Man-O-War: From Solid to Thick
Knowlton School, Ohio State University 2003

Materials: Multicolored Monofilament and Lead Weights
Techniques: Digital Animation and Manual Labor
Dimensions: 864 cubic feet

Named for the sea creature it resembles, the Man-O-War is a gallery installation meant to produce a thickened atmosphere of matter and light. Designed for a show of architectural design and research involving hirsute (hairy) morphology, the piece hovers midway between floor and ceiling like a heavy stormfront. Its global shape emerges from the accumulated material dynamics of 15,300 green, yellow, and blue monofilament lines of various weights, lengths, and curl parameters suspended from 1352 weighted points. The mass varies in opacity, color and shape as it responds to changes in the physical environment around it.

The design of the Man-O-War required advanced digital modeling coupled with material mockups. Its fabrication relied on low-tech manual assembly using readily available and inexpensive materials. Construction of the Man-O-War follows from a research article we wrote involving the materialization of linework in architectural representation, entitled “On The Uses and Advantages of Hirsutery for Architecture.”