This project takes the inherent qualities of marble as the inspiration for the development of a single panel composed of two interlocking pieces. Occurring naturally in massive monolithic blocks, marble can also be worked into delicate surfaces and intricate figures that take advantage of the natural variety and veining within the material. Taking the material qualities of massiveness and delicacy as a departure point, the panel is composed of two pieces of contrasting material character. The first is a monolithic base surface that is articulated with a variety of geometrically distributed protrusions. The shape of each protrusion varies according to scale; faceted smaller protrusions give way to a softened geometry in the larger protrusions, while the largest of these stretch to the point that they begin to split, thereby introducing a secondary texture to the surface. The second piece is a delicate latticed surface whose pores mate with the protruding geometries of the base. Embedded within the base in certain areas, and peeling away in others, the lattice is designed as an elastic component that responds to the conditions of the surface it is stretched across. The technical challenges of fabricating the design in marble were a primary interest throughout the project. Managing the thinness and intricacy of the lattice members is an exciting opportunity to test the material possibilities of milled stone through scripting and digital fabrication. Digital design through scripting allows the precise control of the dimensional parameters of the piece, enabling its continual refinement and development in response to the capabilities of the fabrication software and the material tolerances of the marble itself.
The Learning City
Contemporary labor is increasingly placeless, making no use of particular spaces. This immaterial, spatially disparate form of labor leaves no architectural representation or social space for workers. The Learning City proposes an architectural representation for the precarious creative worker.
We propose a series of large-scale interventions, operating at the scale of infrastructure, providing a new spatial order for urban centers where learning, not simply working, is recognized as the central organizer of life. The project contains spaces for living, working, and education appropriate to the lives of contemporary workers. Rather than a means for gentrification, our proposal is intended to expand the social and economic network of the creative class to urban students who are often educationally excluded from the contemporary labor market.
A simple social contract is at the center of the proposal: Creative workers, often highly educated but precariously employed, are provided housing in exchange for working as educators. This community of workers spends part of its time sharing knowledge in multiple formats and models. This community provides an adaptable, heterogeneous form of education we see as essential for preparing new generations of workers for the contemporary economy.