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VITREOUS - A student-run project, led by Prof Wendy W Fok, in collaboration between the Judd Foundation (Marfa, Texas) and the Gerald D Hines College of Architecture, University of Houston.


"A shape, a volume, a color, a surface is something itself. It shouldn't be concealed as part of a fairly different whole." - Donald Clarence Judd (1928–94)

The collaboration between the Judd Foundation (Marfa, Texas) and the course is to further investigate, critically examine, and apply both theoretical study and practical design-research into the highly debated idea of ‘delegated fabrication’, within the context of design-fabrication, in the field of architectural design. It has been widely publicized that most of Judd’s work from 1964 onwards was delegated rather than fabricated by the artist himself. Rather than constructing his work personally, Judd had it industrially fabricated—a practice criticized at the time but emulated today by many contemporary artists.

The course ambition is to develop an active prototype, whereby the cluster of fifteen students will work together to design, fabricate, and discuss the potentials of hands-on digital and analogue learning, while undertaking an active role of understanding the current contemporary role of fabrication in architecture, versus the available means of production during the time of Judd. The concept of the course is not to replicate the Minimalist works of Judd, but rather, to further the theoretical and practical understanding infused by the two, and investigates on the potential use of innovative means of delegated fabrication within architecture and design.

Students will be expected to investigate formal, geometrical, scalar, and material effects, along with understanding the larger potential of teamwork and practical applications of physical large-scale prototyping, and installation. A course trip to Marfa, Texas will be part of the expectation, while also collaborating with the Judd Foundation’s Programs Director.

Students who are participating in this project are expected to work with the Director of Development and myself at the Gerald D Hines College of Architecture to allocated sponsorships and funding opportunities around the region, and also initiate national partnerships with the USA Artists Project Campaign and Kickstarter Campaign. This opportunity will encourage students to be entrepreneurial, learn about project management, project development, fundraising and crowdsourcing, as well as project construction, design-fabrication, and installation.


Title: Vitreous
1. Of, relating to, resembling, or having the nature of glass; glassy.
2. Obtained or made from glass.
3. Of or relating to the vitreous humor.

Vitreous is a design proposal that incorporates the vantage points of the natural landscape, and the technological advancement of digital fabrication and media technologies. The project is a collaborative feat between fifteen graduate and undergraduate students working towards the goal of a self-funded architectural installation.

The faceted panels disguise and blend the unbounded Marfa landscape with reflective images causing a perceptual distortion between the viewer and the surroundings and between the real and the virtual. Vitreous contends to be a visual/spatial experiment that poses a blurred line between the real and the virtual, the subject and the object. It works to deconstruct that separation and guide the subject's perception toward the third domain in between—the domain of relation.

The interactivity of the LEDs and the interchangeability of the colours will be determined by data-sourced information through an APP (application) developed by the student team. The APP will be available for download online and will be available for both iPhones and Android phones. This APP will be user-interacted and the data-sourced and gathered will interact with the colour scheme of the installation itself.

Institution: Gerald D Hines College of Architecture, University of Houston
Faculty Lead: Prof Wendy W Fok | Assistant Professor - Digital Media & Design Program

Student Team:
Business - Stephanie Balbin, Hai Luu, Katie Dominguez, David Yao, Megan Hartensteiner, Natalia Sanchez
Design - David Rodriguez, David Regone, Christopher Al-Jumah, Brian Chiu, Ross Rudolph
Technical - Kevin Pham, Tiger Lyon, Philip Bridges, Paul Suttles, Alexander Martin

Video Editing:
Alexander Martin

Copyright: Gerald D Hines CoA | VITREOUS

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