Monday, March 22, 2010

Digital Paper Topology

Ok, finally a "final".
or at least an "i'm done" moment...

I think for me the ability to use the tablet/windows paint technology to suggest a hyper reality of spatial meshing is an incredibly liberating process...  It hinges on the ability to become omni-positional in a single moment [drawing], the con-flict of the con-text being a device for the mis-interpretation of spatial data.

created on a TabletKiosk Tablet PC
images sponsored by a Graham Foundation Grant, 2001


Thursday, March 11, 2010

that's all you get....

the rest will be reserved for lectures/publications. sorry... have to hold some cards back ;)
thanx for any interest

Monday, March 8, 2010

surface topologies...

As mentioned, the first of the series of experiments with Page Structure [more theory to be posted later if there is interest], Topological Shifting, and the Oscillation phase between digital paper and Hybridrawings©.

11 x 17, ink on paper

from Presumption of Functionality lecture
The Bartlett School of Architecture
London, 10/08

’I see you’re admiring my little box,’ the Knight said in a friendly tone. ‘It’s my own invention- to keep clothes and sandwiches in. You see I carry it upside down, so that the rain can’t get in.’
‘But things can get OUT,’ Alice gently remarked. ‘Do you know the lid’s open?’

‘I didn;’t know it.’ The Knight said, a shade of vexation passing over his face. ‘Then all the things must have fallen out! And the box is no use without them.’”

We look at Mechudzu making itself manifest in two primary ways - the Kuzusurface, and
the Kuzu form.

Kuzuform is the object in/of a drawing, model, or space.

Kuzusurface is the entire composition.

Kuzuform, in its awakening over the course of many hundreds of drawings, has spent a great deal of time observing, hoping to become aware of itself and its page condition. It makes some of the following conclusions by observing itself and the components of its composition.

Kuzuform also realizes that its own components have the capability of independent thought and autonomous life. It revels in its unique ability to have this simultaneous condition of thought and self[s]-awareness. The following are conditions of this awareness:

“Condition One : Unflat”
1) The page no longer exhibits properties of being flat.

Instead it has layers, surfaces, shells, grounding matrices, portals and other conditions. And it is its own key to the discovery and development of these un-flat conditions. All of these position it as a multi-dimensional concept. Once it realizes these non-surface ideas, it begins to transform the same concepts to what we might call “generic” architectural conditions.

“Condition Two : Intentionally Unintentional”
2) The investigation of graphics or demarcations on/of the page itself.

Kuzuform discovers that this yields not only a new Kuzuform, but a new Kuzusurface. Can it be that this observation is the key that allows for perpetual life of the Kuzuform? Perpetual life in the context of Mechudzu…

The actual virgin page has native imprinted information. These lines and shapes themselves become a new surface layer, not only a set of graphics organized on a 2D layer, but a complex system of related spatial markers and conditions arranged or organized in a very 3D system. The reading of these marks is both the poetry and the hindrance. There is no formal ruling system that dictates where these marks inhabit within the Cartesian system. What is three inches in the Y/Y plane, may in fact be several hundred feet in the Z axis, thus making the random grouping of these indicators a pure spatial investigation in itself.

“Condition Three : DeCONstruction”

3)     The lines or demarcations on the page or surface allow themselves to be explored as indications of information of deformation.

They are not only the places where the drawing mechanism responds, but themselves are the actual designators of breaks in the plane structure of the page surface. They are both elements in the drawing and the page itself - what we might label as the page structure. They utilize projection systems - fore, mid and background signifiers, the blending or distortion of these zones, multiple horizon tags, and simple or pure graphic conditions. Kuzuform realizes that it's cousin – the working drawings or construction documents – also subscribes to this theory of information reduction.

Kuzuform acknowledges that by its nature, these distant but
heavily related cousins must reduce information so that they may refine the actual data which they are trying to convey. The DNA of the Kuzuform cannot be separated from, nor analyzed independently of, the typical conditions of the architectural drawing. Doing so would constitute a denial of its own DNA.

“Condition Four : Materiality”
4) Kuzuform notes that this new condition is, at least with current technology and materiality, EXCLUSIVE to its bloodline, that of the typical architectural drawing, and NOT of its offspring DigitalPaper** - the progression of materiality of Digitalpaper is the Hardware-to-OS-to-Software-to-interface.  DP, as of 2008, does NOT have the interface potential of the [true] "found page" … to be read as:
 intended for another purpose other than the receptacle to which the act of drawing may respond.

