Next Project

Idea Cloud

Part 2 Project 1999
Tristan Sterk
The University of Adelaide Adelaide Australia
The metaphor of a cloud was chosen to propel this project. A cloud is a field. A field is a complicated, whimsical, ephemeral, system of balances. It is an envelope or zone in which the possibility of "cloud" emerges. Fields can be thought of in terms of clouds because they are spaces in which orders arise from a balance of forces to produce a recognisable pattern; a temporary structure that changes as it blows in the wind. Of course field theories and the conditions that they bring to form making, are all motivated from the bottom-up, they are circumstantial to calculations, with no creative act required to define the architectural form. And in that respect there are no overarching geometrical notions or understandings that can be used to come to grips with exactly what the space is about. The spaces, like the spaces generated by an experimental dance or street performance can only be understood as a circumstance, or a condition in which something may occur.

This realisation was used to create a new type of theatre. The structure itself can be thought of in terms of a hydraulic-tensile from, that in a pre-programmed way can reform, mould, bend and deform itself as though it was participating in an intelligent dialogue with the conditions that surround it. A tensile fabric is stretched around the structural framework, and kept separate from the framework by a collection of hydraulic units allowing the structure to re-present itself differently. Networking the hydraulic elements together, then allows a piece of software to drive the configuration of the new architectural envelope, and gives rise to the performer being able to entirely re-configure the space from moment to moment as a means of extending the capabilities of their dance.

Tristan Sterk

Tutor Statement:

The field of 56 individual student projects in this Final Project studio coalesced into nine discrete focus groups in which clusters of similarly oriented students could explore and critique common issues and inspirations. Tristan's project emerged from a group that was loosely entitled 'Future Architecture'-'Future', because the philosophical counterpoints to each of these projects were focused in directions that were largely unforseen by the rest of the class.

Tristan's project twisted and turned through several states of ideas, the common thread to which turned out to be the notion of 'Idea Cloud', the final product of his work. Tristan's project stood out not only as a strikingly tangible realisation of a highly unconventional building-both graphically and technically stunning in his CAAD representation-but as a highly critical, thought provoking work as well, that challenges it's audience, causing them to rethink the assumptions they make of familiar ground.

He raised some interesting questions that are perhaps best described by examining the dynamics of a temporary performance space similar the space created by street buskers.
In such spaces the performer uses a series of actions to generate a response from an audience and then use the audience's reactions carve a space (a stage). One might think of this type of space as a new 'dynamic' form of architecture. An architecture that like a cloud is the product of a balancing act between the particles of a system, whether bodies or dust and water.

As an experimental dance theatre, 'Idea Cloud,' begs the question in what new ways can our bodies engage with spaces and how can this engagement inform the architecture we create.

• Page Hits: 2314         • Entry Date: 08 January 1999         • Last Update: 10 May 2001