Tortoise skeleton, Anatome Testudinis Europaeae, LH Bojanus, 1819-1821

Interstitial Warming - Elemental Interactivity IV


BArch 3 Studio: Construction | Material | Technology

Michelle Howard | Luciano Parodi


Gottfried Semper argued that Architecture is like a garment because it shares the same root and meaning in Germanic languages (wand = wall, gewand = garment). If this is so, both architecture and garments can be worn. As the space between body and clothes changes, the space between clothes and building also changes. The expansion between clothes and building encompass other bodies, creating a social garment. A garment is worn, as the boundary moves with the body. Using this definition, buildings are typically inhabited, not worn, because the body moves independently of the boundary, but could this change?
Can the building be more like a garment we wear about ourselves, and thus more intrinsically related to us, than our current usage of it as a stage on which we move?
Wearing the building implies an intense interactivity which takes place in the space between body and building. The interactivity can be intensified by the use of many interacting layers just as the skin itself is not one layer but the accumulation of many very different ones.

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Interstitial Warming - Elemental Interactivity IV


BArch 3 Studio: Construction | Material | Technology

Michelle Howard | Luciano Parodi

These machines of perception slimmed down each of their elements, incorporated costly heating and humidification systems, and surrounded this strange artificial climate with materials that filtered light in order to technically and artificially induce a replica of existing natural climatic conditions.


The outer skin of the tortoise does not serve purely to protect it from predators but to regulate its body temperature and to absorb moisture. Much more than a hull, it is an essential living, breathing part of a tortoise’s body. We look very closely at the main Tortoise and Turtle types, the particularities of their carapace and plastron - their hard skin, and the way in which they extend and retract their limbs - their soft skin. Each student will specialise in one of these wonderful animals and build a 1:1 model of first their hard skin and then their soft where the limbs can extend and retract.