May 4, 2012

Life After Pratt: Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller graduated with a masters in Architecture in 2011. Since then, he has been working on a new bubble chair to studying the structures that bubbles create. Check out what his work so far:

A new project from the recently formed mSurfaces.com uses the shape of soap bubbles to create a chair in order to unlock new structural advantages for design and building. The piece demonstrates the first step from promising concept towards eventual realization in architecture.

It is the mean curvature throughout that makes a soap film so aesthetically pleasing to the eye. That is, no point on a soap bubble is bending any more or any less than every other point on the surface. It's always bending the same, everywhere. Curvature is equally distributed throughout. However, this formal quality also redistributes the structural forces evenly throughout the surface as well.

If you could manage to harness this property for a structural system, the live loads above any given enclosure would no longer be limited to 4 points of structural support as in a normal rectilinear construction. Instead, the infinite number of points on the shape’s surface would support these live loads. Rather than carry a quarter of the live load, each point would only have to carry an infinitely small load. That is to say, the burden of live load would be negligible.

The building's structure now must only support its own weight. If you could use a highly complex shape that evenly distributes the load, you need not use heavy steel. You could use a lightweight and inexpensive material and yield a similar structural strength. We would no longer need to invest in expensive engineered materials that both cost a lot of money and require substantial amounts of carbon-based fuel to forge.

The only requirement is that the shape must change. We must now build a shape that is continually curving. The strength of this concept is not in the structural capacity of the building materials, but in the sophistication of the shape.

While architects have used the shape of a soap film to provide canopy, such as in the 1972 Olympic Stadium in Munich by the German architect Frei Otto, the chair will be the first built object to support a human's weight in the attempt to harness the inexpensive structural potential that is available. Further explanatory materials can be found on their website, mSurfaces.com, where there is a link to their Kickstarter project. 

May 3, 2012

Graduate Intaglio Exhibition in the Alcove Gallery

By: Carolyn Osorio , Theory, Criticism and History of Art Undergraduate Student (2013)

Ruth Mora
The works of the Printmaking Graduate students currently on display in the Alcove Gallery are a combination of textures, emotions, and style. Each artist brings a very different perspective to the medium, and to see these different perspectives displayed in one place is engaging. Despite the different subject matter, there is a natural aesthetic to each work on display. Even the most geometricizing works contain the worn signs of fading for a truly organic quality. Too intentional are these untidy elements to be considered printmaking flaws, and the effect is simply charming.


Lynn Sung hae Baik
 The anatomy oriented work of Nelson Plaza strives to find deeper meaning within the human brain. The different elements used to show the inner workings of the mind combine to create a fascinating composition filled with both metaphors and scientific examination.  Contrasting with the bright red and attention seeking nature of Plaza’s work are the simple and natural prints of Lynn Sung hae Baik. The most powerful of this artists two works is a mostly black non-representational print. The lack of color allows for a purely tactile aesthetic to be emitted. Using textural paper with only the most neutral of colors, Lynn’s work contains a quiet and calm atmosphere that is filled with beauty.
From tigers in headbands to geometric prints to an analysis of the human mind, the subjects chosen by these artists are vast and captivating.  Combined with the intriguing technique of printmaking these artists bring their subjects to life in a show that is praiseworthy and stimulating.

Exhibition Photos by Lauren Smith


This exhibition is part of the Student Exhibition Spaces Program coordinated by the Center for Career and Professional Development at Pratt Institute.  All current students can submit work for inclusion in future exhibitions by emailing ccpdprograms@gmail.com for more information.



May 2, 2012

"Drawings" Graduate Thesis (FA 661A) Exhibition in the East One Gallery

 By: Carolyn Osorio , Theory, Criticism and History of Art Undergraduate Student (2013)


The Fine Arts Graduate students currently on display in the East One Gallery
 show a variety of subtle works filled with visceral textures. From mixed media
to simple ink on paper, each work makes the viewer want to reach out and touch
the surface. From the rough cut paper edges of Corbey Bunn’s Nail to the organic
 lines of Jessica Rae Ecker’s We’re All Hungry the show displays a crafts sensibility
that makes it immediately accessible. The subdued colors and unfinished effects of
each work project a relaxed atmosphere free of the restraints of formal rigidity.

Jessica Rae Ecker
We're All Hungry
Displayed together, these
works serve to create a
domain of peaceful folk
like art that pulls the
viewer in with its calm
aura. The charred,
burned effect present in
Kyungah Choi’s Untitled
gives a brittle quality to
the piece while the grid
like structure of the lower
half suggests a contrasting
sense of stability.



Meanwhile, the Xeroxed Diaries of Eoni invite the viewer to flip through years of doodles and notes giving insight into the artist’s mind as they developed their artistic voice.These works all welcome the viewer with their soft and inviting format. The minimalist aspects of this show contain none of the cold, hard edged and mechanical compositions people have come to expect from contemporary art. Instead, the viewer finds the imperfect hand of the artist present in each work, proudly displayed and even celebrated in this alluring show


Photos by Lauren Smith.



This exhibition is part of the Student Exhibition Spaces Program coordinated by the Center for Career and Professional Development at Pratt Institute.  All current students can submit work for inclusion in future exhibitions by emailing ccpdprograms@gmail.com for more information.