SURFACE TRANSLATIONS: PURSUING MUTATION IN COSMETIC SURGERY
The project investigates the notion of distortion through reproduction. Initially exploring methods of reproduction through recording existing surfaces using trapping techniques such as the paper squeeze, fabric starching and relief rubbing. These studies ignited an interest in the relationship between a notional flat surface and the three dimensionality of physical space. When a flat surface attempts to mimic a physicality it is unable to adhere completely, and through this slippages and misalignments begin to occur. Moments of deviation where folds appear and lines begin to shift, allow a morphosis within the project, and the potential for one thing to become something other through its wrapping and unwrapping are what the project desires. Each layer that is replicated becomes a piece of clothing that doesn’t quite fit, and it is in these gaps that represent moments of possibility.
The process of folding and unfolding was used in the project as a method of evolving the architecture. Physical forms were designed as the embryonic form, from which surfaces could begin to navigate, creating their own misalignments and folds. The project evolves through processes of pattern making, casting and relief making. The initial form exists as a digital fragment of the architecture, this shell is then dissected, dismantled to create a flat pattern. This pattern is arranged with a hierarchy of which edges are vital to one another and where construction tabs should be expressed or hidden. This pattern is a two-dimensional surface which expresses and has a direct relationship to a three-dimensional object, these deconstructed relationships between each edge can be read through a notational system which is visible on the pattern. The notation system is then used to reconstruct the pattern, and parts of frameworks acting as a crutch or a belt are assembled with considerations of which edges need support and which can be allowed to deviate and bulge. The pattern shell is then cast into, and an inflated, morphed form emerges. The relationship between the flat pattern and the solid surface is an interesting one, as the stitches can be read in both and used to assemble the correlation between the normative pattern and the deviated cast. Ink embossings and relief prints have been made of the pattern in order to record the most important edges as well as capture the physical debris left behind from the processes. These skins explore and represent deviated desires within the building. Each piece that is created in the project is part of a common family, and a constant evolution of both form and ideas is allowed to emerge through the processes that have been employed.
The site for the project is the Roughs, an area of field-land which sits above the coastal town of Hythe in Kent. The program for the building is a cosmetic surgery, it being a practice that deals with ideas of tailoring, shifting parts and transformations. The building itself has been designed with the rationale of the tailored patterns. A concrete spine runs the length of the building, acting as the main structure in which pieces are plugged in to. This spine contains the main circulation, which are trajectories that have been prised apart from one another, much like the unfolded pattern. The rooms lie along the extremities of the spine, plugging in to the cast, acting as the organs of the architecture. The entire building is cloaked in a rigid fabric piece which is punctured at times by the ends of limbs. This fabric acts as a mediation for the external viewer, at times they are able to make out the form of the body beneath, and at times they are forced to imagine the building’s form. Each plug in piece which punctures through the fabric cloak has its own protective layer much like a glove for the hand or a sock for the foot. In this way the building is a body, which at points though the casting process has undergone a morphology and a shift to take on a new life. It is constrained in parts by ridged belts and corsets, and at others it is allowed to spill out and express its nature freely.