Between September 2013 and January 2014, the UAM's Tumblr will be dedicated to MatterApp: Pyramidial, a collaboration between the UAM, DESN 360A, and Oliver Hess, Director Emeritus of Materials & Applications, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit, which has striven to raise the conceptual standards of public art by questioning not only what is possible in the built environment, but also who participates in its development.

 

Get seriously WARPED!
Join CSULB students and alumni from the Design and Fiber programs and members of the award-winning art collective, Yarn Bombing Los Angeles, and the The Long Beach Depot for Creative ReUse for a radical collaborative fiber intervention of the new space-frame sculpture, MatterApp:Pyramidial!
MatterApp:Pyramidial (MA:P) a student “crowdsourced” design, was inspired by the Walter Pyramid and created through a collaboration between the students of CSULB Assistant Professor Heather Barker’s Environmental Communication Design Class and the LA-based nonprofit Materials & Applications.
Nestled upon a grassy knoll between the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater, the Gerald R. Daniel Recital Hall, and MA:P’s inspiration, the bright blue Walter Pyramid, this elegant geometric sculpture can been seen from the city street and is perfect for an intervention!
 WE NEED WEAVERS!
While we apply the term “yarnbomb,” we will be using a variety of materials, from yarn, nylon, and glow-in-the-dark cord to VHS tape and other repurposed material.
In advance, artists-organizers involved will prepare a warp for you to weave! Got ideas? Share them! Got extra material? Bring it!
Join us!
July 8 (10 – 6 pm) WEAVING DAY!

Free participatory event! Public invited to complete woven structure
MA:P is unfinished steel and the patina is beautiful, but it is iron-red—so be sure to wear your grubby clothes and sneakers!

July 10 (5 – 7 pm) Public reception to Celebrate MatterApp: Pyramidial and the yarnbombing
For more about MatterApp:Pyramidial we invite you to visit the UAM Tumblr page 
For more about Yarn Bombing Los Angeles, we encourage you to read this 2014 profile from the Los Angeles Times: 
For more about The Long Beach Depot for Creative ReUse, visit their website
For more about the UAM, visit our website
For a map to MatterApp: Pyramidial, click here 
Funded by an NEA Art Works Design grant, MatterApp:Pyramidial is presented by the University Art Museum at CSU Long Beach. It culminates the Spring 2014 UAM exhibition Materials & Applications: Building Something (Beyond) Beautiful, Projects 2002–2013, a capstone to more than ten years of effort at the Los Angeles-based experimental architecture and design organization Materials & Applications (M&A) to advance new and underused ideas in art, architecture, and landscape.

Get seriously WARPED!

Join CSULB students and alumni from the Design and Fiber programs and members of the award-winning art collective, Yarn Bombing Los Angeles, and the The Long Beach Depot for Creative ReUse for a radical collaborative fiber intervention of the new space-frame sculpture, MatterApp:Pyramidial!

MatterApp:Pyramidial (MA:P) a student “crowdsourced” design, was inspired by the Walter Pyramid and created through a collaboration between the students of CSULB Assistant Professor Heather Barker’s Environmental Communication Design Class and the LA-based nonprofit Materials & Applications.

Nestled upon a grassy knoll between the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater, the Gerald R. Daniel Recital Hall, and MA:P’s inspiration, the bright blue Walter Pyramid, this elegant geometric sculpture can been seen from the city street and is perfect for an intervention!

 WE NEED WEAVERS!

While we apply the term “yarnbomb,” we will be using a variety of materials, from yarn, nylon, and glow-in-the-dark cord to VHS tape and other repurposed material.

In advance, artists-organizers involved will prepare a warp for you to weave! Got ideas? Share them! Got extra material? Bring it!

Join us!

July 8 (10 – 6 pm) WEAVING DAY!

Free participatory event! Public invited to complete woven structure

MA:P is unfinished steel and the patina is beautiful, but it is iron-red—so be sure to wear your grubby clothes and sneakers!

