Design Leader: Jimenez Lai, Thomas Kelley.
Team: Jimenez Lai, Thomas Kelley, Andrew Akins, Sophie Kohn.
Consultant: Daniel Stauter.
XYZ (examine your zipper) is a tent proposal aspiring for a high degree of formal fluidity with medium translucency. It is comprised of 15 pentagonal modules whose edges have been predetermined by an industrial zipper standard of 120-inches in length. The zippers are sandwiched between two outer membranes of semi-transparent rip-stop nylon parachute fabric, and compactly stuffed with packaging air pillows, bowing at a maximum range of 24 inches. Warm-color seams against cool-color edges index the delineation between the two sides with zipper-handles or without. Though platonic in its organization, the module is not an equilateral pentagon. They are distorted pentagons, misshapen by the confluence of concave and convex curves. The sweeping of the zippers tectonically connect any male/female module relationships, and force two seams to kiss and reform a new curvature for the shared line.
Many points anchored to weighted feet establish the relationship with the ground of this project. Because of the compactness of the modules, the anchor points will push the outermost membrane to become a Bezier Curve. In this way, the shape of the curves will behave like arches and distribute the weight. This system can allow for sections with greater interior vastness as well as smaller niches. The play of contraction and expansion and with light and shadow will express the fluid surfaces of the interior. The collaborating artist, Daniel Sauter, has previously designed the lighting system for the Burnham Pavilion by UN Studio. Should this project proceed, we will work with him to resolve issues of interactivity of light as well as the translucency of surfaces.
The desired architectural effect is a sensual enticement and curiosity. Although the interchangeability of the parts can freeze the assembly processes in time and stop the project into numerous wholes at multiple scales; it is the size of the modules that transmit the enticement: The voluptuous modules emits a glimpse of the outside, tenderly renegotiating its shared edge with a new course of action under forceful determinism. It is an invitation that attracts the curiosity between the subjects, eventually blurring of the details of their faces and leaving only the unfamiliar silhouettes