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Under the guidance of the late visionary architect and theorist, Anne Tyng, Kristen Smith collaborated with Srdjan Weiss with Normal Architecture… Read More
Under the guidance of the late visionary architect and theorist, Anne Tyng, Kristen Smith collaborated with Srdjan Weiss with Normal Architecture Office to conceive an immersive installation that realizes the ambition of all Tyng’s work: to inhabit geometry. Read Less
Published:
Inhabiting Geometry
Anne Tyng Retrospective
Under the guidance of the latevisionary architect and theorist, Anne Tyng, Kristen Smith collaborated with SrdjanWeiss with Normal Architecture Office to conceive an immersive installationthat realizes the ambition of all Tyng’s work: to inhabit geometry. Since the1950s, when she worked closely with Louis I. Kahn and independently pioneeredhabitable space-frame architecture, Tyng has applied natural and numericsystems to build forms at all scales, from urban plans to domestic spaces. Thisexhibit, first displayed at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphiaand later at the Graham Foundation in Chicago, was Tyng’s first retrospectiveexhibit. Curated by Ingrid Schaffner, Srdjan Weiss, and William Whittaker, theexhibit also features a selection of drawings, models and documentation ofTyng’s past projects from the University of Pennsylvania archive.

The installation consisted of thefive platonic solids – hexahedron, tetrahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron, andicosahedron – representing pure form and order paired with an intricate doublehelix spiraling off into apparent controlled chaos. With a short productiontime, small budget, and limited tools, the realization of the parts relied onprecise documentation and simple detailing to work.

Conceptually, the solids wereexpressed as being made up of overlapping strips which outline the shape’s formand volume while limiting the amount of material required. Interlockinghexahedra nested within each of the platonic solids to provide both structuralstability and aid in an expression of Tyng’s principles of mathematicalproportion. A simple accordion system of overlapping plywood strips made up thedouble helix system which was contorted and supported by a tensile structuralnetwork of wires emanating from the walls.