0906 White Elephant

As part of the Department of Architecture at the Royal College of Art in London. Architecture Design Studio 1 (ADS1) – taught by Roberto Bottazzi and Tobias Klein – has been working on an innovative project that has been constructed in the occasion of the Graduation Show between June 21 and July 4 2009.

The narrative provided by the reference chosen – an real animal – guided the design and fabrication process. The initial structure is quartered in four pieces following the actual anatomy of elephants. The slicing patterns for laser-cutting vary in density to both retain the semantic qualities of an actual elephant chosen as well as function as display cabinets for the students’ final models.

The White Elephant contributed to this debate by challenging the relation between 3D design and 2D manufacturing. The elephant is a body, a fully three- dimensional structure whose presence in the space is materialised by slotting together laser- cutting flat plywood pieces.

Animals, narratives, CAD/CAM technologies co-exist in this project to suggest that the future of digital de- sign will be more heterogeneous in its references and extroverted through an open and direct dialogue with cultural and artistic practices.

As part of the graduation show of the studio taught by R. Bottazzi & T. Klein at the Royal College of Art, The White Elephant explored the potentials of CAD/CAM technologies within the field of narrative design. Through the projects developed by the students during the year, the studio focused on the critique of much of the current digital production in architecture and its self-referential interest in parametric, surface- driven design.