Gisela Baurmann, Dipl. Ing. Architektin MSAAD, is an award-winning architect who practices and teaches in Europe and the US. She is founding partner of the practice Büro NY with work realized in New York and Berlin. 

Her work employs cultural techniques as conceptual models of fabrication, and examines their topological traits and local rules for application in computational design.

She is a Visiting Associate Professor at Pratt Institute and Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and was chair of the department for Design and Building Design at the Technical University Berlin. She studied at Columbia University as a Fulbright Scholar, at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London with a grant by the German Academic Exchange Service and at the Technical University in Berlin.

 

Baurmann has received design awards from the Empire State Development Corporation for her 9/11 memorial proposal, New York State Council on the Arts Grant, Competition placements from the van Alen Institute, RWTH University Aachen, the Honor Award for Excellence in Design, Columbia University and nominations for the PS1 Young Architects Program in 2003 and 2009. As project architect she designed and constructed a church and congregation hall in Frankfurt, Germany.

Her work has been published and exhibited internationally and her writing appeared in Detail, Bauwelt, the Cornell Journal of Architecture and Pidgin Magazine.

 

PROVOCATION

“The Hyperstitch” examines the feasibility of structures that are light weight and flexible, yet resilient. Drawing on cultural techniques in the fibre arts, it examines the geometric and spatial qualities of crochet fabrics through application of local rules that affect global tectonic properties and material effects. 

Crocheting activates a single line—the thread—to generate an elastic surface by moving around and through an empty core. The topology of a crocheted fabric is relatively complex: the thread describes an undulating path along each row, the loops of one row being pulled through the loops of the previous one. Unlike other functional materials, crocheted fabric encodes physical characteristics within the material during the fabrication process.

In crochet, it is possible to create a whole surface of multiple elements from one single thread. Crocheted fabric can specify local rules of increase and decrease, of temporary pause and subsequent pick up, thus enabling the fabric to be spliced open and to be reunited again later on. It can generate three-dimensional volumes through exponential unit growth, or by separating and subsequently braiding, crossing, and back-referencing its own materiality.

Releasing the technique of its limitations to the domestic realm, “The Hyperstitch” transposes this handcraft into the digital realm and aims to extrapolate the material into large scale architectural and engineering applications. Exchanging stiffness as an engineering criterion with the ductility and concurrent strength of the crocheted fabric permits the design of pliable infrastructures which may be used as a mediating entity to protect habitats in volatile environments

PRACTICE

 

Büro NY, New York, Berlin

Computational Crochet