5) That is not to say that one might not "find" a digital print-form meant for perhaps accounting, say an excel spreadsheet, on which to "draw"... however current conditions dictate that one must transform said spreadsheet into a "drawable condition", like the saving of a blank ".xl" file to a ".jpg" format, for transference into Photoshop [which is a "non-native" condition] in order to become a receptacle. That transference label of “file typology” is the transmutational event that removes its native condition. Oddly enough, this file transmute is the very nature of computing.

The printed form…current condition…found object, i.e. the ledger page, is considered "native"- meaning that it is in its intended "condition", and does not need to be "saved" or "transformed"  to another format in order to be ready for graphic impregnation of the non-native variety… in this case line typologies or media different than that of its own printing process.

7) Kuzuform sits back and makes notes on the five types of reflections it sees while gazing into the surface membrane... that three types of lines emerge from this awareness: • Object lines,
• graphic lines,
• and what might be labeled page structure lines.
Although ultimately, it is the drawing's nature and desire to blur the distinction of these typologies to produce what might be called a fragmented harmony. And doing so in celebration of the angst of its critics, or the purists.

Kuzuform understands, as it realizes its own state of self-awareness, that to call any components of its DNA, composition, and ultimately "universe" that of "the line" is somewhat absurd to itself. But then also has a momentary lapse of "reality" and acknowledges the "fact" [again, in drawing, if such an animal], that its entire epigenetic  condition or existence is dictated and defined by “line" [and perhaps "shape" and "image".. though both of those are responsive to the original condition of "line"]...

It initially realizes that if said ".xl" file is saved as a ".PDF" or ".jpg" to be opened in Photoshop- that is indeed a "picture" of a line, not a line itself! Is this a pipe… or a picture of a pipe?

The third type of line is perhaps a new condition that KF did not actually acknowledge before: The typology of "page structure" lines. These lines attempt to designate the location and in fact existence of the conceptual structure, not of the "paper"… but of the "page" or surface. Paper is flat. It has limited and measurable thickness – the "Z-ness" in a Cartesian system. Page or surface, however, in this case, has unlimited Z-ness... and this new line typology attempts to recognize and reveal such a condition.

PAPER is flat…. PAGE is not

If we consider one definition of page to momentarily be:

“to summon or alert by electronic pager, or to control an electrical appliance or machine, remotely by means of an electronic signal”

Then we can begin to import a more symbolic content of the ideas of Mechudzu or Digital Paper, and even the concept that the mark on a surface is indeed the artificial calling of a space-time event, perhaps to the analogy of an archeological dig of ,an event that has yet to occur…

Then the use of the term page extends beyond that of paper, and begins to allow for a type of physical and systematic structural exploration that yields a much broader understanding of content as medium vs. the old paradigm that content carries media.

What then are the potentialities of the structure, for not only the page, but of the drawing itself?

So now that we have begun to peel back the layers of not only the page surface but the drawing itself, where does that take us?

What new typologies and conditions may be found by revealing this latent condition within the page itself? It would seem that the drawing mechanism becomes a tool for its own investigation. And we are not referring to the imprint medium, such as ink or graphite, but rather a condition of the native page.

Or perhaps more specific to this examination - paper.

For this investigation, native paper refers to the pre-printed forms that are used for various data-input situations, such as spreadsheets, inventory lists, accounting ledgers, and the like. The medium of the paper has not come into play in this fashion before. The Japanese animation pages on which many of the original Hybridawings were constructed addressed the registration components found natively on the sheet, but only as superficial edge conditions, not as a key to understanding the structure of the paper itself - the Kuzusurface.

Novelties of random registration marks and other such artifacts were indeed a sample acknowledgement of a printing process residue. These are foreign to the paper itself, for paper has no native markings… but native for intended use. It should be noted that there is no such animal as registration marks on cut sheets of printed pages, such as ledger or columnar books, similar to a sheet of un-cut stamps that might yield a further understanding of the structure of the demarcations.

Printers’ intentions. And the printing process, are left as physical residue. If in fact these demarcations are the true identity of the native page condition [in realspace...], then any remnants, throw aways, or non-visible markings become critical in understanding the process and method of the native condition of the page or paper.

What then are the options for construction, or in this case understanding the methods of uncovering the strata of the printed page for drawing exploration?

What has been left for us to discover… or to mis-interpret?

