Parts Playgrounds

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 Parts Playgrounds

Arsenios Zachariadis & Hsiao Chiao Peng @ SCI_ARC  [advisor_Devyn Weiser] 



The project is a speculation on a object to object compositional syntax, referring to James Stirling’s work. The reference for this particular project is the Science Center in Berlin, a built project which main characteristic is the loose composition between the parts and also the use of iconic types of buildings, such as the cathedral, the theater, the bell tower etc. It seems to be an intentionally playful treatment of the iconicity of the parts, composing all together around a courtyard.


The project investigates new compositional syntaxes between the parts using the same loose technic as the main method. Moving beyond this point, one more element has a key role to this direction, the visual connection. The importance of the visual connection in the 3D space seems to be more crucial in the fact that offers great variety possible connections and new geometrical properties of the parts emerge. In this content, it appears that the individual parts could have their own ground for landing instead of a common XY plane. What if each object has a ground on its own XY plane? Then a chain between the object, its ground and the 3D space is created. The composition syntax is no more about the parts together but between the parts their ground and the connection of the multiple different and controversial grounds, both visually and physically.


A Part-to-Ground, Ground-to-Ground relationship is emerged, creating moments of clear distinction between the parts and the ground but also moments of highly blending. However, where is Stirling’s wrapping and surface treatment that makes this important, serious and iconic elements seem daily objects? The key is a 2D graphics catalogue, treated like proto-drawings, as they imply special architectural divisions of the space in elevation top and sectional view.


This catalogue is not just a graphic catalogue but it is tight connected with each object individually as it is projected on the objects. It is an alternative to Stirling’s paint wrapping, more sophisticated and advanced in an attempt to offer to the viewer another reality of the objects, beyond the geometrical. Through projection, the parts some activate and new relations, connections appear. There are moments of flat color treatment which provides a pseudo-depth to the surface. New textures emerge and the whole part-part game appears to a new way of reading the geometry.



Who influences you graphically?

We use multiple graphic inputs as reference for different projects from art to fashion. In this particular project the main references are the work of Roy Lichtenstein  as well as the Spring 2017 Gucci Collection.


How and to what extent has the environment at Sci-arc influenced how you operate as an architect? 

SCI-Arc is a unique educational environmental both on the approach towards architecture but also because of its scale. Since there are many different significant teachers – architects in such a small space, the tension between different architectural approaches influences everybody, who is opened to further extension of the architecture knowledge. There is also an interesting approach on combining different things such as fashion, which initially seem irrelevant but eventually enrich the design process.


What is your take on colour?

Color plays an important role on particular projects we have developed. We use color both as a representational tool to create families of objects or distinguish parts from each other, as well as a design tool that allows new ways of seeing the geometry, such as color light or color projection. Through these technics the color brings new aspects of the objects realism, allowing to further understanding of the relations between them.


What defined the black background?

The black background is used as a representational technic to illustrate the idea of combining 2d graphic – 3d object more effectively. Using the black color the geometries blur with the background. The black color of the projection on the objects blends with the black background creating a misreading if it is a cut or stripes on the object. In this case this creates new readings of the geometry as the actual objects transformed to new parts.


What role does the physical model play? 

We could argue that the model is more a proxy model used as a tool for testing relationships between the parts in the physical space. It is a base platform to create three dimensional effects and condition through multiple technics of representation such as image capture and image projection.


If you could explore the project/speculation further – are there any other mediums you would be keen on testing?

The project is part of a larger workflow we developed in SCI-Arc’s Robot House, where the main interest is using architectural parts or projects as a source for testing new ideas about architectural design. In that case, new relations between the parts are tested but in physical and digital space. The main interesting moment in this loop is when a new relation is emerged and we need to bring it back to the physical space as a new object. In other words the question is how we could three-dimensionalize the two-dimensional representational effects. The idea is that 3D scanning and photogrammetry could open another possibility of speculation, where the moments of projection or light could be translated in new 3D objects back to the physical world.


Born in Thessaloniki in 1990, Arsenios Zachariadis is an designer currently based in Los Angeles, CA. He holds a Diploma in Architecture from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a Master of Science in Architectural Technologies from Southern California Institute of Architecture. During his studies at SCI-Arc he had the opportunity to investigate new areas of architectural design and representation especially at SCI-Arc’s Robot House. He has worked for various offices worldwide including MAD Architects in Beijing and Testa&Weiser Inc. in Los Angeles. Since September 2017, he is co-founder of Büro Wimmelbuch, a Los Angeles based research and practice office. The office currently focuses on Virtual Reality platforms of representation for the Shenzhen Hong Kong Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.

Hsiao Chiao Peng is a Los Angeles based architect, born in Taiwan. She holds a Bachelor of Arhcitecture from Tunghai University and a Master of Science in Architectural Technologies from Southern California Institute of Architecture. Hsiao Chiao has previously worked for a great number of architectural companies and design practices in Sanghai and Taiwan, including a collaboration with Ang Lee for the “Life of Pi” and RTKL, where she worked on a wide variety of projects worldwide. She is currently working in Los Angeles area.


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