Sendai, Japan 2012

Existenz Minimum . Existenz Maximum
Instructors: Jesse Reiser, Princeton School of Architecture/Jason Payne, UCLA
Team: Wael Batal, Anne Schneider, Adrian Yim
Published: UCLA_AUD Website 2012

Emergency response shelters are typically designed for maximum usability, quick set-up time and issues of economy. This project seeks to reevaluate the terms of design for the emergency tent in order to promote vitality, optimism and comfort.

The tent’s form is propelled by two parallel objectives; the first is to challenge the relationship between object, ground and the horizontal datum that is typically struck in between. The second objective is to fit a wrinkled surface to the resulting body.

The massing rejects the use of the horizontal datum as a reflection of structural criteria which require maximum stability at the touch-point between object and ground. The tent form begins with a single skewed ellipsoid that has a flattened bottom, which
reflects the typical use of the horizontal datum. This single ellipsoid is then instantiated upon itself so that each copy is moved and rotated into various positions which intersect the other copies. This operation lifts the ellipsoid and its relative flat plane off of the ground while intentionally setting the object off-balance. As the tent maintains the soft and semi- malleable structural frame of typical tents, the soft form is then allowed to roll into its own state of equilibrium: into a new posture.

The wrinkled surface is generated by two opposing modes of articulation; one that is highly controlled and the other that is loosely determined. The controlled wrinkle occurs between each of the long pillows along the surface of the ellipsoid. The wrinkles are loosely determined at the openings of the tent which are manually controlled by draw-strings.

Critics: Jesse Reiser, Jason Payne, Sylvia Lavin, Marcelo Spina, Georgina Huljich, Michael Osman, Mohamed Sharif, Eric Kahn, Elena Manferdini