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UCLA Architecture Seminar: Synesthesia: Sound and Vision
DeCafe, UCLA Campus 2006

Materials: Felt, metal fasteners, homasote panels
Techniques: Digital Modeling, laser cutting
Dimensions: 2200 square feet

Primarily corporeal rather than conceptual, the renovated Decafe stimulates the visual, auditory and touch senses to create a synesthetic experience. An expansive and rhythmic felt landscape surrounds the audience while local surface features produce a tactile awareness of the suppleness of new interior.

Due to the availability of hand labor and lack of availability of capital, we designed a fabrication process that limited field cutting and unit size. The installation is completed using felt strips of uniform width. Using mechanical fasteners and careful edge and seam detailing, a series of 18” strips produce three rhythmic scales. Of special concern was the treatment of strips interrupted by limited bolt lengths. These end seams are combined with the next seam in a highly figured way. This produces a visual and tactile opportunity from a constraint of the material system. Lastly, the thinness of the felt strip was managed at all edges by folding the felt to produce volume and turn the thin edge into the existing wall.

Project Team:
Brendan Beachler and Jeff Sipprell;
Hyejin Cho, Katie Fallat, Matthew Fellows, Emily Frix, Meagan Lingo, Brian Nelson, Tim Paulson