Within all materials and structures lie the secret lives of dynamic and flowing forces that leap, spring, and bind the materials they are contained by. These invisible flows are usually only revealed when the rectilinear structures we build crack, bend, or collapse, releasing these powerful and vital invisible energies. Architect Frei Otto famously proposed that all structures in the natural world are formed by “pressures” both physical and cultural. In Swarm the creative pressures that are contained in, and flow through, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery are captured and contained in a fabric and rope tensile structure that extends and reaches to the park on the north face of the gallery. At night, the colored light that project from various points within the gallery walls, create shifting shadows of gallery visitors to the park beyond.
Swarm is best viewed on Wednesday nights from 5 PM to 9 PM.
Lancelot Coar is an Assistant Professor of Architecture teaching design studios and technology courses and a resident researcher at the Center for Architectural Structures and Technology (CAST) at the University of Manitoba. His work at CAST explores unconventional uses of standard building materials in order to create new architectural and structural systems with unique performance characteristics. His research has led to the development of building systems using a range of materials such as: fabric formed concrete, fabric reinforced concrete, fabric reinforced ice structures, and flexible wood framing systems, post stressed fiberglass framing systems, fabric and ice systems, and steel structural systems. Coar worked in both architecture and engineering practices prior to teaching. He received Bachelor of Science degrees in Architectural Engineering and in Civil Engineering at Drexel University, and later received his Masters in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. His work has been featured in a wide range of publications and exhibited in museums and galleries in Paris, Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Winnipeg. He is also a founding partner in Co|Re Collaborative and a member of the performance art collective The Abzurbs.
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