paper :

interior turbulence


‘Interior Turbulence and the Thresholding of Atmospheres’, my paper on the installation project Cloud Sound has been published in the Interstices issue ‘Atmospheres and Affect’ edited by Andrew Douglas. The full paper is available here.

Abstract: Turbulence, understood as a disruptive process of coming together, offers a productive metaphor for making sense of the complex dynamics involved in the formation and design of atmospheres. This paper extends the idea of turbulence to spatial, material, experiential and disciplinary registers, and examines the varied and sometimes contradictory forces that exist between them, with reference to an architectural installation project, Cloud Sound.

An understanding of atmospheres as always in negotiation across a region of turbulence, rather than a static well-defined boundary, is developed. Cloud Sound sustains this uncertainty by keeping things unfixed and in play, part of an active process that I call thresholding. This concept is supported by a discussion of the ambiguity of atmospheres and how they disrupt distinctions between organisms and their environments, something that has implications for expanded disciplinary practises.

breath clouds

2014-breath_clouds-01Electronics, software, air and breath. Visualisation programming by Jeff Hannam.
Exhibited in the group show THISNESS.
BUS Projects, Melbourne.
April 9 – 26, 2014

Inspired by the experience of exhalations being made visible in the cold, dry, wintertime air before dissipating into the wider atmosphere, this project uses breath as a way to understand the reciprocal relationships present in the making of oneself through and with the environment. Breath Clouds makes perceptible flows and exchanges of energy, using aural and visual responses to set up feedback loops between our individual presence and the atmosphere of the gallery space.

Thanks to Tony for the photos.

building movements #4 (bhubble)

building movements #3-1Polythene sheets, fan.
4.2 x 1.8 x 2.4m

A pressurised, inflatable room directly adjoining a lift in the RMIT Design Hub. When the lift doors open, the change in pressure causes the space to slightly deflate. As the doors close it re-inflates to its maximum dimensions over a period of approximately 10 seconds. The room is patterned with translucent circles, a direct reference to the facade of the building in which it is sited.

with Scott Andrew Elliott, Olivia Pintos Lopez and Katherine Brown, Daniel Vito Colaneri, Leanne Failla, Stephanie Gleeson, Frances Gordon, Ben Warren, Freya Robinson, Jack Ryan and Jaime Vella.

building movements #3 (strips)

building movements #4-1
4200 strips of magnetic tape.
1.9 x 1.6 x 2.4m

On exiting the lift, one’s head and shoulders are immersed in a dense field of black, glossy, lightweight, threads that form a rectilinear volume equal to the lift interior. These move in relation to the slightest movement of air, being drawn towards your body during an inhalation, and pushed away by exhalations or other air movements.

with Scott Andrew Elliott, Olivia Pintos Lopez and Katherine Brown, Daniel Vito Colaneri, Leanne Failla, Stephanie Gleeson, Frances Gordon, Ben Warren, Freya Robinson, Jack Ryan and Jaime Vella.


building movements #2 (box)

building movements #2-3Perforated metal sheet, aluminium angle and mixed media.
2.5 x 2.0 x 2.4m

A perforated metal box the same dimensions of the lift interior blocks a straightforward exit from the lift. Building users are invited to physically push this box (which is housed inside a second perforated metal box) in order to open up a narrow exit corridor. This physical relationship inverts the passive user— active building dynamic present within the lift interior, and the process of moving these perforated screens creates a series of moiré effects which are seen against the gridded circle pattern of the building facade.

with Scott Andrew Elliott, Olivia Pintos Lopez and Katherine Brown, Daniel Vito Colaneri, Leanne Failla, Stephanie Gleeson, Frances Gordon, Ben Warren, Freya Robinson, Jack Ryan and Jaime Vella.

building movements

Building Movements

Taking the building as a site for research and experimentation, Building Movements works directly upon the RMIT Design Hub, to interrupt habitual processes through the production of environments, drawings, and events. Following on from a research workshop held at the Design Hub in June 2013, these projects will reveal how we interact with, and are embedded within, architectural surrounds. Demanding an active engagement with the space leads to a deeper awareness of the mechanisms at play in the interaction between organisms and environments.

Installations by the Affective Environments architecture and interior design student workshop led by Chris Cottrell, Scott Andrew Elliott and Olivia Pintos–Lopez.
Projects by James Carey, Zuzana Kovar, Nick Skepper, Pia Ednie-Brown, and Adele Varcoe.
Curated by Pia Ednie-Brown.

A DRI associated event – supported by the Australian Research Council and a residency funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

teaching workshop : affective envrionments

AE poster
In this intensive workshop elective students will take part in the construction of an installation project at the Design Hub developed by Chris Cottrell (RMIT), Scott Andrew Elliott (Aalto University, Finland) and Olivia Pintos-Lopez (RMIT).The course will begin with an introduction to a series of experimental art–architecture spatial practices and ways in which the construction of environments can test and probe relationships between the body and architecture.

Students will participate with the building process in creating an experimental installation, sourcing found materials, learning and developing techniques of making, engaging in team work, experiencing the challenges of collaborative, open-ended exploratory process first-hand, developing techniques for careful and intensive documentation of a process, and learning about research through the practice of making.

This course focuses on developing critical design practice by constructing experimental spaces, particularly in getting to know the hands-on practical skills for realizing a medium/large-scale collaborative project, and how this process of construction and its documentation can become integral to a research enquiry.

breathing. space. no.6: trying to be clear about vagueness

2013-clear about vagueness-1
Helium balloon, string, zip–lock bag, a heap of grains of sand.

This project explores the relationship between levity and gravity through very simple means. Philosophical readings on vagueness describe the Sorites paradox, or the problem of the heap, where vagueness is understood in relation to the process of removing grains of sand from a heap, and at some point the sand ceases to be heap and becomes just a collection of grains. Balancing the balloon so that it neither floats up or falls to the ground provides a means to be precise about the quantity of sand the balloon must carry.

breathing. space. no.2

Sunlight, passive ventilation system, space blanket, magnets.
1 minute.

A lightweight blanket made of polyurethane film with a thin coating of aluminium is draped over the fresh air outlet of a passive ventilation system. As air flows into the space, the blanket rises and falls, picking up varying reflections from inside and outside the space, and making visible this commonplace but subtle phenomenon.