July 10 (5 – 7 pm) Public reception to Celebrate MatterApp: Pyramidial and the yarnbombing

For more about MatterApp:Pyramidial we invite you to visit the UAM Tumblr page 

For more about Yarn Bombing Los Angeles, we encourage you to read this 2014 profile from the Los Angeles Times

For more about The Long Beach Depot for Creative ReUse, visit their website

For more about the UAM, visit our website

For a map to MatterApp: Pyramidial, click here 

Funded by an NEA Art Works Design grant, MatterApp:Pyramidial is presented by the University Art Museum at CSU Long Beach. It culminates the Spring 2014 UAM exhibition Materials & Applications: Building Something (Beyond) Beautiful, Projects 2002–2013, a capstone to more than ten years of effort at the Los Angeles-based experimental architecture and design organization Materials & Applications (M&A) to advance new and underused ideas in art, architecture, and landscape.

Top: Glenn Reynolds, Bryan Denny, Sam Poole, and Oscar Jauregui of Gossamer.

Middle: Eco Foundation Systems’ Ed Ayala and David Drake. In front: a Krinner Ground Screw similar to those used to anchor MA:P to the ground.

Bottom: UAM curator Kristina Newhouse, Ruta Bandziulis (student), Brigette Brown, Heather Barker (DESN 360A instructor), and Cecilia Chen (student)

Photos by of Glenn Reynolds, Gossamer.

It’s official! MatterApp: Pyramidial is up! The structure—scaled at 75 percent of the size originally planned—is sitting in all its mild steel glory between the Walter Pyramid and the Daniel Recital Hall. At 231.6 feet in length from end to end, it still seems plenty big!

In case you missed it: last fall, students from a special section of the Design course Environmental Communication Design 360A, led by Assistant Professor Heather Barker, collaborated with CSULB stakeholders, community members, and artist Oliver Hess in the conceptualization of MatterApp: Pyramidial. The MA:P design was digitally rendered and then put through the same kind of rigorous evaluation that any campus construction project would be required to withstand. Finally, with the completed design in hand, donations of materials and expertise were secured from Gossamer Space Frame of Huntington Beach, Krinner Ground Screw of Germany, and Eco Foundations Systems, Inc. of Sacramento to complete the temporary installation on the campus grounds.

Gossamer and Eco Foundation Systems each arrived on June 5th with a crew ready to realize the student design. After working out a few kinks of logistics and orientation on the site, the installation process went surprisingly quickly. In a matter of hours, a system of 10-gauge steel pipes went up and was bolted together into MA:P’s distinctive configuration. The scorpion-like tail section was the last to be placed, balanced upon the very top of the sculpture. Sixteen Krinner ground screws were drilled through specially designed footing-plates to anchor MA:P onto the site’s hilly contours. As an experience, the installation process really did seem like playing with larger-than-life Tinkertoys.

MatterApp: Pyramidial is a beautiful and lively partner to the neighboring Pyramid. This sculptural work is best understood in person, so check it out while you can—it is currently only a temporary installation but there may be a chance that it could stay a little longer (cross your fingers).

A reception to celebrate this project has been set for Thursday, July 10th from 5 to 7 pm—for more about this reception, please check back on the UAM Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/uam.fans) for more details.

Special thanks go to the awesome people at Gossamer Space Frame (Glenn Reynolds, Bryan Denny, Sam Poole, and Oscar Jauregui) and Eco Foundation Systems (Ed Ayala and David Drake). This crew did an amazing job working under the hot sun to get MA:P up so quickly. Of course, thanks also to Heather Barker, Kristina Newhouse, and DESN 360A student Ruta Bandziulis who helped install. For all the 360A students who were there in spirit, MA:P looks fantastic!

MatterApp:Pyramidial is presented by the University Art Museum at CSU Long Beach. It culminates the Spring 2014 UAM exhibition Materials & Applications: Building Something (Beyond) Beautiful, Projects 2002–2013, a capstone to more than ten years of effort at the Los Angeles-based experimental architecture and design organization Materials & Applications (M&A) to advance new and underused ideas in art, architecture, and landscape.

_________________________________________________________________

Brigette Brown is a freelance writer and editor based out of Orange County. She holds a BA in Studio Art - Graphic Design from CSULB (2010) and is currently putting her MFA in Design Criticism from SVA (2013) to good use writing about design’s role in shaping our communities for publications like Surface, Disegno, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Architizer, Design Observer, and UnBeige.

Model kits, model kits, model kits! Alongside developing and designing MatterApp: Pyramidial, the students in DESN 360A also have to work on individual projects that are separate (but related) to the structure. One of those such projects is an educational model kit made for young students to learn about architecture and design and how it works in the built environment.

