Wednesday, 25 November 2009


An intriguing BLDGBLOG post pushed me to look up some of the works of San Fransisco based design studio Matsys.

The design studio "explores the emergent relationships between architecture, engineering, biology, and computation" in addition to investigating "methodologies of performative integration through geometric and material differentiation."

As part of his MA dissertation in Emergent Technologies and Design at the Architectural Association, Andrew Kudless, an architect and founder of Matsys, researched a "honeycomb system that is able to adapt to diverse performance requirements through the modulation of the system’s inherent geometric and material parameters", which then can be industrially produced for use in architectural applications. You can see this clearly in his works Honeycomb Morphologies, Sature Chair and C_Wall.

Honeycomb Morphologies, 2004.

Suture Chair, 2005.

C_Wall, 2006.

P_Wall, 2009.

My fascination with Matsys' work might have something to do with the fact that I am always captivated by anything related to light filtration. However, it is the above P_Wall project that I really admire, which takes a different direction from the light filtering cellular structures above it. (I am sure I have posted something about it earlier but can't find the post!)

The two materials that are experimented with here are plaster and elastic fabric, to produce evocative visual and acoustic effects. It is "inspired by the work of the Spanish architect Miguel Fisac and his experiments with flexible concrete framework in the 1960-70s". An earlier version of this (P_Wall) is first exhibited in Banvard Gallery, Knowlton School of Architecture in Ohio at 2006. The picture above is of a commissioned version that is further developed and exhibited at The San Fransisco MOMA.

Next up is Sietch Nevada, a futuristic prototype project based on the "first planetary ecology novel" Dune. You can see this project as a continued development of the honeycomb and cellular structures experimentation. Or perhaps an application of those experimentation in architectural and urban planning. This prototype stems from the idea that water banking will be "the fundamental factor in future urban infrastructure in the American Southwest." Towns that once relied on "the promise of endless water via the powerful Colorado River... have increasingly begun to create underground water banks for use in emergency drought conditions" as droughts are becoming more frequent, possibly because of the heavy agricultural use and global warming.

The form of this urban prototype is derived from the performance of urban life based on storage, use and collection of water. "A network of storage canals is covered with undulating residential and commercial structures. These canals connect the city with vast aquifers deep underground and provide transportation as well as agricultural irrigation. Cellular in form, these structures constitute a new neighborhood typology that mediates between the subterranean urban network and the surface level activities of water harvesting, energy generation, and urban agriculture and aquaculture. However, the Sietch is also a bunker-like fortress preparing for the inevitable wars over water in the region."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good day bash mohandis...
maybe i could suggest u to read this link...just to share on this honey comb concept been interpreted into housing scheme which here in Malaysia we are strugling between the land use efficiencies and greeneries.

faizol izan