Herzog + de Meuron
Steve Martens taught a seminar in the spring of 2011 exploring the work of various famous architects. Each student was assigned an architect and tasked with presenting characteristic work to the class before writing a paper to elaborate further. The final assignment was to create an object indicative of that person’s philosophy.
I was assigned the Swiss team of Herzog and de Meuron. The file for the class presentation can be viewed here. The resulting research paper can by found by clicking here.
The two objects were brick-sized blocks of plaster cast in laser cut molds. The pixilated pattern was created by applying a half-tone filter to a photograph, then converting the raster information to vectors legible by the laser cutter. The scorched texture of the second brick was created by partially burning the paper mold.
Like everything else from that semester, the paper and other projects were heavily influenced by the Design/Build studio. The conclusion regarding the success of Herzog and de Meuron’s remarkable collaboration was keen to the ongoing collaboration of the Design/Build project.
The two objects actually represent two failed attempts at the desired outcome, though each is perfectly acceptable – beautiful, even – in its own right. Perhaps the failure highlights a valuable lesson from Herzog and de Meuron: a willingness to experiment with materials cannot be a bad thing.
For ARCH 723
Date Spring 2011
Type Herzog, de Meuron, seminar, brick, plaster, mold