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LAIAD Project One - Sol LeWitt: Permutations

First, just a short introduction: I am an Architecture student at LAIAD/Los Angeles Institute of Architecture and Design. LAIAD is a small private school founded in 2001 which offers a unique alternative way for students to begin their studies in the architecture or interior design field.  “Our mission is to provide an unsurpassed and affordable education for a small group of talented and motivated students who will be prepared to excel at the schools they transfer to or enroll in.”

Our first project this semester was based on Sol LeWitt’s Incomplete Cubes (see below). Check out the full project after the jump!

We were instructed to find a source of data and use that data to create rules in order to choose 6 incomplete cubes (3”x3”) and determine their order and rotation.  These six incomplete cubes were then placed together to create a  3”x3”x18” obstruction. 

The next phase was to create more rules from our data in order to create extensions that came off the vertices of the incomplete cubes. 

Finally, the last phase was to then create a 5”x5” shell to wrap around the skeleton of incomplete cubes, with the extensions popping out.  In order to determine how to create the shell, we had two options to pick from.  The first option was to react to the skeleton and extensions.  The second option was to create more rules from our data and then create the shell based on those rules. 

I decided to base my data off of a six stanza poem by the famous Russian poet Sergei Yesenin.  I visited his grave two summers ago when I was in Moscow and I was really moved by how many fresh flowers were surrounding his memorial, and it was not his birthday or anniversary.  He died in 1925 at the age of 30 and had such a strong influence on society.  Still to this day, tons of people travel to see his grave and leave flowers for him.  Below is the poem, which is detailed based on the rules that I created. 

In order to determine which cubes to pick, I took the number of words and syllables from the shortest line in each stanza.  The number of words would determine how many pieces my cube would have, and the number of syllables would determine which exact cube to choose off of the chart.    The order was based on the order of stanzas, vertically, to be read top to bottom as you would read a poem.  The orientation would be based on which line was used in each stanza, and then rotated counter-clockwise by the number of which line was used (1st, 2nd,3rd, or 4th).

To create the extensions I chose to use the nouns and verbs in the first line of each stanza.  The nouns would be placed on the top vertices, 2” long, and rotated from the starting point counter-clockwise based on where the nouns order was in the line.  The verbs would be placed on the bottom vertices, 2 ¾” long, and rotated from the starting point counter-clockwise based on where the verbs order was in the line. 


I then chose to have my shell react strictly to the extensions.  I first connected all the extensions in a vertical path.  Then whenever two or more extensions next to each other created an “L” shape, I cut out a square or rectangle a quarter inch away from the shape created by the extensions.  Finally, on each side of the shell, I made a quarter inch slit next to the extension, going in the order of “right-left-right” and so on.  The slits length would be determined by the length of the extension it was reacting off of, so 2” or 2 ¾”.  It then would also create another slit down from the end, with the length being based on the length of the extension as well.   


And voila, my project was complete!  We also had to create a computer 3D model of the project using SketchUp, as you can see in the photos.  For the incomplete cubes skeleton and extensions, I built my model first and then created it in SketchUp.  But for the shell I chose to design it first in SketchUp, and then build my model based off of my design.


Below is the same project done by my fellow classmate, Julie Ehrlich.  Julie based her data off the Santa Monica water tide levels over a 24 hour cycle, representing each leg of an incomplete cube. The cubes were rotated to the right one time if the tide was coming in and to the left once if the tide was going out. Then she merged them together, standing morning up to night.

Her extensions were then based on the wind speed, gust and direction.

Julie's surrounding shell was then cut out, slit and divided based on the wind speed and the cube/shell interaction.

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Reader Comments (1)

These designs look great... they would look even greater if they were rotating to appreciate all 4 sides. They remind me of a high rise building.

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

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