This is an important idea in architecture, as the extension from page to site is a natural one, thus calling into mind the potentials of uncovering the strata of the given site condition when concocting an architectural investigation. The notion of finding, seeing or locating information about any given architectural condition is seen as the premise to a more complete investigation.

What are options for the infection of a non-native typology into an existing surface typography?

Meaning, a ledger book does not typically receive information other than text, and not usually, if ever, does it receive information or impregnation in or at places other than the designated cells. That goes against its function, its purpose, its raison d'être. Once you incorrectly enter information - in this case being defined as hand input lines - then you ignore the inference of the native page function.

We contend that breaking the implied rules of input renders the page function as an anomaly, thus causing a system malfunction at the data input level. That's where the beauty of the Kuzusurface emerges. it is in fact where it is born... beautiful or not. The afterbirth residue of a systemic malfunction...Though the acknowledgement of the imprint.. the lines, columns and color coded configurations that serve as the ruling system for input is critical for the initial exploration and development of the drawing system itself.... a condition of data input if there ever was such a thing....

It , at least initially, and this is where we have become stumped... has to respond to the printed structure... not in the same way as its functional coding- following data only allowed IN the cells themselves... but using the structure of the native-print to inform placement for tracing, alignment, and deviation.

The question becomes for Kuzusurface then how to depart from these guidelines... how to deform the grid so to speak,.. and yet still use it as a base system or organization... not of input dictation... but to reveal its hidden layering condition...

It is a tool for revealing the depths of both the suggested "Z" axis… but the history of its making, for example  the "cut sheet" condition, as well as the symbology of its intended, or native, use... plus the meaning of its cellular intention. Where does it go from here...?

Does it stay in the drawing universe?

Does it slip quietly into the narrative of architectural investigation and therefore production… architecture in this case as being define as the pursuit of “building”..?

Kuzusurface finds that the next level of development is blurred by the imprinted native lines themselves... all doing their initial job so well as to dictate usage, input.. and therefore output.  As well as dictate confusion... So the question for the maker now becomes the investigation of not only new lineforms  such as kuzuform + kuzusurface... but the harvesting of as many different native-print papers as possible.... without a duplication of input intention, as there are only so many accounting books.. only so many billing forms.. etc.

I think the quest takes a necessary detour…. or perhaps this detour is in fact NOT a tangent, but the actuation of the fated path itself… to acquire numerous unique native-print page conditions.. to see if the kuzuform takes on a new meaning and new language with each new native condition.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Digital Paper 2010

created on a TabletKiosk Tablet PC

Still cranking away at the idea of surface topologies inherent within the drawn page, and how those might effect the thought and production of digital drawings.....

will keep these coming, as well as [hopefully soon], some of the resultant hand drawing explorations that re-examine the collision of those topologies...

P.O.D. notes

Personal Occupancy Device
From a lecture at University North Carolina Charlotte
College of Architecture

On issues of domesticity….

This project began as a study of the Personal Occupancy Device, the P.-O.-D., or now the the “pod”, [which is completely unrelated and prior to that “other” cool white pod device]. We were commissioned by another architect to head up a design team for an urban design competition, dealing with issues of housing density in for the year 2020 and beyond. This small vessel, a dwelling for one, was a result of the collapse of the
“Work/live/play” triangle, where one might download mp3’s at work…adjusts a spreadsheet at home… and eats lunch in front of the computer at the office. This became the conceptual, but not the formal, basis for the project. Some of us do this blurring of urban life tasks already, and this was a response to the future issues of dense overcrowding in the Southern California megalopolis.

It evolved past the small, compact form of spatial density of the future, into a current study of the idea of a dwelling for one. This is not a project that attempts to solve the anti-social issues of privacy-branding that a dwelling may issue forth within the context of “the city”.

It assumes the position that privacy is desired within the dwelling…

… and that sense of privacy protection is heightened within a context of unknown passersby, of unsolicited free-radicals that roam the immediate adjacency. A single-cell within a multiple-cell environment. It accepts its role as a social informant, a receptacle for the present condition of privacy control, a membrane for reflection of observation.

It attempts to solve no social oddity. I have purposefully left these images in their “unrefined-presentation” graphics format, from within Sketchup, as opposed to porting them over to a high-end, flavor-of-the-month rendering engine, to show the project in its true, current state- Which is nothing more than a series of conceptual sketches, the modern-day trace-paper equivalent. This project changes hourly, like so many layers of paper that keep getting redrawn and massaged over and over again…

The “anti-welcome mat”, though a somewhat misleading description, suggests a condition that the dwellers do not offer their home as a constant open-condition, but rather one that is open only upon identification and invitation. Perhaps it’s more about the mat with the familiar inscription written in code, so that the unaware, the unenlightened, never recognize the message, while those that are invited have the symbolic translation to realize the opening of the home to outsiders.

