Experiments In Motion Blog

The Curator's Blog

Tagged "gsapp"


Jorge Otero-Pailos


MIT Keller Gallery
Opening February 6, 2014, 6:00-8:00 PM
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Building 7, 4th floor; Cambridge, MA 02139 

Space-Time captures one third of one millionth of a second in a twelve-hour re-enactment of Harold Edgerton’s historic laboratory experiment at MIT, conducted in 1964, in which he successfully photographed a supersonic bullet travelling at Mach 2.39 through a Macintosh apple. The re-enactment pursued historical fidelity in everything but its title—Edgerton called it Bullet Through Apple. The title change is meant to shift attention to the reception of Edgerton’s work within architectural discourse as an early scientific visualization of Space-Time, a modernist concept articulated by Sigfried Giedion, and other prominent architectural theorists in the late 1930s, who were interested in the effects of high-speed motion through space on the human perception of time. They were influenced by Einstein who theorized that, paradoxically, the faster one’s relative speed through space the slower one’s relative experience of time. That is perhaps why Edgerton’s retrospective monograph of high-speed photographs was titled Stopping Time.

Movement can be a physical or a conceptual act. Physically we can change our location in space, mentally we can project ourselves in time. Preservation is an attempt, if not to stop time, then at least to slow down our experience of it by stabilizing the appearance of things over time. But the logic of Space-Time suggests that we may have been going about preservation in entirely the wrong way. Counterintuitive as it might seem, preservation might achieve its goals better by projecting conceptual movements rather than stabilizing physical forms. The re-enactment is an invitation to consider Space-Time as an enabling concept of your movement between two images taken fifty years apart.

The concept of Space-Time fell out of fashion with early modernism. Arguably the concept was born too early. It failed in part because it was brought into architectural discourse prematurely, when preservation was in its infancy and could not recognize its value and radical potential. Space-Time, like other untimely innovations (think of Paul Nipkow’s 1884 patent for television), belonged conceptually to the future.

*Historical artifacts provided by MIT Museum and MIT Edgerton Center; Firearms expertise and operation by Mike Conti; Film Processing and Printing by LTI Lightside; Scene set and lit, and latent image captured by Nathan Carlson Friedman, Kyle Hounsell, Theresa Mislick, James W. Bales, and Jorge Otero-Pailos.


A Year in Motion

An overview of the first year of Experiments in Motion, a partnership between Audi of America and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.


Experiments in Motion Featured in Surface Magazine’s American Influence Issue


Experiments in Motion Exhibition

An exhibition marking the end of the first year of Experiments in Motion, a partnership between Audi of America and Columbia GSAPP through the Audi Urban Future Initiative. Open to the public at the Essex Street Warehouse in New York City September 15-24. More info here.

Experiments in Motion aims to imagine new forms of urban motion, new spaces for mobility and new visions for the future of New York City. Audi of America and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), have come together for a research think tank and a series of architectural design studios with the goal of challenging both partners to rethink motion, think differently about mobility, and work together to imagine future cities. As part of the Audi Urban Future Initiative, Experiments in Motion is a research component in a world wide network that seeks to bring together experts from within Audi with architects, planners, and visionaries with the purpose of generating innovative solutions for mobility in cities.

Partnering with the LowLine, Audi of America and Columbia are excited to connect their research on mobility to one of the most innovative proposals for a new kind of public space in New York City . As part of the partnership, students from the program have spent the summer researching all transportation systems in New York City, with special attention on exposing the potential of underground spaces. The research and designs generated by Experiments in Motion represent the future visions for how transportation spaces and infrastructures can be reimagined as sites for invention. The nine design proposals range from new architectural solutions for mobility today to provocative visions for the future.

The fifty foot floating model of Manhattan was researched with the help of the MTA, the DOT, and the Center for Urban Real Estate (CURE). The suspended aluminum street grid is a 1:1500 scale replica of Manhattan’s road infrastructure while the plexiglass below presents a never before seen view of the architectural volumes of every subway station on the island. Projected onto the floor below is an animated shadow that reveals the flows of motion through the city. Subways, buses, bike lanes, ferries, tunnels and bridges are described as flows of motion which come together to expose the city as a interconnected system for mobility - a city of motion.

Exhibition Design Team: George Dolidze, Mengyi Fan, Kelsey Lents
Exhibition Installation: Art Domantay
Projections: Nuit Blanche
Animation Consultant: Casey Rehm / Studio Kinch
Fabrication: Flatcut_, FABberz
Special Thanks: Jesse Keenan, Pedro Zevallos, DOT, MTA, Transit Museum, Lowline
Rendering by Mengyi Fan courtesy of Therrien–Barley


Experiment In Motion Launch Dinner 

The Modular Table was used to facilitate the Experiments In Motion launch dinner. The launch dinner was a think tank event meant to accommodate seating 60 people on the exterior with 12 people seated in the interior. 

DINNER IN MOTION | Experiments in Motion 

Designed through a collaboration between Fab Lab, C-Lab and Studio X of GSAPP Columbia University. 


Modular Table

The modular table was built for the Experiments in Motion launch dinner hosted by Audi of America and Columbia University GSAPP. It was designed through a collaboration by the Laboratory for Applied Building Sciences, C-Lab and Studio-X of GSAPP Columbia University. The launch dinner was a think tank event meant to accommodate seating for 60 people on the exterior with 12 people seated on moving seats in the interior. This modular table was designed specifically for the launch dinner with the ability to transform and reconfigure for future events. The modularity of the table led to interesting new configurations for facilitating discussion such as the round table on Architecture in Motion


Photosynthetic Grass Printer by George Dolidze

As part of Columbia GSAPP’s City of Mobile Services studio, George Dolidze designed a machine which is fully integrated into the urban ecosystem.
The Photosynthetic Grass Printer is an autonomous chemical factory that supplements the struggling urban eco-system. It collects refuse and environmental pollutants as it moves throughout the city, converting them into photosynthetic grass to pump new life into the city by way of oxygen and public space. 

This project is part of Experiments in Motion - a partnership between Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and Audi of America. 


Rezi Ali: Audio Shader

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Daniel Libeskind’s Micromegas

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Fast/Slow: Pilot waving at supersonic speed

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This blog chronicles the project from the perspective of the curators. Be sure to follow the individual studio blogs for studio-specific updates, and the student blogs to follow individual's work.

Christopher Barley

Independent curator and partner in the firm Therrien Barley.

Troy Conrad Therrien

Partner in the firm Therrien Barley, and Chief Architect, Cloud Communication Software at Columbia GSAPP.