Permanent Change: Plastics in Architecture and Engineering

Today and tomorrow I'm attending the Permanent Change: Plastics in Architecture and Engineering conference at Columbia GSAPP. With wifi access I can get some work done and post some highlights from the proceedings, cursory tidbits that serve to spark my memory, but which should also give people a sense of what is being presented and discussed. I'll add at least one thing of interest from each session below, updating it as the conference progresses.

Day 2, Session 4:

[Succulent House by Murmur; a house with udders for collecting water | featured in a talk by Sylvia Lavin on flaccidity and "an orgy of plastics." | image source]

[U.S. Pavilion at Expo67 in Montreal by R. Buckminster Fuller, catching fire in 1976; it was rebuilt years later without the acrylic skin | in Mark Wigley's talk on plastic drawing the line between inside and outside, architects' ignorance of plastics, and the end of the material's Sixties/Seventies' exploration in architecture | image source]

Temporary Cinema no. 01
[Temporary Cinema installation by MOS and artist Tobias Putrih at the Wexner Center | one of many recent MOS projects presented by Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample | photo by Samuel Ludwig on flickr]

Day 2, Session 3:

[Neurological drawing by Santiago Ramón y Cajal | in lecture by Sanford Kwinter on neuroplasticity | image source]

The Predator by Fabian Marcaccio
[The Predator, a "painting" by Fabian Marcaccio and Greg Lynn | presented by Fabian Marcaccio | photo by virtuejofern on flickr]

["Hybrid Muscle," one of many fascinating projects by R&Sie(n); here the covering is made up of elastomer sheets | presentation by Francois Roche | image source]

Day 2, Session 2:
[Bankside residential penthouse near the Tate in London, by Decoi Architects; wall panels are being fabricated of carbon fiber | presented by Mark Goulthorpe | image source]

Fiberline, Denmark
[Fiberline Building in Middlefart, Denmark by Jan Søndergaard/KHR; Fiberline makes composite fiber profiles, and the building is an expression of their pultrusion process | part of Ignaas Verpoest's presentation on composites | photo by winn1ke on flickr]

Day 2, Session 1:
Hafencity Hamburg, Unilever head office Germany, Strandkai quarter
[Unilever HQ by Behnisch Architects; the facade is a double wall with the outer surface of stretched ETFE | in presentation by Erik Olsen of Transsolar | photo by Kai Nicolas Schaper on flickr]

Day 1, Session 4:
House of the Future
[House of the Future, 1956, by Alison and Peter Smithson, boasted as an all-plastic house, but built of plywood With a thin layer of plastic applied to it | in Beatriz Colomina's talk, which also included SANAA's installation at the Barcelona Pavilion | photo by Andrés E. on flickr]

[Ant Farm inflatable event on Earth Day, 1970 | part of Chip Lord's rundown of the art/architecture group's history | photo by edsel2007 on flickr]

Day 1, Session 3:

[3Di composite laminate sails | presented be William Pearson of North Sails One Design | photo from North Sails web page]

FLAP Bags: With Henry Addo doing interviews in Accra
[FLAP portable solar bag by Portable Light | presented by Sheila Kennedy | photo by whiteafrican on flickr]

[Active Phytoremediation Wall System by CASE Rensselaer/SOM | presented by CASE's Anna Dyson | photo from atelier nGai's web page]

[An inflatable decoy tank | one of many uses for plastics explored in Galia Solomonoff's presentation | photo via Strange Harvest]

Day 1, Session 2:
New Camera Tests-100101-10
[The plastic (not aluminum) facade of the Walbrook by Foster + Partners | In presentation by Jan Knippers | photo by simontoplis on flickr]

[The decaying plastic art of Duane Hanson | Discussed in Craig Konyk's "The plastic paradox and its potential" | photo by waorak on flickr]

Day 1, Session 1:
Monsanto House Construction '56
[Monsanto House of the Future | Presented by Theodore H.M. Prudon | photo by "Dennis Claremont" on flickr]


  1. Great post least one person should tell you!

  2. Thanks, James. Just revisited this post after realizing I never received my learning units. Time to give GSAPP a call!


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