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03.14.14 - 04.20.14 | SCI-Arc Library
Opening reception: Friday, March 14, 7pm
Florencia Pita/FPmod: UMMA Table & Objects

Exhibition Discussion & Opening Reception: Friday, March 14, 7pm
Florencia Pita and SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss discuss the exhibition

SCI-Arc Library presents an installation of Florencia Pita’s work, originally curated by Museum Director Joseph Rosa for the University of Michigan Museum of Art. The installation explores the provocations and intersections of digital technology, material experimentation, and ornament in the work of Argentina-born, Los Angeles-based architect and designer. It traces the evolution of Pita’s design ideology through installation pieces, urban design, tableware, furniture, and architecture, as well as small adornments. Her boldly colored works draw from literary, art, and biological sources; employ cutting-edge architectural fabrication techniques; and cross borders of visual art, architecture, and design.

The works on view where displayed at the University of Michigan Museum of Art from January 19 to June 16, 2013, in an exhibition titled: Florencia Pita/ FPmod The Umma Table and several objects where commissioned by Museum Director Joseph Rosa for Florencia Pita's first retrospective exhibition.

Florencia Pita is an architect engaged in the practice, teaching and research of architecture at large. She is based in Los Angeles and is the principal of FPmod as well as a partner in PITA & BLOOM. She graduated in 1998 from the National University of Rosario, Argentina, School of Architecture, and was awarded the 2000 Fulbright-Fondo Nacional de las Artes Scholarship to pursue studies at Columbia University, from where she graduated in 2001 with a Masters Degree from the MSAAD Program.

Pita is a finalist (as PITA & BLOOM) in the 2014 PS1 YAP Program. She also has been recipient of two Graham Foundation Grant Award. Her work has been widely published in publications such as Log, Architecture Record, A+U, Surface Magazine, among others. Moreover her work has been exhibited in numerous museums, galleries and biennials, in institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Artist Space, MAK Museum in Vienna, 2012 Venice Biennale, etc. Her work is also part of the permanent collection of the MAK Museum in Vienna, the Art Institute of Chicago, and other private collections.

In 2013 the University of Michigan Museum of Art presented a collection of the work developed by Pita’s firm FPmod in a feature exhibition, along with an exhibition catalog. Pita is currently full time Design Faculty at SCI-Arc teaching in the Undergraduate and Graduate design studios as well as Visual Studies instructor of advanced software, and editor of SCI-Arc's Onramp publication of student work. She has been visiting professor at Pratt Institute in New York and Lund University in Sweden.

Pita’s work experience includes the offices of Greg Lynn FORM, where she participated in the World Trade Center Design Competition as part of United Architects, Eisenman Architects and Asymptote.

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+U’s 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 (1/8”) 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+U’s 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 Uriu’s 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 Köcher of Vienna, Austria

Structural consultant: Matthew Melnyk