. Initially, the

nine districts were represented as spherical

void spaces and randomly placed across

the site. Floating above the ground and

varying in size and height, they became

placeholders for enormous civic arenas

that expand up to 250 meters in diameter.

These public supercenters act as a scaffold

for developing a new kind of urban

tissue that is not defined by conventional

massing and zoning rules within a two

dimensional city grid. Based on emergent

growth models, they are developed by linking

together families of massing elements

that form larger subsystems in-between

and around these public hubs. These hubs,

in turn, are linked again to give rise to

a grander system, vastly expanding across

the city.


Herwig Baumgartner

Scott Uriu

Project Team:

Abel Garcia

Stephan Sobl

Kevin Pazmino

Thomas Carpentier



HWI- Construction

Southern California Institute

of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Woodbury University

David Silverman & Associates




hodgetts + fung

design and architecture

The experimental practice established by

Hsinming Fung and Craig Hodgetts has engaged

in a wide spectrum of architectural

discourse in both built form and theoretical

posture. With a primary focus on the

dialogue between technology and meaning,

their projects, both visionary and practical,

have sought to unravel the complicated

relationship between object and perception,

time and experience, imagination and

realization. Their research into these aspects,

and their relationship to the built

environment, has formed the foundation

for an architecture which is innovative

yet profoundly engaged with both context

and culture.

Often employing narrative strategies,

and noted for interactive exhibits as

well as architecture, their work is characterized

by radical materials, kinetic

elements, and a vigorous expression of

structure. These qualities are most prominent

in the 1993 Temporary Library at

UCLA, as well as the recently completed

Wildbeast Pavillion at California Institute

of the Arts, for which a folded

steel cantilever provides an acoustically

sophisticated setting for musical performance.

The resulting integration of form

and function reflects a process which is

sensitive to abstract qualities as well

as real-world constraints.

casa pulpa

Casa Pulpa is the culmination of research

into the intersection of automotive design

philosophy and architecture. Utilizing

the principles of double-skinned thin

shell components, structural rigidity

is gained by the strategic connections

between inner and outer faces. The shell

of Casa Pulpa is formed of two skins:

an outer, structural and waterproofing

face, and an inner, utility face, which

gains strength from the ergonomic forms

of shelving, compartments and chases which

are formed into the molded surfaces. The

resulting assembly, comprising a threedimensional

wall-roof element, is then

clipped to a supporting frame of steel,

bamboo, or timber to form a compact dwelling


Casa Pulpa proposes a prolific hybrid

solution to the endemic issues of waste

disposal and housing production found in

many poor countries. Utilizing a mobile

shredder/pulper and a mobile vacuum-assisted

molding apparatus, the Casa Pulpa

production technology is to be capable

of quickly processing waste on site to

produce highly functional, lightweight and

easy-to-erect shelters. The highly configured

surface of the shelter is designed

to distribute stress evenly throughout

the structure. Only a minimal supporting

wire framework is required for stability.

A fast-setting or catalytic resin admixture

will act as binder and waterproofing

agent for the pulped material, which, in

combination with the vacuum-assisted molding

process, will enable rapid production

of multiple units before relocation.

The design provides for numerous

combinations of apertures, depending on

function and orientation, to be cut on

the site. A structural “armature” consisting

of four columns made of available

materials such as bamboo, recycled metal

studs or electrical conduit, trees or

coiled corrugated metal are braced with

rope or cables to provide support for the

molded pulp elements.



Craig Hodgetts

Hsinming Fung

Ying Song

Wilson Chang

Zach Chance


Jose Ramirez, Jr.

