Picking up on the studio’s recent experimental design sessions, last Friday Matt presented a sketch for what began in our discussions as an intricate window attachment that would function like a screen but with far more adjustability. As we outlined it further, it morphed into the potential for a full-on three dimensional spatial partitioning device. Our initial preemption was to consider the window as a space of investigation for new kinetic activity. Yet, we quickly realized that to refer to a ‘window’ was perhaps imposing an unnecessary limitation on our thinking: what if a window could be seen less as a simple transparent pane framing a view into another space, but conceptually more altering—like an amorphous perforation, or a piercing of space that could communicate something different between adjacent spaces? How might an opening operationalize space? We didn’t want to completely abandon the window altogether and replace it by conveniently calling it a void, either. Nor did we feel that our investigation needed to rely on addressing any practical matter at all. We were after ideas unto themselves that could take shape simply for the sake of investigation, and thus looked at a unique zone where perhaps the window as we know it becomes something else greater than itself—a kinetic aperture, let’s say—while at the same time never ceasing to be a window at all, but rather only expanding its spectral dimensionality.
Matt imagined something that begins to move beyond the binary notions of ‘open’ and ‘closed’, ‘transparent’ and ‘opaque’, ‘in’ and ‘out.’ Could a multi-functional aperture begin to open up something else within—an intra-spatiality?
“It’s completely useless,” Matt prefaced his explanation, while quickly acknowledging that use often comes later from a re-appropriation of an initial idea. Like, jazz, like a riff between designers, between designer and client—an improvisation between users and their spaces. He described a screen that functioned sort of like a Venetian blinds system but able to work more dynamically. “It could sit on a series of bidirectional tracks, side-to-side, up and down, and on rotating hinges.” He described a facade composed of a grid of tracks upon which this hyper-screen might work alluding to a set of window shades that could move in all directions, perhaps controlled manually or even as a responsive architecture flowing with external forces like wind, rainwater, and light.
Imagine a massive network of functional gills that could create certain patterns of shading, enriched depths of light tone, or modulate the sounds of winds like a coordinated set of musical reeds, so the aperture plays and tunes itself as a prosthetic instrument to the space’s ambient requirements. It would be something of a cross between an animated deconstructed Venetian blinds system and a variegated arrangement of angled sound panels. Blending light in slow motion. Pitching sound through self-arranging vents as a means of freeing the frozen music that is architecture. It could also very easily act as a framing system for censoring different portions of an opening’s field of vision—a means of censoring or solely focussing on certain visible real estate when looking through a window: a window-gazing editing feature in the form of a fully modifiable window shade.
What if it hd no application to a window or covering at all but served as the bridge between two spaces in a space that is at first only one? Taken off the building’s exterior and strung on a wire network inside, the object could be seen as a partition to be extruded in several directions and dimensions, like running multiple sets of Venetian blinds systems perpendicular, dissecting and crossing through one another in obtuse blends of horizontal and vertical axes and intersections forming a multivalent menagerie. It’s then freed from its initial singular plane of flatness into something hyperspatial, acting as its own object now and exerting itself within a space. In doing this it becomes a kind of interpreter for the spaces around it and for which it intervenes. Ultimately, this thing would find form unto itself. Maybe, as an adaptable free floating spatial device, one could even see it scaled to the size of entire buildings, constituting a building itself with no identifiable indoor or outdoor condition but only the hybrid of both in a constant state of suspension and transition. Could this hyper-screen be a source to toy with a structure capable of disintegrating and reintegrating spaces within spaces, spaces from out of no space at all?