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Simplexity, a term introduced to this designer by Branko Kolarevic, served as a catalyst and primary goal of this project. A hybrid of two words, simplicity and complexity, to make a third word, it extends the logic of the two originals.* Simplexity is a term that describes the way in which an aggregation performs visually, while simultaneously giving insights to its compositional logic. An awareness of the part that is integral to the overall design (the module or operational technique) often challenges the comprehension of the whole since the part exhibits traits of simple techniques which combine to create larger more complex effects. This simplicity/complexity dichotomy is dependent on the method of analysis used to digest a design. To see the full design without comprehension of its constituent parts exhibits a top-down approach; a methodology where the overall form is conceived and the details are derivative. The opposite technique is emergent, allowing the design to evolve from an understanding of the organization, composition, material performance, and constraints of the design at the part or module level.

As well, perfor(m)ations is a hybrid of the terms form, perform, and perforation. The design of perfor(m)ations was explored though a question: How might a collection of perforations on a simple surface allow for adaption and modification based on a specific performance agenda? These perforations can perform in a visual sense guiding and explaining use and directionality, or act as a point of exchange from one side to the other creating a ventilated condition. Additionally, they might weaken the surface allowing for formal conditions not available in a virgin sheet of material.

Through the design and testing phase of this exploration, it became evident that to achieve this effect two entities must be present: the effected surface and at least two divergent force vectors. This being the case, a simple surface could be affected in ways that can be predicted and programmed for specific agendas. The structure, a necessary component to exert the force vectors creating the skin effects, was planned to not only alter the skin but also to assist in the programming of the partition. The submission intentionally attempts to downplay the materiality of the structure, manifesting it as a void through the partition and an edge condition to the skin. A series of flat, layered components, its presence is hybridized with the skin allowing this void through the partition to manifest a structural and organizational agenda through spatial volume rather than mass. The partition is programmed to exist within a clean room environment where the structural voids act as air intakes within the design. The poche space inside the partition contains low volume fans and narrow spectrum HINS lighting which is capable of cleansing air and surface. In a similar fashion to a manta ray or stingray, air moves into the partition through the void and out through the ‘gills’ all while the partition is also moving. As air moves through the ‘lungs’ of the design, it is cleansed and released. Additionally, the structural voids in the partition are programmed as air intake and to contain additional HINS surface sanitizers and digital touch panels for accessing information.

Recipient of a 2011 Monsters of Design Award.

Recipient of Best of Category national design award from the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) 2014

Project team: brian (lead designer/researcher) Erik Leahy and Hasib Momand (student interns)