Thursday, March 29, 2012

Student Tips: Model making with Styrene

I used styrene to make a 1/4" scale model for the first time.

  • Very easy to use in terms of score it, fold it along the crease in the opposite direction and it snaps out. Compared to acrylic, this is super easy to cut. 
  • Also gives you nice clean edges. 
  • Also much easier to glue than acrylic. 
  • Much cheaper than acrylic. I was able to purchase a 1/16" thick 4' x 6' (48" x 96") sheet for $ 30 tax included.

  • Can't laser cut, it melts. Scoring is possible and snaps off pretty easily after scoring 
  • I still haven't mastered the art of gluing it neat. I have to use gloves when I use the plastic welden and I leave smudge marks that catches dust so that makes it pretty undesirable. 
  • If you were sensitive like me, all the glues I've tried so far that work with styrene gives allergies.

Types of glue to use: Plastic Weldene, Locktite.

  • If you have access to a laser cutter, score all the line work.  Use a mask when laser scoring styrene. The burn fumes are pretty toxic.
  • Make a jig (a contraption that helps you maintain consistency and control quality) 
  • Use little glue
  • Definitely wear a mask (a respirator recommended). Weather you use the toxic or the non-toxic glue types they all are very strong in smell and the vapor causes breathing trouble.
  • Work in a well ventilated area. 
 Using a jig to make a floor plate using styrene - (c) Manori Sumanasinghe 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Jeff Kipnis Lecture @ SCI Arc

Jeff Kipnis lectured at SCI-Arc the following day of the Eisenman Lecture. I loved Kipnis's lectures because they are engaging, its an on going conversation.

Jeff Kipins Lecture @ SCI-Arc. 03-06-2012. (c) Manori Sumanasinghe

I still haven't figured out how to embed the archive videos in my blog post. Please bare with me until then and use the link below to watch the video.

He like the way he defined the difference between the East Coast school of thought vs. West Coast school of thought, which in his theory was the reason why Eisenman made the statement about how architecture cannot respond to social, economical and political situations.

Enjoy the video and stay tuned for the Thom Mayne lecture. I will post it as soon as it becomes available on the SCI-Arc website.

The videos is a part of the SCI-Arc public lecture archive.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lecture by Peter Eisenman at SCI-Arc

I have the urge to apologize to you for not posting frequently enough. But then again, if you study architecture or know anything about the education of an architect you will understand therefore, forgive me for my not-very-frequent presence in the blogosphere. I am sorry and I will try my best to post more.....

We recently had Peter Eisenman Lecturing at SCI-Arc. I had the privilege to watch one of the reviews he took part, his lecture the same day evening and the Graduate Thesis Symposium the next day.

Eric Owen Moss Introducing Peter Eisenman @ SCI-Arc. 03-05-2012. (c) Manori Sumanasinghe

Graduate Thesis Symposium with (from left) Elena Manfredini, Hernan Alonso Diaz, Jeff Kipnis, Peter Eisenman, and Eric Owne Moss @ SCI-Arc. 03-06-2012. (c) Manori Sumanasinghe

Peter Eisenman, no doubt one of the most admired architects today, raised quite a debate during his lecture.

You can watch the lecture here:

He did confuse the audience quite a bit with the project vs. practice theory.

To paraphrase him "Architecture does not respond to social or political situations"... What do you think? I want to side with Moss, Mayne and Kipnis on this issue. Not because I admire them or they are attached to our school, but because my personal conviction is that architecture do impact people and architecture has the ability to reach out to people. See, I think that solutions for most of the social, political, and economical issues that are present in the world today can be found by addressing the problems from many angles. We live in a world today that everything is interconnected. Nothing exists in its singularity, on its own. The problems of the society themselves are a result of failure of many things rather than just a singular incident. Therefore the solutions should also be comprehensive and integral. I feel that architecture provides and opportunity to address these problems and is one of the many aspects of society that should contribute to the improvement of the overall human development. This is a topic I would like to discuss further as I go along. I would like to invite you to start a conversation with me on this ....

Following this lecture, the next day was the Graduate Thesis Symposium. The panel included Mr. Eisenman, Architecture critic Jeff Kipnis, SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss, SCI-Arc Grad Director Hernan Diaz Alonso and Faculty Elena Manfredini. I hope SCI-Arc post that video as well because it was a great follow up to the debate and the topics discussed at the lecture the day before.

We had Jeff Kipnis lecturing the next day so stay tuned to that video link because his lecture took the debate a bit further and next week's lecture is one of my favorite architects Thom Mayne and I will post the links when they become available.

All the videos are a part of the SCI-Arc public lecture archive.