results from workshops oriented with architect João Almeida in AAP (Architecture, Art, And Planning), Cornell University, New York, 2017


Embedded within the architecture elective course ARCH 4509-6509, and sponsored by the Architecture Department, this informal exhibition showcases the work performed throughout a series of workshops curated by guest sculpture artist from Portugal Hélder Folgado.

With a high focus on experimentation, exploration on several techniques of abstract visual representations is the drive force of these workshops, both in drawings and models, two of the most important tools used by an architect to output design concepts and atmospheres.

The beginning of this series of exercises took place before the workshops, during class, where each student development a modular object whose purpose was intended to be interpreted as a generator motif of a building’s facade or a composite larger building, both by using repetition of the modular object.

Several iterations of an initial design refined the final object’s shape with an additional requirement that the final output of the object should be read also as a potential individual building.

This premise was linked with a parallel exercise in which students had to imagine solids and voids within the developed object, translated into positive vs negative forms.

From here, the transition into the workshops was clearer and silicone molds were casted as an operation to generate multiple, similar looking, objects to be combined together and test the overall intention of the previous exercises.

In order to test the singular modular object as a building, students were prompted to develop imaginary landscapes where a reduced scaled version of it would later be placed. These were crafted in mixed techniques using wax as the most prominent material due to its physical properties of translucency, texture manipulation and easiness of execution.

On an analogue approach of the positive vs. negative exercise, a collection of drawings was drafted based on plans, sections and axonometric views of the modular object to test repetition assemblies.

These were done using a new printing technique that has recently been developed by Hélder Folgado in his own work, which consists of removal of the superficial layer of black transfer paper using wax. Motifs with the object’s shapes are used to define the patterns. Simultaneously, a positive version of the generated negative forms on the transfer paper is created onto plain white paper.

Ultimately, an exhibition was curated and assembled on the South wing of Rand Hall’s second floor, where each student had their objects on display throughout a series of pedestals, and their transfer paper drawings hung in a linear sequence to create a lightweight curtain effect to best display the translucency of the shapes created by wax. On the opposite side of the curtains, the printed drawings were displayed, pinned onto two walls.

Features work by: Bennet Adamson (B.Arch. '20); Rebeca Balbin (B.Arch. '20); Kiril Bejoulev (B.Arch. '19); Tianqi Cui (M.Arch. '19); Alejandro Finol (B.Arch. '19); Ramses Gonzalez (M.Arch. '19); Iris Hong (B.Arch. '20); Yanyang Hou (M.Arch. '18); Kristin Ionata (M.Arch. '17) Nicolas Leonard (M.Arch. '19) Sibei Li (M.Arch.II '18) Dylan Manley (B.Arch. '20) Daniela Mourad (B.Arch. '19); Di Nie (M.Arch.II '18); Luciana Ruiz (B.Arch. '19); Duncan Steele (B.Arch. '20); Isaac Tejeira (B.Arch. '19); Raksarat Vorasucha (B.Arch. '19); Yihang Yan (M.Arch. '19); Christina Zau (B.Arch. '19).

This exhibition was curated by Visiting Critic João Almeida and guest critic Hélder Folgado.