The model kits will come as a kit of parts that use cheap materials and produce as little waste as possible. This part of the project is still being figured out so I can’t provide too man details. I will say, however, I’m impressed with the fact that they’ve produced some beautifully sculptural elements (and killer joint systems!) at such a small scale. 

Next Tuesday, December 10th DESN 360A will be presenting their final designs! Details coming soon.

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Brigette Brown is a freelance writer and editor based out of Orange County. She holds a BA in Studio Art - Graphic Design from CSULB (2010) and is currently putting her MFA in Design Criticism from SVA (2013) to good use writing about design’s role in shaping our communities for publications like Surface, Disegno and The Los Angeles Review of Books.

Last week’s warm sun and clear skies were the perfect backdrop for a site visit with campus stakeholders from Facilities, Design Services, Engineering, Groundskeeping, etc. (It was a lovely contrast considering the last site visit was in the dead heat of summer!) In a quick meeting we primarily discussed the possibilities for providing MatterApp: Pyramidial with electrical power if it were used for programming events. But, we also talked about the concerns for actually building the structure and the necessity for lift equipment, the placement of signage, cladding and disability access.

With only a week left in the design process, it’s a good thing the meeting ended in smiling faces!

_________________________________________________________________

Brigette Brown is a freelance writer and editor based out of Orange County. She holds a BA in Studio Art - Graphic Design from CSULB (2010) and is currently putting her MFA in Design Criticism from SVA (2013) to good use writing about design’s role in shaping our communities for publications like Surface, Disegno and The Los Angeles Review of Books.

The End is Nigh

DESN 360A student Cathy Hsiao and professor Heather Barker discuss whether or not it is possible to dye the sails quickly and effectively on campus.

There’s one last question about MatterApp: Pyramidial that hangs in the air: To skin or not to skin?

This semester went by incredibly fast and it still shocks me that finals week is upon us. As much as I don’t want it to be over (I’m sure the students disagree) I’m so excited to see the final design. I’m also incredibly eager to see what MatterApp looks like in reality.

In any case, going into this week the DESN 360A gang has been discussing what the structure’s skin will look like and whether or not they want any form of cladding at all. The sailing club on campus donated a bunch of sails for the students to work with. There’s some talk about the possibility of dyeing, tying, twisting and draping. 

Coming soon: the conclusion of MatterApp: Pyramidial and the solution to cladding (or not).

_________________________________________________________________

Brigette Brown is a freelance writer and editor based out of Orange County. She holds a BA in Studio Art - Graphic Design from CSULB (2010) and is currently putting her MFA in Design Criticism from SVA (2013) to good use writing about design’s role in shaping our communities for publications like Surface, Disegno and The Los Angeles Review of Books.

Although many artists and architects privilege phenomenological experience, they often offer the near-reverse: “experience” handed back to us as “atmosphere” or “affect”—that is, as environments that confuse the actual with the virtual, or feelings that are hardly our own yet interpellate us nonetheless. —Hal Foster

The design of MatterApp: Pyramidial will soon be coming to an end! In less than a month, the students will be presenting their final design (details on then when and where coming soon). As they scramble to finalize the structure and secure materials, I’ve decided that reading Hal Foster’s The Art-Architecture Complex is only fitting.

Disability Access has been the name of the game since the design of MatterApp: Pyramidial has been (more or less) finalized and, with that, the last few weeks of the semester have pushed the students to make sure they’re in compliance. Per California’s ADA, there are certain rules and regulations MatterApp has to follow in order to provide an all-inclusive and safe environment. But, the building requirements for equal access are generally rather vague and the fact that the structure is an uninhabitable temporary space doesn’t make things any easier.

Luckily, a design solution does exist! So, in the next two weeks or so, the students of DESN 360A may have to adjust and modify their design so that there is a 6ft 8in overhead clearance and a marker (maybe a curb?) to make the structure safe to navigate—particularly, for the visual impaired.

Creating a design that is inclusive and accessible should be the goal of every environmental design project but, I’m most excited about is seeing a design that is also beautiful and solves these problems in creative and innovative ways. The fact that MatterApp: Pyramidial is a cross-disciplinary collaboration can only help in the problem solving department—engineers, artists and designers can together create something practical and beautiful—producing outcomes that could never happen otherwise.

