UC Berkeley's Summer [In]stitute Steps Up Its Digital Fabrication Game

What could earthwork art, Native American architecture, Italian Futurism and Orson Welles possibly have to say to a Zund? [IN]ARCH ADV Academic Lead Keith Plymale has designed a curriculum that introduces those seemingly disparate elements and lets them talk to each other. The resulting conversation is riveting:
[IN]ARCH ADV 2017 will see an increased focus on the potentialities of digital fabrication as it advances the intentions of analog ideas. Students and participants will engage methods of architectural theory and production through a total immersion in design studio culture (making), lectures (listening), readings (thinking) and site visits (looking).
Participants in this summer’s [IN]ARCH ADV cohort in UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design will have access to one of the few Zunds currently in operation on a US college campus, in addition to the CED Digital Fabrication Lab’s other equipment, including souped-up 3D printers, multiple makes of laser cutters and CNC routers, and full run of the fabrication shop.
[IN]ARCH ADV is a curriculum stream within CED’s Summer [IN]STITUTE, an immersive summer experience whose structure mirrors the organization of the College itself, offering instruction in Landscape Architecture, Architecture and Sustainable City Planning.

Project by Ming Gao

Students in their final years of an undergraduate degree or recent graduates of undergraduate architecture programs who are looking to sharpen their media and fabrication chops are encouraged to apply.
Submit an application online here, and learn more about the program here.
Find us on Facebook (@CEDSummerInstitute), Instagram (#cedsummertime) and Linkedin.

SCI_Arc's Elena Manferdini's "Building Portraits" area rugs

(via Archinect)

At night, L.A.’s Chinatown is a mixture of shuttered family-owned shops and revamped gallery spaces, a kind of cross-hatching of history and amped-up opportunism. One can wander down numerous alleyways lit only by hanging lanterns until the blazing flourescence of a glass-fronted gallery comes into view. This historical menagerie turned out to be apt foregrounding for the “Building Portraits” opening held at the ToCo Haus Gallery on January 27th; here were rugs that blended architectural precedent with imaginative urban abstraction.

Andrei Zerebecky (third from right) and Elena Manferdini (second from right) get into the groove of the “Building Portraits” opening at ToCo Haus Gallery.

The collection is a collaboration between Four O Nine, a firm run by Lukasz Kos and Andrei Zerebecky, and artist and designer Elena Manferdini, who currently teaches at SCI-Arc and is the owner of Atelier Manferdini. Four O Nine’s “Urban Fabric” rugs, which render vast aerial views of cityscapes in New Zealand virgin wool, have been a success for several years. The rugs portray city blocks in textured formation, creating a three dimensional portrait of a landscape most people normally only view from an airplane window. The rugs are as much a delight for designers who regularly build large area models as they are for people who love the sensation of tailored, hand-tufted fabric.

BP Model D. Image: Elena Manferdini + Urban Fabric

For her part, Manferdini drew a series of images that combined studies of facade, fenestration and grids in the form of Mies van der Rohe’s skyscrapers with abstracted “reflections of [their] urban surroundings as well as revealed glimpses of the environment contained within.” The resulting rugs could therefore be likened to portraits of buildings if a Cubist like Picasso had worked in fiber instead of paint; multi-dimensional, intriguingly colorful, and revealing more about a structure than any directly linear interpretation could. At the opening, as participants drank glasses of choice prosecco and clustered around the display tables, it was common to find people running their hands along the valleys and swells of the sample rugs. “My five-year-old nephew would totally play with his toy cars here,” one attendee noted, tracing her hand along an L-shaped groove of fabric.

Zerebecky and Manferdini warmly greeted attendees as they filtered into the show, helping them navigate the physical rug displays, the 2D drawings on the walls, and a few 3D models of abstracted structures sprinkled throughout the gallery. As Manferdini noted in a written statement about the inspiration behind the rugs, “Architects have a seemingly unlimited faith in the power of the grid, a mastering system that has become dominant in a significant portion of the modern American cityscape. The set of drawings used in the design of this collection of rugs explores the potential of the contemporary grid and vibrant colors.”

BP Model A gallery. Image: Elena Manferdini + Urban Fabric




Read more