BMW Inspired Housing

CoilHaus | Harvard GSD fall 08 | Frank Barkow, Barkow Leibinger + Chris Bangle, BMW, critics

published in MARK Magazine , Bauwelt + The Architecture of Change 2: Sustainability, Architect

BMW Group Design Munich, have created a car called “GINA Light Visionary Model” that is a radical departure to how a car’s body and interior, it’s outer and inner surfaces are conceived and produced. Replacing sheet metal with an elastic fabric has enabled BMW to envision a car’s surfaces as something that can change, that is, kinetic both in response to performative criteria, (doors, head-lights, seating, dashboards, lighting) and aesthetically (styling lines, shape, dimension, and color).  It is a technology approach for mass customization without limit. Given the complex demands made on architecture today for sustainability, economics, flexibility, performance, space making, image and form, how can a GINA approach to technology with it’s emphasis on surface-control and geometry re-inform the making of architecture?  This question was applied to the American suburban house as a type that could be radically revolutionized by innovative relationships between skin and bones/surface and structure.  Investigating these associations effects how light is controlled, how surfaces are controlled, shape and space, and types of openings and apertures.  The design here challenges both architecture as a fixed and static entity and the iconography of ‘house’ by expressing/expanding in response to family growth and accumulation.

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