6 Installations You Did Not Know Were by Faculty Members
said by: Andrew Scott Campbell, (M.Arch 19’)
One of the first things you learn in design school is that a “good design” doesn’t necessarily have a typical scale or use. A wall or sculpture can exhibit a particular design etiquette and unique construction details just as well as any building might be able to. In many cases, smaller-scale structures allow for such ideas to be showcased at a more intimate human scale. Because installations aren’t as contingent on value engineering that might involve prioritizing a particular unseen system—as larger-scale buildings often are—they have the ability to focus on emerging technologies, fabrication techniques, and specific narratives that might otherwise get watered down to allocate funding for something else. Often, smaller installations and structures become the guinea pigs for these new techniques and materials, making them an incredibly important step throughout the process of testing the aesthetics, build-ability, and work-ability of new design ideas.
In a follow up to our list of buildings built by University of Cincinnati faculty, we’re continuing to showcase smaller built-works out in the world by the professors and administrators in and around the campus.
(In alphabetical order by project name)
3cdc wall by modularem
Cincinnati development company 3CDC brought in DAAP Rapid Prototyping Center’s Jeff Welch to design, fabricate, and assemble an aluminum paneled wall for a two-story space in their office. The installation exhibits the possibilities and aesthetics of plasma-cutting and waffle-like tab assemblies, all within a sleek display of raw and polished aluminum sheets. The wall panels were fabricated and constructed off-site and then later assembled in the existing stairway space, making its precision a matter of utmost importance. Not only is the installation technically ingenuitive, but it showcases a methodological narrative of the development company for whose office it resides; the ability to creatively and eloquently work within an existing framework in a way that’s emblematic of a place’s history and culture.
Purple Cowhead by Rives Rash
Rives’ third edition of the Fractured Husbandry series is a practice in digital-to-physical making techniques, all in an effort to elicit new effects in precision and aesthetics. The sculpture—or perhaps better labelled “assembly”—is made of a layering of eps foam, abs plastic, black acrylic, and epoxy. The fracturing poly mesh form requires incredible resolution between assemblages, ironic given its low-poly inspiration. The work is playfully epitomizes a digital design process, as anyone who has seen a polygon mesh can tell you, but continues to call attention to the analog structuring of what is created so effortlessly in the digital realm.
Roaring Tigers, Leaping Carp by Sean Cottengim
The Cincinnati Art Museum required a lightweight, fastener-and-glue-free partition in respect of their Roaring Tiger, Leaping Carp exhibit that could be assembled—and conversely, disassembled—within the span of an evening. Sean Cottengim designed and fabricated this particular partition utilizing CNC machine processes, all while maximizing material use and sporting slot-and-tab connection details for ease of assembly. The assembly of the partition took just over two hours, and depending on the angle of inclination can be viewed as a relatively opaque wall or a series of floating planes, which works perfectly well with the exhibit, being both visually unobtrusive from a distance, and providing privacy the nearer you move towards the partition.
The City That Had Two Navels by Edson Cabalfin
Program Coordinator of the renowned Interior Design program at DAAP, Edson Cabalfin was selected as the curator for the Philippines’ fourth consecutive participation in the Art and Architecture Exhibitions of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2018. The installation called attention to the effects of colonialism and neoliberalism on the urban landscape of the Philippines. This was presented through works by a think-tank consortium—University of the Philippines-Mindanao, University of the Philippines-Diliman, University of San Carlos, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, and TAO-Pilipinas Inc—as well as a video installation by artist Yason Banal. The exhibition will run until 25 November 2018.
The Strange Wall by Mara Marcu and Ming Tang
Exhibited at Sculptural Objects Functional Art Chicago 2014, and best described by its authors:
In music, the strange loop, refers to the phenomenon in which a pattern set by a composer, is then broken only to return whole again, as in Bach’s canons. […] Through a process of incremental subdivision modelling, a series of mutated taxonomies were developed. Studying each unit lead to a ‘paste special’ methodology, defining tectonic malformations of such taxonomies, the outcome becoming in itself, an abstracted strange loop of tectonic possibilities.
Credited parties include: Abed Breir and Adam Rayne for help with assembling, set up and painting. Nick Germann, for help with CNC routing
Tiny Living by DPMT 7
DPMT 7—for those who aren’t yet aware—is a group composed of several rotating faculty members, including but not limited to: Vincent Sansalone, Whitney Hamaker, Daniel K Elkin, Nick Germann, Sean Cottengim, and Aaron Rucker (apologies from us here at re:SAID if we missed any contributors). The group works of projects ranging in scale, narrative, build-processes, representation, and mobility.
In Tiny Living, a set of single occupancy rooms were developed for sitting. The rooms were featured as part of an exhibition and panel discussion of the same name sponsored by UC’s Niehoff Urban Studio and Community Design Center. Due to the size of each installation and choice of materials, questions arise as to the amount of space commonly used for daily tasks in America, and poses the question of how to reduce our overall building footprint.
While this list is in no way comprehensive, it might provide some fresh insight into the professional works—and thus, lives—of the professors we know and love best.