School of Architecture alumnus selected as finalist in international competition

November 4th, 2014 Comments Off on School of Architecture alumnus selected as finalist in international competition

TEX-FAB, a digital fabrication alliance, recently held an international digital to design fabrication competition, “Plasticity.” They received 70 entries from 16 countries on 6 continents.

Nels Long, a 2013 graduate of the School of Architecture, (along with team members Brennen Huller and Nikita Troufanov) was selected as a top-four finalist, going on to present at the 2014 ACADIA Design Agency Conference at USC in Los Angeles, Calif.

The prototype will be on exhibit at the University of Houston School of Architecture along with the other two prototypes and the winning installation from March 26 – October 2015.

Project Boards:


Project Summary: PUFF’D prototype explores plasticity of composite construction and the role of the seam and joint in architecture. Inspired by Japanese joinery, puffy jackets and jet fighter airplanes, PUFF’D proposes a novel construction technique for full scale architecture. Instead of following parametric paneling and module-based logics, PUFF’D employs large monolithic building components or ‘mega panels’ suggesting new ways of full scale assembly on site. The project follows up on our previous explorations with mega-panels, joinery and robotic assembly. The previous prototype used the language of stitching and wood joinery to study how composite mega-panels may come together as assembly. The current proposal scales up and develops an inflatable composite sandwich technique to minimize waste and explore new formal and structural possibilities. Instead of milling a foam block and laying up fiberglass, we propose sewing two sheets of uncured ‘pre-preg’ fiberglass and injecting spray foam inside. The form of the prototype is a folded envelope with hyperbolic surfaces. Structural analysis was run on the form and stress gradients were identified. That information was then used as a template to parametrically develop structural reinforcement in the surface. The thickening of the surface took place by inflating the regions that needed more resistance to stresses. Inflation produced interesting effects, beginning to resemble a puffy jacket or lush baroque furniture. Where there was little stress in the shell, no foam is needed and the surface becomes very thin and transparent, producing effect of multi-materiality. The interior of the shell became highly articulated and the exterior remained smooth and simple. Seams and joints were then introduced to break up the shell with a real/fake joint language. While the puffy interior expressed only the real assembly joints, the smooth exterior surface began to have fake seams running off and around the real seams to give articulation to the exterior.

Biography: During his undergraduate studies, Long had the opportunity to interact with many different cultures and methodologies through an exchange with a program in Izmir, Turkey, an internship with the Center for Maximum Potential Buildings Systems and the Austin chapter of Architects Without Borders, among others. These experiences come together in his work through a passion for the use of games and play as creative tools. Extreme low-tech and the cutting-edge juxtapose in the development of his method. This results in virtual reality software alongside trading card suites with the intent to stimulate communities towards positive change while simultaneously mitigating psychological strain. The potential of his work has been recognized through lectures given at the Technical University of Berlin and the Architectural Association’s visiting school hosted by Art Academy University in 2014.

In the finalists’ round, the jury agreed that Puff’d Composites offered a range of unique features that would benefit from additional research and full-scale prototyping. Juror Alvin Huang was “intrigued by the formal articulation of the soft puffed interior vs. the interlocking seams of the hard shell.” Benjamin Ball applauded the project for being “one of the few that seriously explores the design and production of architecturally scaled components that function.” He added, “Puff’d expands the simple notion that seams are a border between separate panels to that of an interlocking mechanical connection that functions.”

PUFFD from CAADatMSU on Vimeo.

Construction Sequence:

Final Prototype:

MSU School of Architecture curates coast exhibit

November 3rd, 2014 Comments Off on MSU School of Architecture curates coast exhibit

photo by David Lewis

photo by David Lewis

(Via David Lewis)

A continuation and expansion of the “Modern Mississippi” exhibit will be on display through the end of December at the Charnley-Norwood House in Ocean Springs.

The exhibit was curated and photographed by MSU School of Architecture students Landon Kennedy and David Lewis with the help of Assistant Professor Jacob Gines, faculty coordinator and photographer; student Mary Sanders, photographer; and student Casey Walker photographer.

“The Charnley-Norwood House was designed by Louis Sullivan,” said Lewis. “At the time, Frank Llyod Wright worked for Sullivan and is believed to have worked on the house. It was recently restored after being extremely damaged during Hurricane Katrina.”

The renovation/restoration project by Albert & Associates Architects P.A. recently received an Honor Award from the Mississippi AIA.

Alpha Rho Chi students recognized with national award

November 3rd, 2014 Comments Off on Alpha Rho Chi students recognized with national award

(Via APX media release)

The Alpha Rho Chi Grand Council recognized the dedication and hard work of two student members from Mississippi State University (MSU) on October 18, 2014. Melinda Ingram and Sang Nguyen received the National Fraternal Service Award for their efforts developing and supporting national fraternity projects and mentoring other student members at universities across the country. The award is presented in the form a gold lapel pin modeled on the fraternity’s crest and is worn alongside the fraternity’s badge.

Ingram and Nguyen, students of MSU’s architecture program and members of the university’s Hippodamus Chapter, spent the previous year applying research, problem solving and creativity skills to formulate guidelines and plans in support of the fraternity’s ritual. Ingram was a key member of a team researching patterns and fabric types – and developing detailed sewing instructions – used for costuming. Nguyen worked with other student members to design and test materials and construction methodologies for building props. When finalized in 2015, all student chapters will use these guidelines and plans in support of the fraternity’s commitment to a safe and purposeful initiation experience.

“Melinda and Sang have made a great impact on our teams’ progress toward developing resources for the entire fraternity,” said council member and Grand Lecturer Scott Swanson. “Their responsiveness and willingness to help others exemplifies Alpha Rho Chi’s spirit of service to its members and emphasizes our focus on experiential learning.”

Ingram and Nguyen also mentored student members at three recently installed chapters, helping those students learn how to create their own materials for the first time while promoting concepts like risk management and safety. Both worked with students at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in Minneapolis; NewSchool of Architecture and Design in San Diego, Calif.; and Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Ga. Ingram and Nguyen continue their roles working with the Grand Lecturer and other project teams.

Alpha Rho Chi, a member of the Professional Fraternity Association, is the national fraternity for architecture and the allied arts. The brotherhood unites men and women for the purpose of fellowship and lifelong friendships and mutual interest in professional development. Founded in 1914, the student and alumni brothers study and practice architecture, interior design, architectural engineering, urban planning, landscape architecture and related disciplines.
The fraternity is located at 30 schools of architecture across the United States and perpetuates through the all-volunteer services of its alumni, student and faculty members.

Read the story on MSU’s site.

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