Of course, accessibility is only one of many things that need to be considered in the final phase of designing MatterApp: skinning the structure, wind map analysis, possibilities for electricity, programming, way-finding, signage and installation are all still on the list. (Add in the impending finals week and the students are really in for a mad dash to the finish line!)

_________________________________________________________________

Brigette Brown is a freelance writer and editor based out of Orange County. She holds a BA in Studio Art - Graphic Design from CSULB (2010) and is currently putting her MFA in Design Criticism from SVA (2013) to good use writing about design’s role in shaping our communities for publications like Surface, Disegno and The Los Angeles Review of Books.

Duncan Anderson Lecture Series: Mic Patterson

Self-proclaimed façade geek, Mic Patterson made an appearance at last week’s Duncan Anderson Lecture Series and his presentation was a fanciful display of sparkling curtain walls, geometric forms and transparent gems of buildings. (Clearly, I’m a façade geek myself and I took great pleasure in exterior construction talk: glass installation, curtain walls, space frames and innovation in building skin.)

Mic Patterson’s is in constant evolution — rather than simply taking cues from other designers, he builds upon his own practice — and no two buildings look the same. He is in on a constant quest to create “gem quality” buildings by taking the simplest route possible.

 

LA Live Tower & Residences, Los Angeles, Gensler (2010)

Jacob K Javits Convention Center, New York City, I.M. Pei & Partners / FXFowle/Epstein (2013)

Seattle Family Foundation campus*, Seattle, NBBJ (2012)

Sometimes, looking back at New York City’s mid-century curtain walls (n. a wall that encloses the space within a building but does not support the roof) like the Seagram Building (1957) and Lever House (1951) can provide design solutions for today’s architectural constructions because, as Patterson says, “Imitation is one of the important design strategies that we can use.”

Seagram Building, New York City, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1957)

 

Lever House, New York City, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) (1951, curtain wall replacement in 2001)

Even so, although we hack, invent and design on a regular basis, we still haven’t found the solution to the sustainability problem. The reason for this is partly because the vocabulary we use to describe “sustainability” isn’t clear or universal — what does sustainability really mean, anyway? — so, one of the first steps to solving the problem is to “get more aggressive in our vocabulary” before we can innovate our way to a more sustainable built environment.

Mic’s lecture was smart and incredibly thought provoking which, I think, encouraged the students to innovate their way to a better world. There really is a need for fresh perspectives in design and there’s still a huge gap between where we are today and where we need to be tomorrow (or, where we should have been yesterday) in terms of architecture and design that isn’t wasteful.

On another note, all of this talk about skin and sustainability comes at the perfect time for the DESN 360A crew as they come up with ideas for the cladding of MatterApp:Pyramidial! Stay tuned for the latest in MatterApp’s construction.

_________________________________________________________________

Brigette Brown is a freelance writer and editor based out of Orange County. She holds a BA in Studio Art - Graphic Design from CSULB (2010) and is currently putting her MFA in Design Criticism from SVA (2013) to good use writing about design’s role in shaping our communities for publications like Surface, Disegno and The Los Angeles Review of Books.

Halloween was an important day for the DESN 360A students. Last week they had a construction strategies meeting with the amazing project realization team (a.k.a. CSULB stakeholders from Facilities, Design Services, Engineering, Groundskeeping, etc.) and Nathan Reynolds of Gossamer Space Frame— it went well!

Heather Barker laid out the latest news in MatterApp’s design, space frame construction, anchor systems and production timelines for the team. Of course, there are still a few things that need to be worked out in terms of skinning the structure and figuring out what MatterApp:Pyramidial will be used for but overall, the team seemed to be on board and ready to push forward.

Post-meeting enthusiasm helped keep the students focused on continuing the development of the project’s programming: skinning the structure, education and workshops, identity.

There’s still a long way to go but this last meeting showed just how nicely things are coming together.

(And no, there was NOT a medical emergency in the classroom! UAM Curator of Education Brian Trimble and UAM Educational Assistant Christina Alegria showed up in Halloween costumes)

_________________________________________________________________

Brigette Brown is a freelance writer and editor based out of Orange County. She holds a BA in Studio Art - Graphic Design from CSULB (2010) and is currently putting her MFA in Design Criticism from SVA (2013) to good use writing about design’s role in shaping our communities for publications like Surface, Disegno and The Los Angeles Review of Books.