The construct deals with “dwelling” as a function for the individual in excess. Singular occupancy does not mean in this case “small”, efficient, or compact. The compact-ness of intimacy comes from the compression of typical horizontality of the average domestic condition- where wider is usually better… Here, the zone of outdoor space in the “private” rear zone is equally important as the square footage inside the dwelling…

The denotations of “wall” as both a primary architectural form, as well as the ultimate manifestation of overall expression are evident in its organization. Since the “wall” or plane is, in my opinion, a quintessential condition of both space and form, it becomes interesting to have that same type of representation or exploration of the “cell to the whole”.

In relation to digital theory and the nature of cellular logic, or the representation of parts to a whole, and what it is you are ACTUALLY looking at when examining pixels and digital information, it springs to mind that one might represent a condition of epigenetic expression of the cell to the whole, the one to the many, the individual to the masses.
Ideas concerning “horizontal walls” emerge, defying traditional usage or designation…

It is a representative of the individual to the collective. This also relates to the insertion of the original “whole”, the dwelling, into an urban context, or the “new whole”. Very fractal in its replication and reflective nature, the wall becomes house,
becomes urban object, or the plane of articulation within the city grid. There is a blurring of the identity of “figure” to “ground”, where “surface behavior” becomes a qualifying description more than “location” or “orientation”.

It attempts to acknowledge the issue of the “corridor effect” – or the condition of the “walls” of the generic fabric eventspace of the repetitive grid of blocks that maximize street frontage. The POD continues the gesture with its monolithic street membrane [which breaks down and opens up to the private area in the back of the site]. These
gestures are seen as channels or tunnels of traffic and movement.

The slight breaks or moments of view that occur within the façade membrane
of the POD are reflections of both the patterns inherent in the ground level of
most of the city. But these additionally speak of the moments of pause that occur within the urban matrix, either from a traffic light, an encounter with another pedestrian, or a pause to view the actual cells of the skin/membrane itself.

Ideas of public and private designations and transformations within the nature of the architecture are now brought forth. The edge of the street; the sidewalk; the fence; the gate; the front yard; the façade; the front door… These are all symbolic layers that address issues of the transition or the segregation of public into private. Is privacy more desired in the urban setting than within the dwelling itself?

Segregation by spatial folding and compression…

In this scenario, the POD becomes its own fence, its own gate, its own compressed layering device of separation of itself from its adjacencies. Not just moving the gate and preventative façade layer into a singular gesture, but the house itself becoming a device for its own removal, and its own inclusion. In the sub-urban setting, there exists an openness and permeability of neighborhood and the symbolic “welcome mat”…

But in an urban condition, where the neighborhood fluxutaes on an hourly basis, where neighbors are distant, and foreign pedestrians CLOSELY occupy the zone near the private, the welcome mat is often not a condition… the idea is in fact to keep out, to filter. This is not a project that attempts to correct that social splinter- it is one that
acknowledges the very real condition in a manner reflective of the issues.

The POD additionally explores the very basic idea of the function of a wall itself- to separate, and to possibly classify distinction of possibility and purpose on either side. InSIDE vs. outSIDE;
this side vs. that side;
function A on the right, function B on the left, and so on.

In my current residence, a wall separates my bathroom from the master bedroom, a typical condition. A singular wall, which is stripped of the typical ornamentation and complexity of grouping.

It is a simple plane.

Drywall finished on both sides, this single plane separates quite different functions within the house. The privacy of the toilet enclosure, contrasted with the very open nature of the master bedroom.

Thought the paint colors are different on each side of this plane, the chemical composition of the paint is almost certainly identical. My point? That the most common architectural element we have to denote enclosure as the role of a spatial delineator is achieved by simply being a divider. Such is the nature of the POD. It delineates the private zone of “dwelling” from the public zone of “context”.

If we could go back and view my bathroom wall as a free floating element that we so often love to render as a system unto itself, we would see the simplicity condition
of plane.

We are often more concerned with the articulation of the plane than we are the immediate functions it attempts to separate and define. And this is no different.
But place it back into its context, and the wall looses its autonomy, unless we sheath it in a unique material.