Open April 13 – August 1, 2018 at the Banvard Gallery, Knowlton School of Architecture, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

Paranomasia is the rhetorical term for a pun. In Paranomasiac, the punning drive is pathologized and imagined as a chronic design condition.

Paranomasiac presents an exaggerated environment, a space of mixed metaphors and misaligned referents. Using the techniques of comedy and improvisation as alibi, it deliberately confuses scale, material, and identity in an effort to recontextualize the architectural exhibition as a productive contrivance. Rather than models or drawings to be observed with distance, the show presents models and drawings that are inhabitable and whose status is confusing. Embracing the “yes, and…” philosophy, Paranomasiac offers a collection of experiments into repetition, representation, and reference.

A series of patterns made using a parametric Grasshopper script based on historic William Morris and Liberty of London designs adorn table cloths and curtains. Rather than illustrations of vegetation or animals, the script is designed to manipulate the top ten free downloadable models available at popular internet warehouses such that each wallpaper pattern represents a sort of ‘greatest hits’ for sites like Shapeways, Ponoko, Pinshape, GrabCAD, etc.

Rubin’s Vases (based on the optical figure/ground illusion of two faces in profile resolving into the silhouette of a vase) explicitly engage with the homophonic properties of puns and explores material difference as a way to analogize lexical difference. Each vase is fabricated from a different material, using different methods. The project here is to use humor – the recognizable double-reading action of the Rubin’s Vase conceit – to highlight both the biases of the tools we use to produce architecture and the incredible contingency of the architectural spec as a definer of design intent.

April 2018