Monday, March 03, 2014

The Cube, 2013 Beijing Biennale

Our friends Dwayne Oyler and Jenny Wu of Oyler Wu Collaborative have sent us the following text and images for their "Cube" installation created for the 2013 Beijing Biennale. Like some of their previous projects featured here – SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion, Pendulum Plane, Suburban Intervention, Taipei Sales Center – the steel-and-rope Cube explores the definition of form, space and surface through the articulation of lines.

[Photographs by Jason Wheeler, Lam Kaiming Lin, courtesy of Oyler Wu Collaborative]

Built for the 2013 Beijing Biennale, the Cube was designed with the intention of challenging the perceptual reading of the volumetric object. Beginning with this iconic and basic geometry, the overall scheme is designed to maintain the clear presence of the six-sided object in space.

Closer inspection of the scheme, however, is intended to reveal a more nuanced and experiential spatial effect- one that moves beyond the object and offers a radically different reading. Approximately sixteen meters tall and constructed of painted steel and rope, the Cube capitalizes directly on the inherent spatial characteristics of line, existing as a more ephemeral framework of complex geometric patterns that transform as they move through space. Despite the density and apparent solidity of the object when viewed from afar, one can experience several large voids that move up through the Cube, offering views into and through the object. The voids are viewed from directly below the object, and are meant to further the immersive dimension of the piece.

The design process began with a simple two-dimensional plane with a series of patterns, consisting of line-work, drawn across the surface. That surface is then repeated in space, creating six planes, each offset a distance of 3 meters from one another, forming a perfect cube. Moving perpendicular to the planes is a series of surfaces made of lines, adapting, twisting and contorting in order to connect the six planes together. Cavities of space are formed by these continuously warping planes that reach deep into the volume of the cube. Eventually, the planes spill out of the volume, lifting the volume into the air, and becoming structural supports for the now precariously tilted volume of lines.

By using a semi-repetitious field of twisting "surfaces," the scheme moves back and forth between complex field and coherent geometric object. Ultimately, we're interested in the transcendence of line into a completely engulfing experience- one that can be occupied as a kind of three-dimensional drawing. This ambition is aimed at creating an evolving experiential effect- where one’s understanding of it from the outside in moves from a geometrical object, to a sense of enclosure, to a dynamic field of shifting trajectories.

Project Team: Dwayne Oyler, Jenny Wu, Lung Chi Chang, Dustin Columbatto, Eric Lalone, Huy Le, Shawn Rassekh, Sanjay Sukie, Yaohua Wang

Structural Engineering: Nous Engineering, Matt Melnyk

Lighting Designer: Lux Populi

Photography: Jason Wheeler, Lam Kaiming Lin

[Drawings are courtesy Oyler Wu Collaborative]

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