I chose Junya Ishigami, who is a famous Japanese architect, for my model making assessment. He always makes architecture combine with the environment and shows the relationship between art and architecture. “We are in love with his imagination and entering his architecture is like entering a magical word, filled with poetry and esthetics.” at deSingel in Antwerp. There are a lot of famous works showing these unique techniques of him, for example, the designs shown in Architecture Exhibited, Japanese pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, 2008.
In the exhibition, there are many greenhouses designed by Ishigami. For instance, this greenhouse I showed is the structure of a forest environment which is formed by how the trees are grouped. Its prototypes for various environments are formed according to how the pillars and beams are positioned and grouped, shaping the spatial structure of the building.
These greenhouse designs show the relationship between art and architecture by combining the environment and architecture, which is one of the concepts reflected in the designs of Ishigami.
This is one of the models of those greengouses designed by Ishigami. Its bottom may be made by balsa wood, which is a kind of soft wood, regarded as soil. The columns which are inserted the wood are iron wires. There are some artificial flowers inside the model.
Ishigami said “For me, as a Japanese person, natural elements are also always artificial. There is no authentic nature — even forests and landscapes are artificially created.” I think that is why he designs a great number of greenhouses like this in order to provide abundant sunlight and free passage of air for plants.
These are my very first two models which I was trying to follow the techniques as Ishigami’s. First of all, I chose a kind of board which is very thin and light as the bottom of the models, and I used some gracile iron wires as columns. And then I tried to make them into two different shapes, circle and square, and I found that wires just need to toward in one direction of the circle one, but two directions of the square one. Finally, I inserted one artificial tree pretended as the forest inside both models.
In order to find the most suitable material, I tried to test different materials to change the board of the bottom. For the third model, I used another kind of softwood, balsa wood, which is softer and lighter than the previous. I also tried to use foam core as the bottom for the forth one. Moreover, I changed the scale of them, I made them bigger and higher than the previous two models.
After multiple iterative testing, I made a decision about the material and the scale for my final model. I used balsa wood that I used for the third one as the bottom, because it is the easiest one to insert the iron wires. Finally, I put a real flower inside the model pretending the forest.
I think my final work follows all technique that Ishigami used in his design of the greenhouse. For example, the wires allow the plants enjoy sunlight, wind and rain directly. In addition, the bottom that was made by balsa wood seems like soil, which can provide abundant nutrition for the plants.