By Russel Navarrette
Juintow Lin and Michael Fox from Foxlin Architects, sparked inspiration at ELAC’s Vincent Price Museum to showcase new architecture projects and sustainable designs.
Lin and Fox presented photos and videos of projects with interior design, robotics and technology that responds to movement, as well as working with NASA on a project called Nintendo Wii in Zero – G research project.
“The point with interaction design, it can solve two needs: one is pragmatic, like making things adaptable, making them optimized, and the other is humanistic, which involves sociology and psychology,” Fox said. He showed photos of one of his projects of a building in Hong Kong that contained bubbles. It was created by students and would spin and light up when they moved around in the room. The purpose of the project was to show student activity and that the building was in use. Students also created interaction designs for homes using computer technology that would detect a person’s movement and follow a command, like opening and closing a window or starting a stove top flame.
Students also helped create a project called Nueral Sky for the music festival Coachella. The idea of the project was to connect people, like a type of network. It connected people through light, if two people approached the model it would light up wherever they are and the lights would find each other to create a connection. Most of these projects reflected humanistic values like human connection, awareness, mental health, intelligence etc. The ideas around these projects have very deep rooted concepts that come from within human consciousness.
Michael quoted Gordon Pask, a cybernetician, “The role of the architect is not so much to design a building, or a stadium but to catalyze it.” Michael explained that the idea behind this quote is to allow people to have control over architecture, he continued by mentioning that cell phones are so prevalent today because people can create apps and share them across the internet, allowing people to make things easier and more pragmatic.
The second half brought attention to the academic and researched based side of architecture which is focused more on houses and buildings. Juintow showed photos of a number of projects she has worked on, like a house in Carlsbad, CA that has an ocean view and also embraces concepts of indoor and outdoor living. Projects for Jerry Seinfeld’s loft for his Porsche collection which was an elevator that would carry the cars up and down the 4 story building.
In 2012 after the earthquake in Haiti, Juintow and her group of students from Cal Poly Pomona partnered up with a paneling manufacturer that produced walls to build homes out of paper and glue, these homes were built in 4 days. The idea behind this was to provide safety, if another earthquake were to occur and the house collapses it will not kill anyone due to the light material. The project also taught the students how to reduce the temperature of the room based on the orientation of the windows, shading, and the orientation of the rooms.