Karen Filippe




studio: i/o

Alexis Rochas is principal and founder of

I/O, a Los Angeles-based practice focusing

on the development of dynamic architectural

methodologies integrating design, technology

and advanced fabrication


His work has been exhibited at the 12th

Venice Biennale, the Denver Biennial of

the Americas 2010, the SCI-Arc Gallery in

Los Angeles, Beyond Media in Florence,

Italy; the San Francisco World’s Fair of

2007; the Wattis Institute for Contemporary

Arts, San Francisco; the New Blood:

Next Gen exhibition at the Architecture

and Design Museum (A+D) in Los Angeles;

Spot on Schools 2005 in Florence, Italy;

the 2005 INDEX Awards in Copenhagen,

Denmark; the MAK Center for Art and Architecture,

Los Angeles; at Telic, the Watts

Towers Arts Center and the Baroque Geode

at Sundown Salon in Los Angeles; the Fondation

Cartier in Paris, in collaboration

with Lebbeus Woods; and at the Bienal de

Buenos Aires. His work has been published

in architectural journals and magazines

including Lotus, Monocle, I.D., Icon, 2G

Dossier, Metropolis, Surface, Arquine,

Architectural Record, Domus and Frame.

A member of SCI-Arc’s design faculty

since 2003, Rochas has headed projects

through the Community Design Program, including

the FAB Arts Market Temporal

Gallery, LINC Housing community grounds

prototyping, SCI-Arc’s Lecture Hall Acoustical

Treatment, and the LAMP Community’s

Sun Shelter Pavilion. Since 2006, Rochas

coordinates Making and Meaning, SCI-Arc’s

five-week summer foundation program in


Rochas is the 2010 NextGen competition

runner-up for his OCTA.BOT project, as

well as the recipient of the 2004 City of

Los Angeles Design Award, the 2002 New

York Society of Architects M.W. Del Gaudio

Award for Excellence in Total Design, and

the 1996 Award for Excellence in Design

from the Architecture department of the

University of Buenos Aires. less is mass

Imagine a world built for a fraction of

its weight; where mass becomes a fluid

medium mediating between ground and gravity,

environments are defined by lines, and

lines are affiliated to one another by a

singular, yet malleable connection. We believe

that a sustainable building application

ought empower the designer with a

versatile set of tools for the resolution

of increasingly complex interactions between

structure, space and environment.

The OCTA.BOT system is a universal

building system based on the combination

of freely rotating elements into robust

tectonic assemblies.

A proprietary technology developed by

Los Angeles firm I/O, the OCTA.BOT name

refers to the eight members converging at

a double grid space-frame node. The .BOT

suffix lays out a broad family of assembly

nodes, including the HEXA.BOT for the creation

of Diagrid structures and formworks,

and the DODECA.BOT for the creation of

three-dimensional lattices.

The system seeks to expand the application

of lightweight SPACE-FRAME structures

into the everyday realm by streamlining

the design and assembly process into a

simple, integer and adaptable building


The SPACE-FRAME structural system was

first introduced by Alexander Graham Bell

in 1900 and its application has evolved

from nautical and aeronautical engineering

to the production of motorcycle and automobile

frames. It is widely used as an architectural

technique for the execution of

large span roofs. While, theoretically,

the space-frame has a great range of

structural and formal versatility, most

often the geometry is based on platonic

solids or regular geometric patterns. More

complex assemblies face the technical and

material difficulty of plotting exceptional

node encounters and resolving unique

compound angles.



Alexis Rochas


Ben Konen






Elena Manferdini graduated from the University

of Civil Engineering in Bologna,

Italy and received her Master of Architecture

and Urban Design from the University

of California Los Angeles.

In 2004 she founded Atelier Manferdini,

a design office based in Los Angeles, California

and Bologna, Italy. The firm is a

highly visible advocate of design excellence

and has been recognized internationally

for its creation of imaginative architecture,

fashion and product design. The

office is based on a multi-scale work methodology

and embraces the philosophy that

design can participate in a wide range of

multidisciplinary developments that define

our culture.

Currently the firm is designing a single

family villa in Ascona, Switzerland; a

250,000 sq.ft. master plan for 80 apartments

in Macerata, Italy; and a museum

and open theater. Atelier Manferdini was

selected to design a 150,000 sq.ft. residential

tower in Guiyang, China, along

with ten leading design firms from around

the world.

In addition to leading her design practice,

Manferdini has been an instructor of

architectural design studios and technology

seminars in the graduate and undergraduate

programs at SCI-Arc.


