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Plasticity, the quality of being able to be made into different shapes, to be molded or altered, is a quality that is pervasive in contemporary design. This idea can manifest as a material providing haptic experience or as a concept defining relational interaction with performative consequence. From advanced applications of arrested fluid materials to assemblies of components influenced by forces internal and external to a system, the definition of plasticity engages a broad spectrum in the lexicon of contemporary design.
Plasticity extends beyond the design disciplines into biologics where organisms with the same genotype vary in developmental pattern, in phenotype, or in behavior according to varying environmental conditions. This competition seeks to frame this concept within an architectural proposal that foregrounds the application of parametric design and digital fabrication with a broad range of possible outcomes. Casting, forming, 3D printing, fluid assemblies of folded 2D profiles and even activated networks of robotic components are techniques to consider as potential building components in an architecture of plasticity. New speculative initiatives with an eye toward feasibility are encouraged to enter along with ongoing design research that seeks further refinement through the prototyping process we offer in this unique competition.
This two round competition will yield four finalists in the first phase that will be awarded a stipend to further develop and exhibit their work at the 2014 ACADIA Design Agency conference for the final jury. A winner will be awarded the opportunity to prototype their design into a full scale, free standing interior assembly with material support and expertise from a leading fabricator and consulting engineer. The final installation will be sited in the University of Houston College of Architecture atrium at the 2015 TEX-FAB event.
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