Manuel A. Báez – Crystal & Flame: Form and Process

Manuel A. Báez is an Associate Professor at Carleton University, Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, where he is also the Coordinator of Crossings Inerdisciplinary Research and the Director of the Carleton De-Formation Research Unit. Previously, he worked and practiced in New York City while teaching at the Architecture Schools at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and the Rhode Island School of Design.

His work as an architect, artist and researcher draws inspiration from the generative potential of the forms, structures and integrative systems generated by elemental processes that exist throughout the natural environment. His educational concerns, interests and objectives are focused on the development of teaching methods and procedures derived from the research.”

Below are some images of his work, students work and his TED lecture. He explores the “malleability of weaved bamboo cells assembled as a fabric” and produces beautiful thin and delicate generative structures.

 Above: ©Manuel A. Báez, Suspended Animation: Coiled serpent, from the Phenomenological Garden Installation , Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bamboo dowels & rubber bands.   Fabrication from membrane assembled with square cellular units. 

Above: ©Manuel A. Báez Crossings Workshop, Suspended Animation Series: Cellular Forms Studies.  Work from the Crossings Workshop by Diana Park using heptagonal cellular units casting shadows on wall. 

Above: ©Manuel A. Báez, Phenomenological Garden Installation, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bamboo dowels & rubber bands.  Two columns are transformed into an intricately patterned ceiling structure.  Emergent patterns are revealed as one walks around the installation or, as shown in Fig. 2, as one looks at the reflected ceiling.  Fabrication from membrane assembled with square cellular units.  

Above: ©Manuel A. Báez, Crossings Workshop Exhibition, Suspended Animation Series: Cellular Forms Studies, Koussevitzky Art Gallery, Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield, MA, Bamboo dowels & rubber bands.  Works by Crossings Workshop students using membranes assembled from cellular units. 

Above:  ©Manuel A. Báez Crossings Workshop, Suspended Animation Series: “Torus”, Cellular Forms Studies, Bamboo dowels & plastic tubing.  Work from the Crossings Workshop by Natalia Kukleva using square cellular units, 6′ – 0″ diameter.  Top: side view, bottom: view from above.