In 2015, the city of Milan will host the

World ExPo under the theme “feeding the

planet, energy for life.” As part of its

new integrated infrastructures to support

the large scale events taking place in the

city, the Malpensa Airport will need a

new gateway connecting the Express train

station to Terminal One. In addition to

covering and directing the pedestrian

traffic flow into the airport, a canopy

will function as a gate into the lateral

gardens over the parking structures. The

metal roof is supported by a regular diagrid.

Its panel system is made out of 13

modules in colored metal (golden, matte

and mirrored) that create a dynamic

chromatic effect both during the day and

at night.


Elena Manferdini

Project Team:

Loke Chan

Robbie Eleazer

Mozhdeh Matin

Jesús Bañuelos

Nina Handelman

Louis Polidori

Amber Bartosh

Amanda Webber


Structural Engineering:

Ove Arup, Los Angeles

General Contractor:

Estedil SRL, Milan, Italy

Metal Contractor:

Marzorati Ronchetti s.a.s.,

Cantù, CO, Italy





Directed by Marcelo Spina and Georgina

Huljich, PATTERNS is a design research architectural

practice based in Los Angeles,

whose work is internationally recognized

for its innovative approach to design

and architecture that fuses advanced computation

with an extensive understanding

of form, tectonics and materials. Active

members of a so-called digital generation,

what sets PATTERNS apart is not only their

overt ambition to materialization but the

quality and extent of realized work.

Among the firm’s most significant projects

are the Prism Gallery in Los Angeles—

praised for its pioneering use of resinbased

plastic in its innovative façade,

the FyF Residence in Rosario Argentina,

and a research building in Chengdu, China.

Jujuy Redux, an ambitious ten-level housing

project in Argentina is currently

under construction.

PATTERNS’ work has received numerous

prizes and awards and has been exhibited

worldwide at the Venice, Shenzhen and

Beijing Biennales, San Francisco MoMA,

MAK Vienna, the Art Institute of Chicago,

Artists Space New York and Gyeonggi Foundation

in Korea. Their first book, “Embedded,”

is forthcoming by the Beijing based

AADCU. Spina has been a design faculty

member at SCI-Arc since 2001. Huljich has

been a lecturer in the Department of Architecture

at the University of California

at Los Angeles since 2006.

lucent saddles

Blurring the boundaries between architecture

and industrial design, Lucent Saddles

is the outcome of a collaboration

between PATTERNS and 3form Advanced Technology


The installation experiments with saddle

surface geometry, non-uniform tiling, lush

coloration and figural assembly in the

production of playfully prickly and luminous

solid objects.

Lucent Saddles was built using Varia

Ecoresin ® , a material that utilizes 40

percent recycled content, and encapsulates

translucent color and sheer textile. Fuchsia,

turquoise, light blue and metallic

grey were each used to compose single

primitives, so as two neighboring primitives

will never share the same color,

producing a myriad of contrasting and

continuous figures within the same object.

Each object is loaded with a single low

voltage light bulb allowing them to glow.

Based on a simple logic of aggregation

of self-similar primitives, an infinite

array of objects can be produced out of

a single system. Consisting of three discrete

and yet familial objects, Lucent

Saddles promotes a unified spatial atmosphere

that defies the distinction between

holistic and discrete, figure and figuration,

with an ever-shifting number of

massing configurations, grouping outlines

and individual silhouettes. Allowing the

user to customize colors, configurations

and ornamental features, the project,

presently in prototype stage, aims to

develop a family of customized objects

d’art, a line of products at once alluring

and affordable, mass produced yet unique.



Marcelo Spina

Georgina Huljich


3form Advanced Technology

Group, Ruben Suare Director

Project Team:

Catherine Caldwell

Christine Forster

Bob Frederick

Robert Gilson

Vincent Pocsik

Chiaching Yang

Daniele Profeta





Considered an influential voice of his

generation, Hernan Diaz Alonso, principal

of Los Angeles-based Xefirotarch, is the

new Graduate Programs Chair at SCI-Arc,

where he has served for the past several

years as Distinguished Professor of Architecture

and Graduate Thesis Coordinator.

Previously, he taught design studio at

Columbia University GSAPP, and was the

head studio professor in Excessive, a

post-graduate program at the Universitat

fur angewandte Kunst in Vienna, Austria.

