2331 | Take [one of] Five

Graveyard of Material

PVC shower-pan liner, acrylic, and paper: a story of the first of five epic adventures of the first year graduate studio.

The second installment of our first year quickly moves forward. The studio, taught by Penelope Dean and Andrew Moddrell, takes a drastically different approach than our previous semester.  If the subject of last semester’s studio was fairly tangible (based on a set of historical documents), this semester’s studio is enigmatic (five “mystery” assignments).  And if the material of last semester’s studio was incorporeal (maya, rhino), this semester’s studio is highly physical (PVC shower-pan liner, acrylic, paper).

Graveyard OneAs we embark on this unknown adventure, we are asked to “..suspend our disbeliefs with the promise that it will all add up.”  Our only clues of what is to come are within the current assignment brief and the cheeky glances into upper graduate work on portfolio day.  The semester focuses on developing our abilities to establish clarity across all material scales and modes of representation.  We will move from small scale to large, vague to detailed, abstract to real.

Our first assignment for the semester, restricted to the confines of a 4″ x 4″ x 1″ box, was to produce numerous massing models by accumulating layers from PVC shower-pan liner.  This material has a unique flexibility while still upholding a rigidity to its form.  It may be safe to say that no one in the class had previously worked with this material before – unless of course a random do-it-yourself’er installed their own shower.  Pictures below, taken by Matt Messner, demonstrate the havoc we induced on this previously undefiled material with the use of tapes, glues, and pins.

Like Project Runway, models were voted out until each of us was left with one.  The selection was based on audience approval, with the final decision coming from the critics row.  These finalists were then reinterpreted in a different set of materials – paper and acrylic.  Numerous versions, or takes, on the previous finalist were created from these materials.  As we worked out these iterations, new spatial relationships came forward under the authority of the surface.  In the review of the paper/acrylic models, one model was again selected to move to the next round.  The past week has been spent drawing sections and plans of the two final models.

This series of works will be presented on Monday, January 31, in room 1100 and will complete the first of five episodes of Penelope and Andrew’s Take Five studio.  Stick with us and watch this epic adventure unfold.

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