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Denatured Environments


UIC SOA - 2011

Prof. Kyle Reynolds

Nominated for UIC SOA Year End Show 2011 Exhibition

On an undisclosed test site somewhere off of Route 66, scientists conduct an experiment masked as a roadside rest stop by simulating the Martian ecosystem in a closed ecological system on earth. Serving partly as research for an upcoming proposal to colonize Mars, and partly as a visitor attraction in order to secure funding, the project creates a new world with a collection of interior episodes where all surfaces are programmed and contained by atmosphere and gravity. The project accentuates artificiality rather than mimicking naturalism, producing a new environment of collectivity.

As a roadside attraction, the project is both, in the Venturi, Scott-Brown sense, 'neo-duck-ian' and 'neo-shed-ian.' The use of decoration and figuration gives the roadside rest stop graphic expediency.

The project's form is generated through a series of Boolean operations. A variable set of spheres are joined into a single, continuous form. The resultant silhouette of the mass creates a legible persona, conjuring an iconographic reading of planetary rotation, and thus suggesting the building's interior activities to passing drivers. As a 'decorated-shed,' the skin appropriates the graphic contour lines of the interior surface as an application for reading landscape.