An “extreme cantilever” built from aluminum and polypropylene rope will hover over the courtyard of Materials & Applications (M&A) in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. This structure is an outdoor installation created by Sci-Arc professors Dwayne Oyler and Jenny Wu, called Density Fields. Defying classification as either sculpture or architecture, the piece will flex with a gesture that extends imaginary lines of force beyond the small courtyard, seeming to pierce buildings and features in the neighborhood.
The primary structural question Oyler-Wu Collaborative asked is, "What makes the idea of using lines different in terms of their structural properties?" The idea addresses tensile properties, thereby limiting the structural possibilities, but also allows for a more specific way of designing that exploits tensile strength. This line of inquiry led them to a structural principle that utilizes a dense field of lines. The installation consists of two basic materials: (1) an aluminum frame extending up from the ground and out into the space, and (2) a series of fine, tensioned cables pulling the cantilever in the opposite direction -- forcing it to hover above the ground.
The development of this piece began with the imaginary violent attack of the bristling sculpture on the neighboring buildings, then with careful editing of the geometrical elements, the sculpture retracted back to its tensed position in the M&A courtyard. Oyler-Wu Collaborative's goal is to negotiate the structural ideas, the programmatic needs of the space, and the desire to use basic geometries to create a rich spatial experience within the space itself.
Extra special thanks to all the volunteers who helped us with this installation, it would not have been possible without you.
Astrid Diehl, Nick Blake, Nico Machida, Ji Byeon, Peri Shefik, Libby Mcinerny, Glen Kinoshita, Jim Rosenthal, Orn Sveinsson, Taylor Arneson, Paul Adam, Daniel Mas, Nick Pardowski, Martin Chow, Chris Crotty, Joshua Tremblay, Oliver Liao, Paul Macherey, Cory Hill, Jian Huang, Harold Portillo, Sky Milner, Justin Oh, Janica Ley, Joenna Kim, Abbey Chong, Jordan Su, Jon Wimmel, Adam Grove, Scott Chung, Elizabeth Marley, Emmanuel Gonzalez, Josh Avina, Todd Davis, Sven Altmetz, Daniela Morales, Luke M Stepleton, Grace Wu, Julia Dole, Sharon Ko, Nicole D. Garcia, Elizabeth Anderson-Kempe
"The only thing that is radical is space we don't know how to inhabit. This means space where we have to invent the ways to act and to live." Lebbeus Woods
The "free space" projects of Lebbeus Woods are, in his own words,
"frontiers that challenge our existing modes of habitation".
An architect and an artist, Woods' experimental works frequently
spring from conflict and confrontation with a real or imagined
urban site. For a better idea of how the work of Oyler-Wu has
been influenced by the work of Lebbeus Woods, visit his new
site and follow his blog
that has the Architecture world a buzz!
The "free space" projects of Lebbeus Woods are, in his own words, "frontiers that challenge our existing modes of habitation". An architect and an artist, Woods' experimental works frequently spring from conflict and confrontation with a real or imagined urban site. For a better idea of how the work of Oyler-Wu has been influenced by the work of Lebbeus Woods, visit his new site and follow his blog that has the Architecture world a buzz!
Herzog & de Meuron: An Exhibition" 2005
The exhibition of objects related to the architectural process-- models, sketches, materials research-- seems urbiquitous in recent museum practice (see "Skin + Bones" at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, "Herzog & de Meuron: An Exhibition" at Tate Modern). Rather than invite a dynamic or instructive engagement with these materials, such exhibitions often aestheticize and intellectualize the architect's project. "Density Fields" seeks to break that trend by encouraging a free-form, innovation-oriented discussion about its contents. Though an imposing and cerebral object in its own right, Oyler-Wu's installation is also an interactive community site reflective of M&A's larger social aims.
"Frank Gehry: Art + Architecture" at the Art Gallery of Toronto