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Faculty Member’s Architectural Art Wins Honorable Mention in National Competition

DAAP’s Ming Tang recently won an Honorable Mention for a complex, mathematically based sculptural design he and a partner entered in a national design contest.

Date: 6/12/2011 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Ming Tang

UC ingot   The University of Cincinnati’s Ming Tang recently won an Honorable Mention for a complex, mathematically based design – titled “Caged Thing.”

He and a partner, Jonathan Anderson, submitted the design to the 10UP 2011 Competition, a contest sponsored by the Young Architects Forum of Atlanta.

The challenge of the competition is to design a temporary outdoor installation, with the winning design actually prefabricated and built in a few days’ time.

And even though the design by Tang and Anderson wasn’t picked as the overall winner – and therefore the one constructed in Atlanta – Tang still hopes to construct the architectural sculpture he designed. If and when that’s possible, he plans to use the $250 prize money from the 10UP 2011 Competition to pay for materials.

“It would be fun to build the prototype, though the challenge would be finding the right material,” he says. “It would be my goal to build it with students here.”

Tang likens the design to a “sculpture in a cage” though it’s really 357 triangles digitally created, where all edges touch and connect to the edges of neighboring pieces.

According to Tang, they will be stitched and installed into a 10-foot by 10-foot by 30-foot chickenwire coop. The central feature of this project is the development of a mathematical structure that exhibits characteristics of coral – a life forming system. The entire coral surface is tessellated and assembled with a color fabric layer and a reflective material on the inside. The apertures of this surface are allowing the reflective material to take on dynamic properties that change one's perception of the surroundings. The net result of these individual panels is a continuous surface sprawling through three levels.

“For me, the fun part is the challenge of the problem. The solutions come down to how you define the problem,” he explains, adding, “In this case, the problem is how to subdivide a complex form, an interlocked geometry, into something easy to fabricate piece by piece, and then assemble them together precisely. The solution is a process of tessellating the form into parametrically controlled triangular components and fabricating them with laser cut."