Fractal Textures III

Haptic Texture

Building upon earlier studies of organic texture, this project is an exploration of the relationship between material, tectonics, and performance in the service of texture as architectural expression. It also seeks to investigate the role of scale in texture: from the manufactured material of the tile, to the subtle geometries and apertures of the module, to the monolithic expression of the aggregated surface. This project confronts the notion of texture as something beyond aesthetic – to experience materiality in a performative and phenomenological role.

Tectonically, the strategy is one of integration – using the native geometry and manufacturing methods of the tile module and the performative and phenomenological goals of the surface to directly inform the structural system. The tile material is 3D printed salt coated in epoxy resin, which is softly translucent to act as a light diffusion system. More representatively, the structural armature infers what is to come for this system – a structural, motorized skeleton embedded in a protective rubber skin – that can begin to create an incredibly rich and varied textural façade and respond more directly to exterior lighting conditions. These modules are then held in a pre-tensioned cable net system to maximize the experiential quality of the tile from inside and out. As a sun shading system the tile is able to move with the rotation of the sun via the structural armature, diffusing light through the surface throughout the day. The tile’s apertures allow for views outward, though the manipulation of these apertures into the curved pattern distorts views. Light and shadow begin to define a new layer of visual texture beyond the haptic.

When texture is placed in a more dynamic role, outside the typical realm as façade treatment or purely expression, there is potential to more directly inform architectural processes.