Honorable Mention Project – Innovative Minds 2017: Cybernetic Framework



Earl Nguyen-Rand Crandon

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, Massachusetts, USA


Amidst the surfacing of the digital/virtual “canvas” and the image first-platforms of today’s consumer culture, the drawing has been pulled in a number of different directions. Within architectural education & practice, it has become at odds with the seductive and the interpretative, the hand and the machine, and the subjective and the objective.

To tackle these issues, an investigation of architectural representation & theory offered key insights. Subsequent research moved the project to a study of discursive imagery, a form of representation that:

  1. suggests a path non singular in its direction
  2. encourages an architectural discourse in the space that it is perforating
  3. functions beyond an objective, reductive set of instructions for building

Using the discursive image as a primary vessel for investigation, the speculation of an urban interface that explores sequences of collisions between divergent entities ensued.
Three divergent entities were identified:

  1. a) Old and New
    b) Body and Materiality
    c) Narrative and Fragment

To explore these collisions, creative efforts were organized into three phases of production:

  1. I) Drawing as Performative Filter [using digital archives of CAD-block machine blueprints]
    II) Model as Movement Sequence [using Italeri model-making kits]
    III) Site as Materiality [referencing an abandoned parcel in Holyoke, MA]

These phases were used to organize the attached presentation material, with each part outlining the processes, artifacts, and divergent entities that have been gathered.

Although the exploration culminates with the proposal for an urban receptor that synthesizes moments of collision [part IV], the project also attempts to offer a new [cybernetic] design strategy – one that employs discursive imagery and narrative structures.

All the while, it makes commentary on the tension between the analog and digital, using the book, body, and machine as important motifs.

gURROO – A new generation of innovative minds.