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04.11.14 - 05.18.14 | SCI-Arc Gallery
Opening reception: Friday, April 11, 7pm
Baumgartner + Uriu: Apertures

Friday, April 11, 7pm
Reception + Discussion with Herwig Baumgartner, Scott Uriu and Eric Owen Moss

Apertures reflects a current architectural discourse of digital ecologies, emphasizing the relationship between the natural world and advances in digital technology, which leads to a new type of interactive, organic buildings. The installation focuses on a symbiotic relationship between nature, building morphologies, and material expression.

Rooted in B+Uís work and ongoing research, Apertures challenges the notion of an architectural opening as a static object. Moreover, it aims to redefine the DNA of a window both in terms of its appearance and materiality, as well as its nature as an object in continuous flux, responding to its environment through movement or sound. The pavilion and its apertures are designed to physically engage the visitor with the architectural work through sensors and sound feedback loops creating an immersive spatial environment in which the visitor can experience their own biorhythms.

Apertures are the architectural catalysts for the installation design, being defined as objects within a larger building object that differ from its host in terms of morphology and performance. They are disruptive features to the overall building mass, but are able to interact with their environment, focusing on a symbiotic relationship between nature, building morphologies, and material expression.

Baumgartner + Uriu challenge the notion of an architectural opening as a static object by re-defining the DNA of a window, both in terms of its appearance and materiality, as well as its nature as an object in continuous flux, responding to its environment through movement or sound.

The 16-foot-tall, thin shell structure was designed to solely rely on its extremely thin surface (1/8Ē) as support, requiring no additional structural elements. Structure and surface are collapsed into a single component supported through its shape, creased surfaces and material strength only. Each one of the 172 panels is unique in terms of its shape. They are CNC milled from polyurethane foam, heat formed out of thermoplastic polymer resin, and then laminated together into a single object.

Unique to this project is the proposal of building as organism, challenging how architecture can interface with its users and its environment in a much more intuitive way. This entails both the use of technology to augment its performance and a design aesthetic that is incongruous and can incorporate analog features into a digital design process.

The project also offers a radically new design approach to sustainable design, emphasizing an Architecture in-between nature and technology that can operate as an interactive building organism where multiple discrete features operate simultaneously and independently. In this case sound is used to bridge the gap between the natural and the artificial, allowing the visitor to experience their own biorhythms.

Download the exhibition poster

About Baumgartner+Uriu (B+U) Herwig Baumgartner and Scott Uriu, the founders of Baumgartner+Uriu (B+U), are an internationally recognized design duo operating at the forefront of contemporary design. Their design process can be described as driven by digital techniques and advanced computation that utilizes new technologies and material resources. B+Uís work consistently pushes the boundaries of architecture and urban design, experimenting with new spatial concepts, and intensifying existing urban landscapes in pursuit of a visionary aesthetic that encompasses all fields of design.

B+U recently exhibited at the FRAC Center in Orleans, France; the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France; the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, California; and the 12th Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy. Two monographs have been published on Baumgartner and Uriuís work. It has also been widely published and discussed in books, magazines and newspapers. The firm was recently awarded with the Maxine Frankel Award for design research, the AIA national award for emerging professionals and the Architizer A+Award for sustainability.

Apertures is supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Additional support for Apertures has been generously provided by Coastal Enterprises and Foam Mart.

Sound by: Composer Hannes KŲcher of Vienna, Austria

Structural consultant: Matthew Melnyk

2014 Undergraduate Thesis & Spring Show Exhibition

More than 40 undergraduate thesis projects presented at SCI-Arc this spring are on view to the public through May 4th as part of the schoolís end-of-year
Spring Show, an exhibition featuring outstanding student work from all programs.

Thesis presentations took place on April 18 & 19, and featured the graduating class going head-to-head in reviews with renowned visiting critics such as Thom Mayne (serving as Special Thesis Advisor), Evan Douglis, Merrill Elam, Peter Trummer, Wolf Prix, Jeff Kipnis and Brett Steele, among others.

Attended by more than 500 students, parents, alumni and friends, the 8th annual Spring Show exhibition reception followed thesis presentations with a showcase of some of the best student projects from undergraduate, graduate and post-professional design studios, as well as coursework from the applied, cultural and visual studies seminars.

For images of this year's thesis projects, visit