Ground Substance

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Ground Substance presents work from LabStudio, a hybrid architectural-biological design unit founded by Jenny Sabin and Peter Lloyd Jones at the University of Pennsylvania, whose mission is to produce new modes of thinking in design and biomedicine through modeling of multi-dimensional biological systems with experiments in fabrication and material construction.

The ability to forgo disciplinary boundaries allows for unique views of similar issues, even at radically different scales. Whether scientists or designers, we are all bound to deal with geometry, matter, and their effects. Technology has afforded scientists and designers alike an extraordinary ability to generate information, yet this has resulted in an ever-increasing inability to visualize and model diverse datasets. As we become faced with petabyte datasets and beyond, it will become increasingly challenging to view and comprehend 4D biomedical and architectural data using existing means. While the end goals may differ in science and in architecture, there is a driving necessity in both disciplines to model and fabricate complex, emergent, and self-organized nonlinear systems. We ask: "How can we intuit, see, and understand complex wholes that are often indiscernible from their individual parts?"

Information gathers meaning when filtered through multiple modes of expression. Intuitive pattern recognition and alternative representations of complex datasets that can be seen, heard, and even held (for example, via rapid prototyping) are essential. In the production of relationships and correspondences, "tools" such as computer scripts are developed to orchestrate the movement between multiple modes of working.

A rigorous understanding and analysis of these types of models will allow scientists and architects to retool and revaluate how to negotiate visualization and quantification within complex 3D biological phenomena. Organic models such as those found in biology afford modes for understanding issues of feedback, growth, and self-assembly in architecture as they negotiate truly dynamic environments with nonlinear responses. Translation requires all of our senses and intuitions, and this can only be achieved using unconventional approaches.

Jenny E. Sabin
Peter Lloyd Jones

Andrew Lucia
Erica Savig

Kaori Ihida-Stansbury
Vanesa Karamanian
Alexandra Klinger
Shawn Sweeney
Mathieu Tamby

Jenny E. Sabin
Andrew Lucia
Peter Lloyd Jones
Annette Fierro

Jenny E. Sabin
Andrew Lucia
Rebecca Fuchs

Jenny E. Sabin
Sabin+Jones LabStudio
University of Pennsylvania