CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

id acadia08_390
authors Vrana, Andrew; Joe Meppelink; Ben Nicholson
year 2008
title New Harmony Grotto
source Silicon + Skin: Biological Processes and Computation, [Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) / ISBN 978-0-9789463-4-0] Minneapolis 16-19 October 2008, 390-399
summary With the expanding wave of contemporary architecture inspired and informed by biomorphic design and biomimetic processes, the re-evaluation of work of Frederick Kiesler has become immanent. Throughout the mid 20th century he became increasingly interested in the relationship of natural form and structure to architectural space and organization. The Grotto for Meditation proposed in 1963 for New Harmony, Indiana commissioned by Mrs. Jane Blaffer-Owen was the culmination of his life’s work. Though the project was not realized, it embodies all of the influences of his time from surrealism to biology and cybernetic theory. Through our university and the Blaffer Foundation, we engaged in formal research and tectonic resolution of the project employing digital modeling and fabrication technologies at our College and in Houston where Mrs. Owen lives when she is not in New Harmony. We based this project on the full catalog of archival material made available to us with support from the Blaffer and Kielser Foundations. Our exploration also was influenced by discussions with Mrs. Blaffer-Owen who is still very interested in realizing this profoundly interesting and enigmatic project. Our university has opened the door to the opportunity that our reinterpreted Grotto become a permanent fixture on the campus next to a wetland landscape that it is currently under construction. Our research into Kiesler has engaged his esoteric concepts of “co-realism” and “continuous tension” as well as his early use of recursive geometry and biomorphic form in design. From reverse engineering and digital fabrication via 3D scanning to generative structural articulation, we are experimenting with a structural/spatial system that closely aligns with Kiesler’s originally proposed tile patterning dilated into a minimal structure. Our prototypes and the final version will be fabricated by one of the largest commercially for-hire water jet cutter in country and assembled on the site.
keywords Biomorphic; Digital Fabrication; Prototype; Structure
series ACADIA
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100%; open Architectural Association edited by Yehuda Safran (1989) Find in CUMINCAD Frederick J. Kiesler1890-1965 , London: Architectural Association
100%; open Gohr, Siegfried and G. Luyken (1996) Find in CUMINCAD Frederick J. Kiesler Selected Writings , Vienna: Hadje Cantz Publishers
100%; open Kiesler, Frederick (1964) Find in CUMINCAD Kiesler 1923-1964 , Zodiac 19: A Review of Contemporary Architecture
100%; open Kiesler, Lilian (1966) Find in CUMINCAD Kiesler’s Grotto , Austria: Kiesler Foundation
100%; open Mertins, Detlif (2007) Find in CUMINCAD Where Architecture Meets Biology , Departmental Papers. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania
100%; open Tillich, Paul (1963) Find in CUMINCAD Professor Paul Tillich visits New Harmony, Indiana for the dedication of the ground of Paul Tillich Park and the Cave of the New Being , New Harmony, ID. Transcript of speech. Blaffer Foundation
100%; open Wigley, Mark (2007) Find in CUMINCAD The Architectural Brain , Network Practices New Strategies in Architecture and Design. eds. A. Burke and T. Tierney

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