Canadian Architect


Matter Design Computation: Cells, Bits and Atoms lecture with Jenny E. Sabin

March 24, 2016
230 College St, Toronto

“Matter Design Computation: Cells, Bits and Atoms” with Jenny E. Sabin, Jenny Sabin Studio, Ithaca

  • Sessions
Thursday, March 24, 2016 –

12:30pm to 1:30pm
Room 103, 230 College Street

This talk will present ongoing trans-disciplinary research and design spanning across the fields of cell biology, materials science, physics, fiber science, fashion, electrical and systems engineering, and architecture. Jenny E. Sabin’s collaborative research, teaching and design practice focus on the contextual, material and formal intersections between architecture, science and technology. Through the visualization and materialization of dynamic and complex datasets, Sabin has generated a body of speculative and applied design work that aligns crafts-based techniques with digital fabrication alongside questions related to the body and information mediation. The material world that this type of research interrogates reveals examples of nonlinear fabrication and self-assembly at the surface, and at a deeper structural level. In parallel, this work offers up novel possibilities that question and redefine architecture within the greater scope of generative design and fabrication. This talk will elucidate the research methods, prototypes and applications that Sabin and her collaborators have achieved, which include adaptive building skins, textile and ceramic assemblies, and architectural interventions that ultimately (re)configure their own performance based upon local criteria.

Jenny Sabin’s work is at the forefront of a new direction for 21st century architectural practice — one that investigates the intersections of architecture and science, and applies insights and theories from biology and mathematics to the design of material structures. Sabin is the Arthur L. and Isabel B. Wiesenberger Assistant Professor in the area of Design and Emerging Technologies and the newly appointed Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Architecture at Cornell University. She is principal of Jenny Sabin Studio, an experimental architectural design studio based in Ithaca and Director of the Sabin Design Lab at Cornell AAP, a hybrid research and design unit with specialization in computational design, data visualization and digital fabrication. Sabin’s clients and funders include companies and foundations such as Nike Inc., the National Science Foundation, the American Philosophical Society Museum, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Exploratorium and the Frac Centre. She is co-founder of LabStudio, a hybrid research and design network, together with Peter Lloyd Jones. Sabin holds degrees in ceramics and interdisciplinary visual art from the University of Washington and a master of architecture from the University of Pennsylvania where she was awarded the AIA Henry Adams first prize medal and the Arthur Spayd Brooke gold medal for distinguished work in architectural design, 2005. Sabin was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts 2010 and was named a USA Knight Fellow in Architecture, 1 of 50 artists and designers awarded nationally by US Artists. She was recently awarded the prestigious Architectural League Prize for Young Architects by the Architectural League of New York and was named the 2015 IVY Innovator in design. She has exhibited nationally and internationally most recently at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, Nike Stadium NYC, American Philosophical Society Museum and at Ars Electronic, Linz, Austria. Her work was exhibited in the internationally acclaimed 9thArchiLab titled Naturalizing Architecture at FRAC Centre, Orleans, France and is currently on view as part of Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. Her work has been published extensively including in The Architectural Review,Azure, A+U, Metropolis, Mark Magazine, 306090, 10+1, ACM, American Journal of Pathology, Science, the New York Times, Wired Magazine, and various exhibition catalogues and reviews. She co-authored Meander, Variegating Architecture with Ferda Kolatan, 2010. Her forthcoming book,LabStudio: Design Research between Architecture & Biology, co-authored with Peter Lloyd Jones, will be published in fall 2016.

Image: PolyThread by Jenny Sabin Studio for Beauty – Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, 2016

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