Author : Henry Cheung

University : Woodbury School of Architecture

Status : MArch1, 2012

Advisors : Jennifer Bonner, John Southern

Title : Machinic Veils & The Problem of Poche

I had the pleasure to take the A.I.R. Studio (Civic Conduits + Contested Terrain) co-taught by Jennifer Bonner + John Southern this semester. It was probably one of the best studios I have taken while I am here at Woodbury University. The studio took place in Owens Lake, California and we took a day trip up to the barren lake this semester as well. Here is my culminating project from the A.I.R. Studio.

“Machinic Veils is a machinic laboratory that assimilates into the “naturally-artificial” landscape of Owens Lake through the anticipation of the physical forces of its geographical location, toxic emissivity of dust, and the salt inundated landscape. These physical forces are simultaneously amplified, controlled, and directed through a series of six veils – ranging in function, porosity, and translucency

The laboratory gradually hovers above the eroded burmscape of the soda ash company and engages the ground where there is little evidence of erosion. The laboratory consists of six layers of mirrored and performative veils – each altering the atmosphere by filtering dust and discharging clean air into the environment. The programmatic spaces are created through a rigorous analysis of the collision between spaces within two planametric studies. These collision points create subtle eruptions within this otherwise regularized topographical plan.

Machinic Veils is meant to be a historical and social marker of the dusty conditions of Owens Lake, archive and clean dust, while operating in the poche as a way to obscure, hybridize, and insert confusion of programs and spatial complexity. The environments and atmospheric differences are a result of these operative and performative techniques.

Employed to conduct research and to maintain the full-functionality of the machinic laboratory, housewives (equipped with protective-spherical headgear) will provide a keen attention to detail to their work and provide a familiar face to the public. In addition, employing housewives in both nearby cities of Keeler and Olancha, it will increase household incomes and decrease the current unemployment rate, provide a direct relationship between neighboring communties and the lake, and to foster an awareness of the lake and the potential to utilize the current conditions in a positive manner.

Bubble suits will be provided to the public when they enter the laboratory in the exterior dirty layer until they discharge in the sterile and clean inner layer. The bubble suits will be recycled to other guests thereafter.”