He was recently honored by Yale University

with the Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant

Professorship of Architectural Design in

the fall 2010.

Diaz Alonso has lectured at major institutions

around the world. He has

achieved wide recognition and received numerous

awards for his designs exhibited

both in architecture and art museums

worldwide including the Venice Biennale,

Archilab and the London Biennale. His work

has been published in magazined, periodicals

and numerous books, including his

first monograph Excessive. Thames and Hudson

is scheduled to publish the next monograph

in 2012.

His work has been the subject of solo

shows at the San Francisco MoMA, the

Art Institute of Chicago and the MAK Centre,

Vienna. He is scheduled to produce a

solo show at the Pompidou Center in Paris

in 2012.

In 2005, Diaz Alonso was the winner of

PS1 MoMA’s Young Architects Program (YAP)

competition in New York. His work has

since been included in the permanent collections

of the FRAC Center, the San Francisco

MoMA, the Art Institute of Chicago,

the MAK Centre and the TB 21 in Vienna,

and the New York MoMA.


Architecture is never displayed innocently.

Any encounter with the work is framed by

multiple determining contexts—political,

sensual, and spatial—that productively

contaminate the moment of reception.

Using the image of the horrific as a

driving aesthetic, topological mutations

are developed that will engage the manner

and form of insects to create and proliferate

architectural matter. In this,

the architecture’s own highly charged

perspective on the affects-ambiances especially

site-specific works—becomes an

invitation to visitors to trust their instincts,

and to adventurously enjoy the

works that they find. Investigation,

Teaching and Practice, are all interweaving

with this logic. What invents what

The development of the Museum Pavilion

for the Thyssen Bornemisza Art Collection

in Patagonia, Argentina, is a cross contamination

mutation of the work conducted

in the schools where Diaz Alonso teaches

and the critical shifts upon which he

focuses. This is in the notion of the

“image” as the main vehicle for the production

of form. Design always concerns a

translation between forms and formats of

image. Some might see this as a triumph

of superficiality over depth, but it’s

also an intensification of the conjectural

and fictive logics of design, of its ability

to mobilize a social imagination and,

with it, a series of potential futures.

This is a real and complex demand that

mutating culture makes on producers of

architectural content.


Hernan Diaz Alonso

Project Team:

Nick Kinney, Project Designer

Nick Poulos Brendan Vickers

Michael Young

Alex Belciano

University of

Applied Arts Vienna:

Steven Ma and Reiner Zettl,

Assistant Professors



Jose Carlos Cervantes

Frisly Colop

Lindsey Cohen

Cynthia Sanchez

Emre Icdem

Chiwai Chan

Xinyu Wan

San Liu


PR & D

Drura Parris

Rives Rash




public progr ams

SCI-Arc Gallery exhibitions and public programming are funded in

part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Library Gallery is located in the Kappe Library on the 2nd

floor at the north end of the building and is open Monday-Friday,

10am-7pm and Saturday-Sunday, 12–6pm.

parking and hours

SCI-Arc is open to the public daily from 10am–6pm. Parking and admission

are free. No reservations are required. Lectures, talks, and

discussions are broadcast live online at The entrance

to SCI-Arc’s parking lot is at 350 Merrick Street, Los Angeles, between

Traction Avenue and 4th Street in Los Angeles. The school and

the galleries are open to the public daily from 10am–6pm.

SCI-Arc Public Programs are subject to change beyond our control.

For the most current information, please visit or

call 213-613-2200.

about sci-arc

The Southern California Institute of Architecture is dedicated to

educating architects who will imagine and shape the future. It is

an independent, nonprofit, accredited degree-granting institution

offering undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture.

Located in a quarter-mile-long former freight depot in the Arts

District in Downtown Los Angeles, the school is distinguished by

its vibrant studio culture and emphasis on process. SCI-Arc’s

approximately 500 students and 80 faculty members—most of whom

are practicing architects—work together to re-examine assumptions,

create, explore and test the limits of architecture.

Recently, SCI-Arc was ranked second in design and computer applications

in the 2011 America’s Best Architecture Schools survey

from DesignIntelligence.

Southern California Institute of Architecture

960 E. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

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