Oct 4, 2012

intro to marjan colletti


Project: Medusa

MEDUSA
A Blanket for the Soft Toys, London (1998)

Program: ‘Housing’ several soft toys in a portable ‘dwelling’.
MArch thesis project, design: Marjan Colletti
Tutors: Peter Cook and Yael Reisner

Medusa, like the Greek mythological figure, tends to freeze observers.
Soft toys as part of architectural design were already introduced in the project BESKING. Here, the soft toys are wrapped into a soft blanket that with a grid of Velcro tape can be folded in all possible ways. The blanket is then velcroed onto the architect’s shaved head. The resulting friendly wig resembles a Baroque hairstyle, and introduces the notion of ornament into the work. In the drawings, the fragmentation of the line into a written text conveys the notion of softness and chorography, and endeavors to comment on empty surface architecture and the hard-lined attitude of digital folds and triangulations. It presents the soft toys and their cuteness and softness as part of an architectural thesis and conviction that promotes playfulness and facilitation of the designer’s internal agenda. 






The Basking - A House in Hampstead, London.
Programme: Bus station, private dwelling, terrace, garden with pond and waterfall, exhibition space, swimming pool.
(MArch thesis project, design: Marjan Colletti; Tutors: Peter Cook and Yael Reisner)
The project, fully developed in a 2D CAD software package, addresses the nature of organic architecture in CAAD. Rather than scripting ‘pure’ organic forms by simulating growth, the proposal constructs a convoluted field of digital tectonics, vegetation, and interactable entities. The digital spline as only design element follows logical and structural thoughts of the designer, considering inhabitation, function and presence of the building. The proposal employs experimental technological and structural solution, yet the focus is on the design of an entirely digital proposal not based on the common aesthetic of NURBS surfaces, abstract scapes, or parametric skins. 
Situated next to the London park Hampstead Heath, the house basks relaxed in its own garden, enjoying the admiration of passers-by. All over the site, an artificial meadow – a water-filled rubber mattress, which keeps memory of the way people walk on it – tells the people that they stand on private property. The boundaries between the inside and the outside of the building are in fact blurred by soft walls, inflatable doors, vegetation and waterfalls, and a series of footpaths.

In the garden, a floating swimming pool, like a humongous flower, grows out of the pond and blossoms regularly, changing its shape depending on the season. Water can be pumped through its double-layered skin in order to calibrate the pool’s shape: from open in the summer to enclosed in the winter. An artificial forest of ice, allows the architect to exhibit his work, but keeps people away. Cypresses, often planted close to private villas in northern Italy, grow out of highly light-reflecting, earth-filled fabric bags, which act as columns fo
The Besking
A Hybrid between a BEd+deSK+thing, London (1999)
Programme: 1 bed, 1 desk, 1 seat for the architect, 1 seat for guest, flower pots, lamps, trash bin, drawers, plan holders.
(MArch thesis project, design: Marjan Colletti; Tutors: Peter Cook and Yael Reisner)
 

The project looks in more detail at the furniture inside the BASKING. Again, the project develops, on 2D-software, complex organic - structural and functional - relations between elements: water-carrying pipes held together by the endless wrapping, unbalanced legs stabilised by the messy carpet, the architect’s and the guest’s seat, the inflatable blanket, the Easter garden and a pump that allows water to run through the pipes, creating divergent zones of different temperatures and allowing movement of the different elements.

All these elements have a ‘double personality’: the pipes are a major element but rather wild, the legs are adjustable but unstable, the carpet is light but messy, the blanket is soft but shy, the architect’s seat is adaptable yet unmovable while the guest’s seat is funny but naughty. The general curvilinearity of the design hints at research into the splinear fabric of convoluted fields, playing with ornamented CAD lines, some of them resulting from interfering with software commands.
 


Furthermore, the project includes two different scales, the 1:1 human scale and the 1:10 soft toy scale. In fact, in all the drawings – plans, sections, elevations, details – friendly soft toys and splinimals reappear in the organic shapes of the design: there are polar bears, seals, whales, elephants, huskies in the section; lions, whales, seals and myself, in the plans and sections.
 r the translucent roof. 

1 comment:

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