Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Onward to Nuit Blanche 2012: Aura

Not content with simply enjoying the summer, the [R]ed[U]x Lab team has moved on to its next project, an installation for this Fall's Nuit Blanche 2012 in Toronto.  Once again students from Ryerson University's Department of Architectural Science will be putting up an installation for in the downtown core at the city's largest annual night-time arts festival.  The initial concept was prototyped in the fall of 2011 and accepted by the festival organization team. Unlike other design programs, the Department of Architectural Science ensures that its students are both innovative designers as well as able to bring these ideas to built reality.

Here is a sneak peak at some of the early prototype work, entitled Aura, that was proposed by the team:

Art and architecture are often regarded as two separate realms of creativity. However, one could argue that these two terms are synonymous because both creative methods are about manifesting an expression upon a wide variety of mediums through a wide variety of techniques. Both art and architecture can be practical or impractical, tangible or intangible - normal or abnormal. What resonates through both creative methods is ones ability to relate, interpret or reflect upon the ‘thing’ at which they are experiencing. Some of the most successful art or architectural works offer the possibility of their audiences to impact the formal nature of the piece. This is the essence of the Aura Installation proposal for Toronto’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2012.

The installation aims to challenge any trace of a threshold between art and architecture by deriving key characteristics from both realms. The use of light, craft and experiential quality in addition to becoming a sense of environment or enclosure are key conceptual considerations. The Aura takes advantage of digital design and fabrication methods in order to optimize efficiency, constructability, cost and performance in order to yield a truly effective result. Through a component-based approach, the installation can be considered a hierarchal series of elements from the large scale panel unit to the hundreds of small scale cap and plunger components.

Intent: 1
The Aura concept revolves around the idea of a user being able to manipulate their environmental conditions. By allowing the experiencer to not only observe, but also change and interact with their surroundings, they would therefore be enabled to imbed their personal identity through any given contextual medium. Another dimension of this concept is an element of surprise, which will facilitate interaction between users. The installation aims to formulate a dynamic response in an attempt to stimulate users.

Intent: 2
In further exploring the concept of dynamism, the team looked to manipulating both natural and artificial lighting conditions of the installation. This was first conceptualized through manipulating light through the use of the moving components of the design. Daylight and artificial lighting qualities would therefore be directly impacted by the users of the space, thus furthering the original idea of formal manipulation by the occupants of the installation. The configuration and orientation of the installation would also be derived from the daylight qualities of the space, therefore allowing altering exterior lighting conditions to become an additional dimension contributing to the experiential nature of the installation.

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