This project aims to explore the repeatability of the creation of inexact forms through exact machinic operations, with the intention of achieving a certain degree of control over entropic processes. These processes involve the articulated deposition of liquid wax into cool water, taking advantage of the wax’s buoyancy, rapid phase change, and ability to fuse and bond to itself and other materials.

Buoyancy plays a key role in the generation of these complex wax forms. Wax can be deposited such that it rises and pools, creating column structures and datums, or floor plates. By raising or lowering water levels while pools of hot wax float on the water’s surface, organic caves and coves are created within the structural network.

This project also aims to project these processes onto an architectural scale whereby autonomous machines may be deployed on site and organically shape buoyant, hardening liquids through their flotation. Instructions would be encoded and sent to robots, and the operation would be overseen by humans, who could make adjustments and corrections in real time. This idea poses the following questions: What happens when architects, who rely heavily on their ability to reify an anticipated form, embraces inexact processes of construction? What is the role of the drawing when the form cannot be fully anticipated? What new form would
construction documents take? Or would they become antiquated?

Brian Harms, Nicholas Barger
instructor: Marcelyn Gow
Sci-arc Spring 2013

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