Graduate Portfolio_GSAPP MSAAD

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Graduate portfolio containing works completed in Columbia University's GSAPP for Master's of Advanced Architectural Design.

Text of Graduate Portfolio_GSAPP MSAAD

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    a portfolio of workscompleted in GSAPP 2011-2012for Master of Science inAdvanced Architectural Design

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    table ofcontents

    summer 2011camouflage studiodigital craft

    fall 2011color studiotechniques of the ultrarealgraphic presentation

    spring 2012infrastructure studioparametric realizationsbeyond prototype

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    derived through a study of camouflage


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    Project Descriptionis a method of concealment that al-lows an otherwise visible animal, mili-tary vehicle, or other object to remain unnoticed by blending with its environ-ment. Examples include a leopards spotted coat, the battledress of a modern soldier and a leaf-mimic but-terfly. Camouflage is a form of visual deception; the term probably comes from camouflet, a French term mean-ing smoke blown in someones face as a practical joke.[1] Military camou-flage is part of a broad area of decep-tion and concealment from all means of detection including sound and radar, and involving non-camouflage techniques such as use of decoys and electronic jamming.[2][3]

    According to Charles Darwins theory of Natural Selection, characteristics such as camouflage that help an animal to survive will tend to evolve in any population.[4]

    Camouflage, whether in animals or


    To conduct a study of camouflage, it was realized that the methods of camouflage are understood if one discovers how to distort a given camouflage element. The idea of distortion coincides with the concept of correction, and leads to the question of when should one correct a distortion or distort a correction to achieve the effect of camouflage. One instance of correction is the creation of a horizon line within New York City through the changing view of varying vanishing points. Out of this creation, a new form develops incorporating concepts of correction and distortion to deviate from the obvious into the creation of something new.

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    Expanding upon this basic understanding of camouflage, each student was tasked to find examples of the use and misuse of various types of camouflage. Through intensive research, my analysis of camouflage was eventually narrowed down to the camouflage tactics displayed through the environmental camouflage of the butterfly (page 12) and the horizon line camouflage of mirrored structures (page 13). Through studying the camouflage employed by the butterfly, it was viewed that the butterfly achieves successful camouflage through the use of symmetry in wing form and scale mixed with the composition of pattern. Thus, to understand the misuse of this camouflage, I dissected and distorted the methods of symmetry to achieve asymmetry. The final analysis concluded that the most effective means of butterfly camouflage is displayed though the combination of asymmetry in wing form and pattern to develop camouflage distortion. Analysing the camouflage of mirrored structures, the first observation of camouflage was classified as camouflage of optical illusions. Following along the lines of optical illusion, the understanding of camouflage adopts a more spatially aware context; for many

    camouflage -a method of concealment that allows a visible object to remain unnoticed by blending with its environment a form of visual deception that develops a relationship of concealment and attraction

    optical illusions function under the goal of changing an individuals perception of space. However, as the topic of optical illusion of camouflage encompasses many aspects and leaves the broad area for more in depth research, one aspect of optical illusion was picked out of this broad range to narrow down the subject of research. Further analysis of the three case studies, the Chicago Cloud Gate, the Bjarke Ingles Group Transportation Sphere, and the Mirrored Tree house, showed that not only were they linked by use of mirrors to distort the perception of their surroundings, but that more specifically, they each utilized their mirrored facades to create the perception of the distortion of the horizon line. The Mirrored Tree House distorts the perception of the horizon line though variations in height, while the Chicago Cloud Gate and the BIG Transportation Sphere work to distort the horizon to conform to the curvatures of their specific forms. Thus, as these case studies automatically present a distortion, their use of camouflage was extracted through diagrams that work to correct this distortion. Thus, from the study of the butterfly and mirrored structures, several design strategies for the further

    development of the project were derived and used throughout. For the final design of the building to encompass tools of camouflage, it needed to distort and correct the horizon line of the site and possess a sense of asymmetry and layering.


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    camouflage of the eye througheyelashesA study examining the application of false eyelashes to an individuals eye; to understand methods of developing camouflage in terms of use and misuse.

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    camouflage of the butterflyA study examining how vertical, horizontal, and pattern distortion of butterfly wings develop methods of creating new uses and misuses of camouflage.

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    composite study of wing distortion and correction

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    horizon line camouflage of mirrored structures:correcting the distortion of camouflage of an optical horizon line through a physical transformation of form.

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    Using the tools of design gained through camouflage studies, the next goal of the project became to design a remote sensing lab and data center to be placed in the site of a current parking lot found at the junction of Broadway and Lispenard Streets in the Tribeca area of Manhattan. While conducting site analysis, I endeavoured to employ the techniques of horizon line perception derived from my camouflage studies. However, within this area of the city, it is impossible to perceive the horizon line within the urban landscape. Thus, to correct this distortion of perception, I created a perception of horizon line within my site analysis by lowering and elevating the eye of the viewer, similar to the function of the Mirrored Tree House. The analysis of these photos is further conducted by studying them

    through the connection of varying vanishing points within the site; which are then utilized as tools to create interior spatial devices that define the deformation of the horizon within the building. One method of transforming the vanishing points into spatial elements is through the use of the facet. Analysing the photographs, the lines can easily become points where the surrounding site could be folded up or down to distort the horizon line. Along with the use of the facet also comes the utilization of the pleat, where pleating acts as smaller

    spatial devices whereas faceting becomes the object of pleating. The use of the facet and pleat in relation to the distortion of the horizon line is further studied through a series of physical models that combine the usage of the facet and pleat as design tools.

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    Models spatially exploring the distortion of the horizon line of the site through methods of pleating

    and faceting. Similar to earlier camouflage studies, the models

    explore the deformation of horizon through vertical and horizontal



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    A study model of a combination of faceting and pleating in the development of finding the building form.


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    Final building form combining the use of faceting, pleating, and layering to create the sense of horizon line distortion.

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    ground floor plan

    lower floor plan

    upper floor plan

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    craft Through the completion of various tutorials, the goal was to gain knowledge of the use of Rhino, 3dMax, Grasshopper, Illustrator, and After Effects. The final project of the class involved the construction of a digital replication of a built architectural work; as a building detail or larger site plan. Utilizing this digital model, each student was tasked to create renderings, use the digital file to create a physical model, and develop an animation focusing on the exploration of the digital model.

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    final projectdigital model of zms schwandorf administration building by archimedialab

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    sectional rendering of administration building

    corrogated aluminum cladding

    cnc milled glu laminated timber beams

    insulated secondary metal roof structure

    aluminum mullion system

    metal cladding over concrete structure

    concrete base structure

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    grayarctic 38

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    To study gray as a color, it soon becomes obvious that how gray is defined is almost limitless and without definite boundaries. With the increasing melting of the polar ice cap, the Arctic Ocean is facing the same issues of boundary definition. The countries surrounding the ocean are vying for the same rights, but in many cases, there are an increasing number of places of conflict where territorial lines overlap and boundaries become i